6 reasons why politicians should include the topic of European internet search in their programme for the 2024 European elections
To pave Europe’s own digital path into the future, many regulatory efforts, ideas and initiatives are underway. And that is important and right. However, internet search is often neglected.
Here are 6 reasons why Web Search is important for Europe and why politicians should include the topic of European internet search in their programmes for the 2024 European elections:
- Power factor internet search: Search engines are enormously important for the formation of public opinion, knowledge and will, for science, education and the economy. Search engines shape and filter our access to information on the web. They decide whether we can search safely and whether objectively correct information or fake news is displayed.
- Dependence on search engine monopolies threatens transparent access to information across Europe. The search engine market is highly monopolised – around 90 per cent of all searches in Europe go through Google.
- There is no alternative independent web index in Europe. Even “alternative” search engines like Ecosia or Startpage are not independent, but hooked to the Google or Bing (Microsoft) indices – on their terms.
- Regulation is not enough without offering alternatives to the status quo. Our idea: An open web index as the basis for an open and cooperative European search infrastructure. Based on existing data centres and open source code. Transparent, rooted in European values and legal foundations.
- Europe has the chance to create an independent web search infrastructure. Open web search paves the way for a digital pluralistic Europe linked to technological diversity, independence and vibrant democracy.
- A new digital ecosystem is emerging in Europe: Not only search engines, but also AI companies, research institutes and start-ups can use the open web index for business and science, for generative AI / large language models, machine learning and European innovation.
Europe must find its own way in the digital world – also in internet search!