#SiliconValley: Manfred Weber explains EU politics in Silicon Valley

Manfred WEBER“More Europe has, so far, always been the clear response in crisis situations. However, today we don’t need more or less Europe but a smarter Europe. We can do this by suggesting clever policies to fight the rising populism in Europe, for example, to combat short-term national egoisms and to offer a different orientation for the future. A smarter Europe needs more identity, based on a culture of common values, more implementation capacities and has to deliver better results.” These were the main messages from EPP Group Chairman, Manfred Weber MEP, during a three-day visit to California where he also participated in a discussion on the future of Europe which took place at the Institute of European Studies at Berkeley University.

“Europe has to be big in big things, but small in small things. And a smarter Europe needs a new ambition: assertiveness, especially as concerns the economy, security and cultural traditions”, continued Weber, who also met in Silicon Valley with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and with representatives of Facebook, Amazon and Uber.

The aim of the different meetings was a mutual exchange of opinions on financial models of the high-tech industry on the one hand, and on European legislation which regulates the operation of the high-tech companies on the other. The discussions included concrete issues such as the Google antitrust case and consumer data protection issues.

The EPP Group Chairman presented the challenges Europe is facing today such as migration, security, competitiveness, the stability of the Euro, combating unemployment. “Facing these challenges, Europe should no longer act as a fire extinguisher but as a smart global player. It is our objective that the European Union asserts itself as a community of values in an insecure world. This would be the only way for Europe to stay competitive, also in a digital world”, Weber said during his talks with the Google, Facebook and Amazon representatives. He pointed out that legislation like the new European data protection rules can provide the necessary framework. “Everybody who wants to do business in Europe has to respect our rules”, Weber concluded.

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