The confrontation with Russia will be at the heart of the forthcoming EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TCC) high-level meeting, according to draft conclusions received from EURACTIV.
European Commission Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis will meet with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo in Paris-Saclé on Monday (May 16th) at the second meeting of the transatlantic platform.
The CCT was launched last September to create a permanent platform for Brussels and Washington to bring together key policy topics related to global trade and new technologies. However, according to the draft conclusions, the next meeting will focus on condemning Russia.
“The world has changed dramatically since the first meeting of the Trade and Technology Council in Pittsburgh on September 29, 2021. The European Union and the United States strongly condemn Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine “– it is said in the second paragraph of the joint statement.
According to two sources who know this topic, the focus on Russia is aimed at uniting the EU and the United States. Discussions on the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA), recently adopted by the EU, as well as the cloud, have been removed from the program.
The document also includes the conclusions of working groups that have progressed to varying degrees.
The document refers to the recently signed Declaration on the Future of the Internet, which commits the EU, the US and 30 other countries to adopting a shared vision of digital technologies, in particular to counter China’s growing influence on standardization bodies.
However, cooperation on technical standards in the context of the CTC has been slow. The exchange of information in this area has only just begun with the establishment of the Strategic Standardization Information Mechanism (SSI) between the EU and the United States.
“We strive to share information and explore opportunities for collaboration in our research and development programs, including in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), telecommunications technologies outside of 5G and 6G, and quantum computing. Given that 6G will be an important global infrastructure, common approaches to international 6G standards are particularly relevant. ”we can read in the text.
One of the areas that has made the most progress since the CCT was established is the misuse of technology for coercion, surveillance and cyber-malicious purposes. In this area, the focus is on the manipulation of information by Russia with reference to the government’s ban on Internet disconnection.
Online platforms also stand out as vectors for the spread and intensification of illegal and dangerous practices, as repeated in a similar statement in the Declaration on the Future of the Internet.
The conclusions call for the creation of a protocol of cooperation to ensure the integrity of information in case of crisis, designed to coordinate the management of risks associated with the management of data and platforms during the crisis, starting with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The document also emphasizes the desire to develop analytical tools to detect manipulation of information by foreign countries and the fight against Russian disinformation campaigns in third countries.
“We are well aware that traded technologies can play a central role in the ability of autocratic countries to pursue authoritarian policies, violate human rights and abuse, engage in other forms of repression and undermine the security of other nations.”points to the document.
To address this issue, transatlantic partners have made significant progress in export controls. Initially, these discussions were blocked by resistance from Central and Eastern European countries open to Chinese investment, but the war in Ukraine has made this a priority.
TCC has formed a platform for a “Unprecedented coordination” in export controls by supporting the exchange of information on dual-use technologies for both partners.
Control of high-risk investments and suppliers
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine also stressed the importance of having reliable technology suppliers for each of the two transatlantic partners. Notorious is the case of Kaspersky, a Russian anti-virus company that was added to a “watch list” in several western countries.
Although the findings include a joint statement on the importance of addressing the security risks of high-risk suppliers and encouraging supplier diversity, progress in cooperating to control investment in sensitive technologies remains limited.
To remedy this, the conclusions announce the establishment of a working group on public funding, including by international financial institutions, for secure connections in third countries, aimed at promoting the use of reliable providers.
Supply chain sustainability is another issue that has accelerated the crisis in Ukraine, including neodymium, a rare earth magnet, solar panel and semiconductor supply chains.
The EU and the US have announced legal measures to strengthen their autonomy in terms of chips. At the same time, both partners reaffirmed their intention to work together on early warning of semiconductor shortages and to avoid the subsidy race.
The summit in France should also announce the establishment of a subgroup on artificial intelligence, in particular on the development of “A common roadmap for assessment and measurement tools for robust artificial intelligence and risk management, and a joint project on privacy-enhancing technologies”.
The third TCC meeting is scheduled for December in the United States.