The European Commission has unveiled a strategic plan aimed at positioning the European Union (EU) as a frontrunner in the metaverse, a shared virtual world accessible through the internet. The initiative seeks to prevent tech giants like Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, and Apple from gaining unfair advantages over smaller competitors in the emerging metaverse market.
The EU's plan aims to foster an open and interoperable metaverse that upholds EU values and fundamental rights. The Commission estimates that the global market size for the metaverse will surpass 800 billion euros by 2030, compared to 27 billion euros last year.
To achieve its goals, the EU intends to bring together creators, media companies, and other stakeholders to develop a robust industrial ecosystem within the metaverse. It also plans to establish regulatory sandboxes to facilitate testing of metaverse technologies and implement skills development programs. Additionally, the EU aims to provide virtual public services in the metaverse.
Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager emphasized the importance of placing people at the center of the metaverse and ensuring compliance with EU digital rights and principles. She stated, "We want to make sure Web 4.0 becomes an open, secure, trustworthy, fair, and inclusive digital environment for all."
While the EU's current focus is not on regulating the metaverse, Vestager noted that existing regulations on privacy, market power, and upcoming artificial intelligence rules will likely apply to the metaverse.
With its strategic plan, the European Commission aims to establish the EU as a leading force in shaping the future of the metaverse while safeguarding privacy and combating disinformation. By promoting an inclusive and equitable digital environment, the EU aims to harness the potential of the metaverse for economic growth and benefit all users.
By fLEXI tEAM