The five-year program of the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, could contain a 100 billion euro sovereign fund to promote the industrial “champions” of the EU against American rivals such as Apple, Google and the Chinese Alibaba.
This was revealed by the Politico.eu website and the Financial Times on the basis of a 173-page document, which should form the basis for the Commission program chaired by the German popular Ursula von der Leyen who will take the place of the popular Luxembourgian Jean-Claude Juncker the next November 1st, the last date (unless another delay) also provided for the Brexit.
The fund – provisionally called the “European Future Fund” – should use resources from the Community budget to raise at least 100 billion euros of public and private financing to be invested directly in the capital of European companies.
“The emergence and leadership of non-EU private competitors, with unprecedented financial resources, has the potential to obliterate the innovative dynamics and industrial position of the EU industry in some sectors”, says the document quoted by Politico.eu and from the City financial newspaper, the Financial Times. Among the EU’s rivals are the so-called American Gafa (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and the Chinese Bat, (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent), all companies capable of dictating the global digital agenda. Europe has no leading companies in these strategic sectors (and the EU does not have a search engine comparable to the power of Google for example) and this represents a risk for the jobs of the future, economic growth and European influence in these sectors.
However, this could mean modifying the current rules on competition, a choice requested to great force by Macron’s France and Merkel’s Germany but which is opposed by the liberal and liberal Dutch government of premier Rutte, who does not look favorably on the creation of European champions, often to create mergers between companies like the French company Alstom and the German company Siemens in the railway sector (blocked by the EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager) with serious risks of reducing the subjects in the market and possible cost increases for consumers.