The European Commission (EU) has launched its strategy for leading the global development of Web 4.0 and virtual world technologies. The EU aims to enhance inclusivity, security, trust, and other metrics for citizens, enterprises, and organizations across the European Union. The strategy focuses on integrating digital and real objects and environments and enhancing interactions between humans and machines. The EU projects a significant economic impact, with €27 billion in 2022 and €800 billion by 2030.
The strategy sets out several key pillars for the EU’s focus on Web 4.0. The first pillar aims to empower people and reinforce skills by boosting awareness, access to trustworthy information, and creating a collective of virtual world specialists. The second pillar focuses on creating a Web 4.0 industrial ecosystem to build continuity for technologies developed across the region. The third pillar aims to back societal progress and virtual public services, including initiatives for smart communities, scientific research, city planning, and the medical industry. The fourth pillar focuses on shaping global standards for open and interoperable virtual worlds and Web 4.0.
The EU’s strategy for Web 4.0 and the Metaverse aligns with its digital rights and principles. It aims to create an open, secure, trustworthy, fair, and inclusive digital environment for all. The EU intends to compete with other global powers, such as the United States, the Middle East, and China, in defining and shaping the Metaverse. Coordination among regulators, government officials, standards organizations, and companies developing interoperability will be critical to the success of the Metaverse.
The EU’s focus on Web 4.0 rather than Web 3.0 suggests a desire for tighter regulations and control over the future development of virtual world technologies. This approach may help prevent the chaos and instability seen in some blockchain-centric platforms. Additionally, it may help the EU regulate Metaverse activities and address concerns related to cybercrime, harmful online content, economic instability, and misconduct.
Overall, the EU’s strategy for Web 4.0 and the Metaverse reflects its commitment to harnessing the potential of emerging technologies while ensuring they align with European values and principles. The EU aims to lead the global development of the Metaverse and create an environment that benefits health, the green transition, and disaster anticipation, while also protecting privacy and addressing risks. The success of the EU’s strategy will depend on effective coordination, cooperation, and regulation at both the regional and global levels.