Europe falls behind in the technology and digital sector depending on the exports of other countries such as the US or China. Let’s go back to the 1990s. It was a time when the EU dominated the mobile phone industry (2G and 3G), had pre-eminent manufacturers of handsets –Nokia was a world leader–, built PCs and accounted for 30% of global manufacturing output of semiconductors, the essential silicon chips. In 2000, when it approved the flawed Lisbon Strategy (flawed because it set intermediate targets that were not compulsory and failed to provide the resources to attain them), the EU proposed to turn itself in 10 years into ‘the most competitive and advanced knowledge economy in the world’. Twenty years later, the more conservative goal is to become ‘a world leader in innovation in the data economy and its applications’. These days, in a much broader global market, it makes less than 10% of chips and aspires to a 20% global market share by the end of the decade, it imports almost all of its mobile phones, it has fallen behind in 4G technology and is dependent on others in 5G and has lost its lead in connectivity, not to mention its super-dependency on US and even Chinese platforms. What went wrong?
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