There’s no love lost being lost between Google and European policymakers these days.
During a keynote speech today at the end of a three-day startup conference in Madrid, Google chairman Eric Schmidt made that clear when he said Europe’s regulators are hurting the ability of the region’s entrepreneurs to pursue new and bold ideas.
“I’m always worried that governments, especially in Europe, will regulate out and prevent innovation,” Schmidt said during a 30-minute talk. “That they will somehow prevent a place where a young entrepreneur can invent something truly new.”
He made his remarks at The South Summit in Madrid, where many of the country’s top entrepreneurs gathered to talk about how to push that country’s startup scene forward. His appearance came just a few days after Google announced that it would be creating a Google Campus in Madrid for startups some time in 2015.
Google has been battling European regulators on issues like taxes, privacy, the so-called “right to be forgotten” ruling, and antitrust. During his talk, Schmidt chided European regulators and said the region had to clear the way for letting startups flourish.
He noted that small businesses and innovative companies account for a large percentage of job growth, something all of Europe could use more of these days.
“I hope it’s clear that entrepreneurs matter, and that innovation matters, and that we have a phenomenal opportunity ahead of us,” Schmidt said.”We know the answers. More entrepreneurs. More creativity. More jobs. The sooner we can get this next generation of entrepreneurs in charge, the better off the world will be.”