Startup and Scaleup Ecosystem. Recommendations for Policy Change

The facts are not to be disputed: Europe boasts an abundance of early-stage startups and is lacking in unicorns.


Entrepreneurs come up with innovative ideas, found organizations, and approach their local economies with bold enthusiasm. And yet, there is an undeniable a pattern in the growth process. Startups tend to experience a degree of growth early on, reach a plateau, and either remain on steady domestic footing or meet an untimely death. They have trouble expanding internationally, as the European market is fragmented and often proves a legislative nightmare that very few startups have the resources to manage. This is in clear contrast to the American landscape, which demonstrates significant advantage not necessary in legislative ease, but rather in size and openness. That European policymakers have still failed to realize the Single Market is a major legislative disappointment that has resulted in an unwelcoming internal ecosystem that forces startups to re-incorporate into each member state’s market. Europe has repeatedly bypassed its opportunity to construct a landscape that is conducive to scaling startups in the same manner as that of the U.S. and has, accordingly, been deprived of countless unicorns.


With this in mind, and intent on completing the Single Market, we approach the European Commission with several suggestions regarding regulation and deregulation of the startup and scaleup landscape. All appeals for policy improvement fall into one of the following seven areas: Startup Single Market, value-added tax, copyright, data protection, data localization, digital identity, patent law, platforms, the SME Test, carveouts, artificial intelligence, and administration.


Such recommendations are included in the Policy Paper “Startup and Scaleup Ecosystem. Recommendations for Policy Change” that has been shared today with the European Commission’s College.


This paper follows our Open Letter on March 2nd re: How EU Programmes Can Help Innovators and Startups and a working meeting on April 25th with Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

Hopefully it will be helpful in view of preparation of the MFF and the future policy priorities of the Commission.


Policy Paper – Startup and Scaleup Ecosystem
Recommendations for Policy Change