A Progressive Approach to Digital Tech – Taking Charge of Europe’s Digital Future


How should progressives look at digital technology, at a time when it permeates every aspect of our lives, societies and democracies? That is the topic of the new report “A Progressive Approach to Digital Tech – Taking Charge of Europe’s Digital Future”, from FEPS and SAMAK.

The main message: Europe can achieve a digital transition that is both just and sustainable, but this requires a positive vision an collective action.

The report details how in the 90s, a choice was made not to create democratic rules for the ‘Internet’, and to leave it up to market forces to decide our digital future instead. It surveys the consequences, which range from stark divisions of power and wealth, to reduced worker autonomy and a distorted public sphere. More fundamentally, we now live in a digital environment we neither understand nor control, both individually and collectively.

The upshot? This is is not inevitable. Europe can decide to do things differently. In fact, the European Commission already has decided to chart a European path for the digital transition in the coming years, and this report aims to stimulate that debate. Given the breadth of the topic, the report offers broad outlines of a European Digital Model for a fair and sustainable digital transition. These can be regrouped under three broad headers:

  • First, the concentration of unaccountable power needs to be addressed, via tax policy, competition law, structural solutions (interoperability) and more.
  • Second, Europe needs to ensure the benefits of digital tech accrue to all. This can’t be limited to redistribution, but will have to involve a measure of decentralisation, participation, and collective ways to manage data. Cities are key in this endeavour.
  • Third, the public sector needs to protect the public interest and citizen’s rights. This entails investments in public interest tech, responsible public procurement, binding rules on ‘AI’, and enforcement of existing laws (GDPR!).

For the FEPS SAMAK report ‘A Progressive Approach to Digital Tech. Taking Charge of Europe’s Digital Future’

Read the report

Inputs from the report:

Key Technologies in the Digital Transformation. Towards a Social Science Taxonomy of Digital Technology

Smart Cities: A Key to a Progressive Europe

Find all related publications

Computer in command

Digital Programme: Algorithms at the workplace

EU regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising?

FEPS Yan Series

Expected labour market effects of the Green Deal Industrial Plan

The potential of labour policy for Just Transition regions

Progressive Yearbook 2024

Looking back to look ahead
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post

The Democratic Shield: safeguarding democracy in the age of AI


Defending democracy in the digital world

Whole-of-society approaches against disinformation

The 2024 super-election year: navigating the geopolitical disinformation maze

Find all related events

The rise of algorithmic management, from platform economy to traditional sectors

Webinar on platform work and algorithms at the workplace
Sofia, Bulgaria

The cost of personal transition

Forum for Progressive left solutions
Helsinki, Finland

Algorithms in the Workplace

Breakfast roundtable
Find all related news

Digital programme: Algorithms at the workplace

FEPS, together with Nordic partners, launched a Digital Programme on algorithmic management and workers' rights
Find all related in the media
In the media

Sustainable democracies need a sustainable media sector, says Jourová

by EURACTIV 02/04/2024
FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues discusses AI and journalism at Stars4Media event

AI won’t replace quality journalism, but sector needs safeguarding, says socialist think tank head

by Euractiv 18/03/2024
Interview with FEPS President on the role of media in Europe’s future

Ласло Андор: Европа трябва да създаде нов модел за икономически растеж

by dir.bg 14/03/2024
'Europe must create a new model for economic growth'. Interview by Laszlo Andor, FEPS Secretary General

Цената на прехода – зелен, дигитален и демографски

by BNT 13/03/2024
'The cost of transition - green, digital and demographic' BNT Interview with László Andor about the three major transformations the world is facing.