ON SUNNY evenings in Brussels, young Eurocrats mingle on the bar terraces of the Place du Luxembourg outside the European Parliament. The continent’s future leaders pay little heed to the bronze-green statue of John Cockerill at its centre. The Englishman commemor石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向ated at the heart of today’s EU moved to Belgium from near Manchester in 1802, importing the latest steam technologies. He founded a machine factory in a chateau near Lige which grew into an industrial empire and helped make Belgium second only to Britain in industrial sophistication.
Is Europe living up to Cockerill’s legacy? The continent has world-class companies in fields like biotechnology, luxury cars and nuclear energy, manufacturing sectors incorporating sophisticated software (a BMW these days is as much a 混沌血神computer on wheels as a car). London, a global tech hub, is home to DeepMind, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) outfit; Stockholm is home to Spotify, a dominant music-sharing service卡博士水控机; Cambridge-based Arm makes processor chips for almost all the world’s smartphones.
欧洲能在克里尔的技能上发玄觞直播间展吗? 在生物技能、奢华轿车和核能以及结合了杂乱软件的制造业(一辆宝马就像是一台带轮子的电脑)等范畴，欧洲大陆具有国际一流的企业，作为全球科技中心的伦敦具有抢先的人工智能企业DeepMind；斯德哥尔摩具有在线音乐巨子Spotify; 剑桥具有为国际上简直一切的智能手机出产处理大地园园通器芯片的Arm。
Yet still Europe lacks large firms in areas like social media, e-commerc七七数码e and cloud computing comparable in scale to America’s Google and Microsoft, or China’s Alibaba and Baidu. Of the world’s 15 largest digital 妖周泰firms, all are American or Chinese. Of the top 200, eight are European. Such firms matter. They operate dominant online platforms and are writing the rules of the new economy in the way Cockerill’s innovations did in his day.
Mariya Gabriel, the EU’s digital economy commissioner, worries that Silicon Valley and China now make the big decisions about the internet, and that 唐米拖拉机this affects European domestic policy. She is right. Even BMW, for example, does much of its cutting-edge research in California and Shanghai. In Brus石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向sels officials talk of a “Sputnik moment”, a sudden realisation of its technological disadvantage, akin to America’s when the Soviet Union put the first satellite into space in 1957. Asked whether the continent will ever produce its own Google, one burst out laughing.
Europe’s history explains the lag. In the 18th century, its lack of standardisation made it the cradle of the industrial revolution. Rules and markets varied. Entrepreneurs who did not find support or luck in one country, like Cockerill, could find it in another. All this created competition and variety. Today, however, Europe’s patchwork is a disadvantage. New technologies require vast lakes of data, skilled labou石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向r and capital. Despite the EU’s single market, in Europe these often remain in national ponds. Language divides get in the way. Vast, speculative long-term capital investments that ma碳氢油项目是否实在ke firms like Uber possible are too rarely 石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向available on European national markets. True, there is progress. European universities are working more closely together, and in 2015 the EU adopted a new digital strategy that has simplified tax rules, ended roaming cha叫我秋香姐rges and removed barriers to cross-border online content sales. But about half of its measures—like smoother flows of data—remain mere proposals.
In the 19th century Europe was the first continent to industrialise, and institutions based on th石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向at experience have deeper roots there than elsewhere. Most European countries are still run by marmoreal Christian or social democrats descended from the struggle between bourgeoisie and workers. Their propensity for bold thinking is石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向 limited. Europ滴血貔貅ean investors expect to be able to claim physical assets against their losses if a firm goes bust—bedevilling software startups than ten to lack them. Research is too often incremental, not radical. The burden of early industrialisation is also something of a geographic tale. Europe’s traditional industrial heartlands are struggling to adapt to the new digital era, but those once on the periphery—Bavaria and Swabia in Germany, and cities like Helsinki, Tallinn, Cambridge and Montpellier—are leading the way, without the institutional fetters of old factory towns like Lige.
The 20th century also restrains Europe’s technological competitiveness today. The collective experience of Nazi and Soviet surveillance and dictatorship makes many Europeans protective of their data (Germans, for example, are still reluctant to use electronic payments). Moreover, since 1945 the continent has mostly been at peace and protected by outsiders. So it has no institutions comparable to DARPA, the American military-research institution where technologies like microchips, GPS and the internet were born. Nor has it anything comparable to China’s military investments in technology today.
In Cockerill’s shadow
The equivalent historical forces in the 21st century could prove to be differing attitudes to migration. America’s technological superiority is built on its ability to attract talented, success-hungry people, one reason businesses resist Republican plans to limit legal immigration. Of the 98 high-tech firms in the Fortune 500, 45 (including Apple and Google) were founded by immigrants or their children. China lacks immigration but sends many of its young abroad to study, and then repatriates their skills. Europe does neither and treats migration as a threat, as its debates about how best to seal off the Mediterranean show.
If it wanted to, Europe could improv蜀山奇侠之血魔重生e. Its governments and the EU could create a genuine digital single market, do more to promote enterprise and institutional innovation and make the most of its strengths in, for example, biomedicine and transport. Better integration of capital markets would help as well. Europe could harness the growing 马哲有点甜uncertainty about America’s trans-Atlantic security guarantees to invest serious cash in its own DARPA-equivalents. Europeans may even eventually come to view immigration as an opportunity. But all of this p石膏线条,申述离婚,石墨文档-第十视角，围观中美交易新动向erhaps demands a greater a才智树宝物二加一wareness of history itself, of the diverging technological pasts and possible futures hovering over the continent like the bronze John Cockerill over the Place du Luxembourg.
来历：The Economist (October 18, 2018)