Mastercard’s Manifesto: A roadmap towards a resilient, prosperous, and livable Europe

June 3, 2024 | Waterloo, Belgium
The EU elections are just around the corner. They will kick of a new cycle of opportunities to tackle key issues and create new pathways for a better, stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive Europe.

As a company with a strong European presence and heritage, Mastercard is a major actor in the European payments ecosystem. As such, we believe we can contribute to a secure, inclusive and prosperous Europe. In our Election Manifesto, we shine a light on some key topics that we’d like Europe’s future leaders to consider.

Fostering Open Strategic Autonomy

Sparked by increased geopolitical tension, the EU has progressively moved towards greater strategic autonomy and resilience with the aim of reducing dependencies on other countries and foreign providers. Strategic autonomy has become one of the European Commission’s most important policy guidelines in recent years, and it is expected that increased autonomy and the strengthening of the EU’s position as a global player will remain critical for the next European Commission too.

Promoting open strategic autonomy through international collaboration and public- private partnerships, while ensuring sound regulatory oversight and innovative legal frameworks, can form the basis for Europe’s prosperity. With economies of scale playing a crucial role in the success (or failure) of many economic and societal initiatives, we should aim for maximum interoperability, global standards, and removal of as many barriers to cross-border trade and services, as possible.

Creating a Vibrant Digital European Economy

The EU has created strong initiatives to support the economy’s digitalization, including supporting SMEs and citizens through major funding programs, such as NextGenerationEU and the European Skills Agenda. But the digital transformation has also increased the importance of cybersecurity. The European Commission’s work program reflects this trend by promoting initiatives for cyber resilience and safeguarding communication and data. These topics will remain at the top of the agenda for all of us, and extensive investments and partnerships with the private sector will be required to prepare for and tackle the security challenges associated with society’s accelerated digitalization.

Businesses and citizens must be equipped with the skills and tools to thrive in the digital economy and be able to deal with the increasing challenges of cybersecurity and fraud detection. Combined with targeted support programs, aimed at accelerating the digital transformation, the EU should strive to unlock its full economic potential in the digital age, and emerging technologies, such as AI and biometrics will undoubtedly facilitate this process.

Ensuring responsible Innovation Leadership

Investing in breakthrough digital technologies and strengthening Europe’s role as innovation leader is key. For instance, the EU is investing heavily in the future development of an AI, data, and robotics ecosystem; the Digital Europe Program invests €84 million in strengthening AI, while turning Europe into the ‘quantum valley’ is a longstanding goal of the EU. To achieve these goals, the incoming European leadership will not only have to continue to drive research and the adoption of new technologies. It will also need to ensure that technologies such as AI are trustworthy and developed for the benefit of citizens.

A prosperous Europe can only be achieved through a clear focus on innovation leadership in key industries. To this end, the potential of new technologies, including AI and the use of data, must be fully and responsibly exploited while building trust in them. Furthermore, EU governments need to lead by example by further enhancing their e-government services and bringing innovation directly to their citizens.

Securing a Livable Future

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this goal, the European Green Deal, the EU’s growth strategy for a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy, was introduced. The next European Commission must address the enforcement of the established legislative framework. This includes initiatives such as the Digital Product Passport framework that improves the transparency of information on product sustainability as well as the Carbon Removal Certification Framework that will help companies balance their emissions.

Finally, the creation of EU-tools and initiatives across industries to enable businesses and citizens to fully commit to sustainability will also help achieving a more sustainable Europe. Two areas of strategic importance are urban mobility and tourism, where sustainability should not only be a basic requirement, but also a driver for a wider societal adoption.

In a time of uncertainty, there is no shortage of work for the EU’s incoming leadership but by working together, we can ensure that Europe’s people and businesses can feel confident about the future.

Read Mastercard’s EU Election Manifesto, here.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.  

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