CNBC reports that the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, proposed Friday a new set of start-up standards for member states to adopt as the bloc seeks to play catch-up with the U.S. and China.
The EU Start-up Nations Standard calls on countries to change their laws on stock options and immigration visas so that start-ups can attract the best talent from anywhere in the world.
So far, 25 countries across Europe have signed up to the framework. The only ones that haven’t are Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia. Those that have signed up will now be expected to change their rules over time.
Tech founders in Europe have long called for reforms to help start-ups flourish and catch up to the U.S. and China, which have produced the world’s largest digital companies. In the U.S., there’s Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and many others, while in China there’s Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Xiaomi. All of these firms are substantially bigger than Europe’s largest tech companies.
One key complaint in Europe has been around employee stock options, which give start-up employees the chance to own a slice of their company.
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