European Parliament Calls On Lawmakers to Lead the Metaverse

European Parliament Calls On Lawmakers to Lead the Metaverse


Legislators in the European Parliament have called on the region to step up its efforts to build the Metaverse, reducing its dependence on technologies from countries outside of the 27-member bloc.

The initiative will also back businesses in the European Union (EU) by connecting and promoting them on the future spatial communications platform.

The news follows the release of a report from the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The department aims to evaluate the risks and opportunities linked to virtual worldbuilding, which will interlink digital spaces in an interoperable, immersive manner.

EU lawmakers adopted the report on Tuesday after 31 voted for it and two against it.

A statement from the Committee said,

“The report welcomes the Commission’s communication on virtual worlds of 11 July 2023 but calls for more work to define them. It wants a clear regulatory framework in the digital single market, through existing laws, to support virtual world development”

It added,

“The report highlights the economic potential but most companies concerned are outside the Union. Therefore, the report calls for EU leadership and stresses the need for interoperability and open standards to prevent monopolies. Overall, regular regulatory checks are needed as virtual worlds develop but standalone regulation just for virtual worlds is not required yet”

The news comes after the European Commission moved to outline its plan for the Metaverse in a July statement, where it stated it would supervise the next evolution of the internet. However, such actions would require global governance and new standards compatible across nations.

EU legislators also published its strategy on Web4 and the Metaverse, but did not mention decentralised technologies from Web3 developers.

Additional European Parliament Report Details

On Tuesday, the European Parliament stressed its concerns about the current direction of the Metaverse, stating that virtual worlds were “developed by a few companies based outside the EU, which have the necessary resources and financial capabilities.”

It also noted that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) advised the EU to “take a leading role in the development of virtual [worlds] that respect and promote EU values, fundamental rights and the highest standards of consumer protection.”

The report also called for facilitating a “level playing field” to promote businesses in the European Union.

Additionally, it also aimed to create a “suitable policy framework” and “engage in international dialogues with like-minded third countries.”

Furthermore, the report also hopes to promote awareness among citizens on how to use Web4 technologies.

However, speaking on the risks involved in building the Metaverse, EU officials noted that, despite the economic, employment, and educational opportunities for the platform, its users could face challenges.

Several of the challenges included in the statement included health issues such as cyber addiction, VR sickness, child cognitive development, and sleeping schedules.

Additional potential pitfalls included intellectual property (IP) rights, cybercrime, financial fraud, online violence, and data processing concerns.

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Rapporteur, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, said in a statement,

“Europe cannot afford to lag behind in the next digital revolution nor can we repeat past mistakes. As we step into Web 4.0 with the development of virtual worlds, we have to lay a foundation, rooted in strong EU digital rules, guiding principles and values. Europe has to lead this transition, placing citizens at the heart of our digital future!”

To mitigate these issues, the draft report called on legislators to implement safety, parental controls, digital literacy, research to assess potential risks, and spreading information via campaigns.

It also advocated digital inclusivity and accessibility for current and future virtual worlds, assisting vulnerable people with disabilities, and other initiatives.




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