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An update for Europe — from its less prominent member states



Marina Blomniece
Mukusalas str. 101
LV-1004 Riga
+371 67802080


2017-09-28 | Bosch Group | Corporate News

In the internet age, Estonia and Bulgaria can be role models for Germany and France. A call for a new European patriotism by Volkmar Denner.

t’s the small players whose innovations drive the major players before them. What’s frequently true in business is no less true in politics. Companies like Bosch can be inspired by start-ups. Similarly, we can develop a new conception of Europe. Just why is it that we always only think of France and Germany as the motor for this continent’s future growth? Why don’t we look at what Estonia is doing? Or Bulgaria? It is especially in these less prominent EU member states that Europe’s update — its digital future — is taking shape. It’s not just a question of the continent overcoming its past wars and crises. Europe has to modernize. On this subject, western and central Europeans would be well advised to look east more. They would be equally well advised to not only see problems there, but also to take inspiration from the impetuses for innovation that come from these supposedly minor players.

The European Union driven by the Baltics?

After all, Estonia is the European country that has made the most progress in digitalizing everyday life. It’s where the software for Skype was developed, where 96 percent of all tax returns are completed online, and where the electronic ID card is also a driver’s license, e-health card, and even a library card. All this cuts out red tape, as well as expense worth 2 percent of GDP, or so they claim. It’s good that Estonia is now assuming the presidency of the council of the EU. In fact, it has already sent out invitations to a digital summit at the end of September. The motor of European growth could also be in the Baltic.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,500 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2017). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 78 billion euros in 2017. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 62,500 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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