The past few years have seen the adoption of a regulatory push from the EU when it comes to digital markets, digital services and data. It reconfirmed Europe as the global rule-setter in the digital world. After the GDPR, we now have the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts and the Data Governance and Data Act in place that could have a Brussels effect far beyond the EU’s borders. Whether this new regulatory framework is enough to change the dynamics of the digital economy remains to be seen. Past experiences should make us weary and realistic about the effectiveness of rules to stop the trend where the power of Big Tech firms seems to grow exponentially over time. Since the release of Chat GPT 3.5 in the autumn of 2022, the realisation has become mainstream that AI and the 4th industrial revolution are gathering momentum fast.

The narrative is that the wave of innovation of this industrial revolution will eventually benefit everyone. And yet, history shows that unregulated capitalism creates significant inequality, and benefits never spread automatically. We see that today, with inequality rising across the board, while a few big tech firms have amassed enormous power and wealth. This inequality is not just the result of the spread of digital technology but also closely wound up with the liberalisation of capital, globalisation, deregulation, and the decline of organised labour. Europe is searching for its model for the digital age, where there is space for non-commercial activities and public services and solid industrial relations are supported.

After the upheaval and technological change of the first industrial revolution, social democrats arose to provide refuge from market forces and exploitation by creating a range of new institutions (trade unions, voting rights, mass public education and healthcare, public libraries, etc.). A similar task awaits now as the institutions of the industrial era continue to disintegrate. In theory, digital technology can enhance forms of social coordination not based on commercial motives and competition (better public services, a more responsive democracy, social innovation), but this requires collective action. Europe is the continent where this innovation of the institutions of the digital age has the potential to originate, but it will need a progressive and strategic approach.

Find all publications on Digital & Industrial Policy
Publications
11/06/2024

Computer in command

Digital Programme: Algorithms at the workplace
15/05/2024

EU regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising?

FEPS Yan Series
15/04/2024

Expected labour market effects of the Green Deal Industrial Plan

The potential of labour policy for Just Transition regions
24/01/2024

Progressive Yearbook 2024

Looking back to look ahead
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Events
Past
08/04/2024
Online

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

Webinar on platform work and algorithms at the workplace
16/02/2024
Sofia, Bulgaria

The cost of personal transition

Forum for Progressive left solutions
24/01/2024
FEPS HQ

Progressive Yearbook launch

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Progressive Post
04/04/2024

The Democratic Shield: safeguarding democracy in the age of AI

04/04/2024

Defending democracy in the digital world

04/04/2024

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

30/11/2023

Towards Sovereign AI: Europe´s greatest challenge?

05/07/2023

The EU’s dangerous proposal for stopping online child sexual abuse material

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Find all news on Digital & Industrial Policy
News
13/03/2023

Digital programme: Algorithms at the workplace

FEPS, together with Nordic partners, launched a Digital Programme on algorithmic management and workers' rights
Find all in the media on Digital & Industrial Policy
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.

»Der er tale om en markant udvikling«: Det vrimler med Wolt-bude

by Politiken 19/01/2024
'"This is a significant development": Wolt workers are everywhere' Politiken's article about the Digital Programme's first policy study: 'Employment terms of platform workers'
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Audiovisual

‘Algorithms in the Workplace’ Flickr album

‘Platform work and employment terms’ Flickr album

Shaping Europe’s digital model Flickr album

‘Transforming capitalism in the Age of AI’ Flickr album

“We need to empower, not weaken, workers and their representatives.” Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

#134 FEPS Talks ‘Green Data: on the interplay of the twin transitions of digitalisation and climate’

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Network and Team

Gerard Rinse OOSTERWIJK

Policy Analyst on Digital

Luis SÁEZ JIMÉNEZ

Project Officer

Euléane OMEZ

Project Management Coordinator