EU seeks out fresh approach to tech governance under Biden administration

Source: Keystone.

With the Trump era quickly coming to an end, the European Union has wasted no time in drawing up a plan for rekindling its relationship with the US. Addressing thorny issues over tech governance is top of its list.

In a document published last week entitled the « New EU–US agenda for global change », the European Commission set out four key policy areas where it wants to works more closely with a Biden administration, one of them being technology and trade.

This comes after several tense years of transatlantic relations and antitrust battles over the dominance of US big tech firms in the European market.

The Geneva Internet Platform takes a closer look at the technological aspects of the agenda. Among the different issues outlined, the EU’s executive arm said it wants more cooperation on topics like the responsibility of online platforms and big tech, and how to levy digital taxes - a sore subject that has divided nations on both sides of the Atlantic.

« Our shared values of human dignity, individual rights and democratic principles make us natural partners to harness rapid technological change and face the challenges of rival systems of digital governance. This gives us an unprecedented window of opportunity to set a joint EU-US tech agenda. »

The tech agenda outlines plans for cooperation on digital supply chain security, cybersecurity capacity building and informmation sharing. The EU also proposes to start work on a new Transatlantic AI agreement that would set a blueprint for AI standards.

The trade sector is also considered, with joint leadership on reforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the establishment of a new EU-USA Trade and Technology Council. The idea is to feed market-driven transatlantic collaboration and set up compatible standards.

The plan should be officially launched at the 2021 EU-US summit.

EC publishes new EU-US Agenda for global change