The European Union and the United States aim to achieve a series of results before the next high-level meeting scheduled for December. These include a trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap, a joint exercise on supply chain disruptions, and recommendations on charging infrastructure.
On Monday 3 October, the European Commission presented to the national representatives meeting in the EU Council’s Telecommunications and Information Society Group the state of play of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council ( CTC).
The CCT is a transatlantic platform launched in September 2021 to foster policy convergence between the two blocs. The initiative met with initial enthusiasm as it embodied a warming of transatlantic relations in the aftermath of the Trump administration.
However, in the absence of concrete results, this enthusiasm turned into skepticism. In May, the second high-level meeting focused on how to counter Russia, which skeptics said was the only thing Washington and Brussels could agree on.
It is against this background that the Commission stated in its presentation – seen by EURACTIV – that it intended to “moving towards concrete results for the third ministerial meeting.” This meeting will take place in the United States in early December, but the date and location have yet to be confirmed.
During the last ministerial meeting, the EU and the US announced the creation of a sub-group on artificial intelligence. This is responsible for developing a common roadmap on AI assessment and measurement tools to ensure reliable AI and risk management. A draft common roadmap is expected for the next summit.
The Commission indicated that a workshop on privacy protection technologies was organized with European and American experts in order to assess the degree of development of these technologies. A pilot project on this subject should be defined at the next CTT meeting.
In addition, the transatlantic partners are carrying out a study on the impact of AI on the workforce.
The Commission and the US administration are working on a joint pilot project for an early warning system for supply chain disruptions. Their aim is to provide the next high-level meeting with a set of policy recommendations on how to screen publicly available information to identify potential risks.
Similarly, the Commission said it was organizing a joint workshop with industry on improving transparency in the semiconductor value chain.
In addition, Brussels and Washington have agreed to exchange information relating to subsidies, although exactly how to do so remains open to discussion.
A task force for funding connectivity infrastructure in third countries was announced in May. According to the Commission, this task force is currently looking into the possible synergies between EU and US investments in digital infrastructure in the countries of the South in order to define at least one development project by the next meeting.
The EU executive pointed out that the initial work of this team focused on Latin America and Africa. According to the presentation, an essential condition is the existence of “trusted suppliers”that is, from suppliers considered to be independent of hostile powers such as China.
The Commission also reported on ongoing discussions regarding submarine cable projects. The vulnerability of this type of infrastructure has drawn public attention following the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
Regarding platform governance, the presentation mentioned a multi-stakeholder high-level event on the future of the Internet on 2 November. In April, EURACTIV revealed that Western countries are working on a declaration on the future of the Internet.
At the same time, the Commission pointed out “ongoing work to counter the spread of Russian information manipulation and interference in Latin America and Africa” and an “shared desire to intensify work on the protection and empowerment of minors online”.
On online human rights violations, the EU and the US are preparing a joint statement for the next ministerial meeting.
The group responsible for this issue is currently examining the impact of Internet shutdowns. The Commission said that work in this regard had intensified so that the results would be ready for December, “given the growing trend of business interruptions around the world”.
The Real Impact of Internet Shutdowns has been attested by the United Nations. The latest international case is that of Iran, where the government tries to suffocate mass protests by disrupting mobile internet services.
According to the presentation, the intention is to have, for the next summit, a first set of technical recommendations for the implementation of government-funded charging infrastructure.
At the same time, a common catalog of best practices and considerations for green public procurement is being developed. The long-term goal is to produce a common set of recommendations for carbon footprinting methodologies.
Looking ahead to next year, the two blocs are also working on establishing a common analytical methodology for identifying cases of foreign manipulation and interference with information and how to implement it.
The Commission indicates that the strategic information mechanism on standardization, set up at the second ministerial meeting, is already operational. It provides a platform for exchanging information on technical specifications related to additive manufacturing, megawatt charging systems, plastics recycling and digital identity.
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The Commission presents its objectives for the next EU-US tech meeting
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