EU continues to strengthen digital partnerships with third countries
Key topics on the agenda include, among others, sustainable trade, cooperation on emerging technologies, economic security, digital infrastructure and stakeholder engagement.
The EU digital department’s director for international affairs, Thibaut Kleiner, briefed national representatives at a Telecom Working Party meeting about the progress and priorities of major digital partnerships and policy outreach with third countries, including the US, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Canada. Telecom Working Party is a technical body of the EU Council of Ministers.
The brief revealed that the fourth high-level meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) between the EU and the US would occur on 31 May in Luleå, Sweden. Key topics on the agenda include, among others, sustainable trade, cooperation on emerging technologies, economic security, digital infrastructure and stakeholder engagement. The meeting will focus on delivering concrete results around emerging technologies, connectivity, infrastructural projects, and human rights in digital environments.
Cooperation with third countries
Regarding India, the European Commission has launched a platform similar to the EU-US TTC to coordinate technical work and implement political decisions. The cooperation will focus on high-performance, quantum computing, AI, and digital infrastructure security. The Commission also updated on the three working groups before the first ministerial meeting in May.
Meanwhile, the EU-Japan summit is expected to take place on 3 and 4 July, with the EU prioritizing R&D collaboration for semiconductor technologies and mutual access to supercomputers. The Commission also referred to a proposed submarine cable connecting Europe to Japan via the Arctic to avoid the Suez Channel bottleneck. In addition, the Commission aims to promote EU data governance and finalise trade negotiations on data flows.
The Internal Market Commissioner of the EU, Thierry Breton, is set to meet with South Korean Minister for ICT and Science Minister Lee Jong Ho on 30 June. The focus will be promoting investments from Korean industrial players in high-end chip cooperation, regulatory convergence, and exchanging ideas on fair contributions to connectivity infrastructure. Additionally, research cooperation and developing a common vision for emerging technologies such as AI and 6G are on the agenda.
The digital partnership with Singapore, which began in February, prioritises pilot projects on digital identities, AI governance and standards exchanges, and sharing best practices for SMEs’ digitalisation. Finally, the EU executive aims to upgrade the ongoing Digital Dialogue with Canada into a partnership focused on AI, R&D, connectivity, and cybersecurity.