EU-US tech cooperation seen as ‘tangible progress’ – EURACTIV.com

The US administration and the European Commission will meet in Washington on December 5 for the third time within the framework of the Trade and Technology Council (CTC). The initiative between the EU and the United States, launched last year, aims to provide space for cooperation.

The first meeting was already a success, with relations between the two blocs warming after their cooling under the administration of Donald Trump. The second meeting, last May, was largely overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two partners are keen to show that after great media hype, the collaboration has yielded concrete results.

“These results represent visible progress in all workplaces established under the TCC”can we read the draft joint declaration for the next summit, and be consulted by EURACTIV.

Digital infrastructure in third countries

Among the priorities for the next ministerial meeting are joint initiatives to be signed by the two blocs with representatives of the Jamaican and Kenyan governments on digital connectivity projects.

The choice of these two countries, both of which maintain an unambiguously pro-Western policy towards Russia and China, seems to reflect the geographical priorities of the United States and the EU, respectively.

In Jamaica, the goal is to help connect more than 1,000 public schools and homes to the Internet, improve teachers’ digital skills and support the technological development of SMEs.

In Kenya, work will begin on a need study for fiber optic connections in relevant areas, a policy roadmap for secure connectivity and training options for digital professionals.

Future EU-US coordination for digital infrastructure projects in third countries will be supported by a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between the US Agency for Development Finance (DFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Underwater cables

Regarding strengthening the stability of the Internet ecosystem, the joint statement refers to submarine cables and the fact that the competent group is discussing “projects that take alternative routes, such as the transatlantic route to connect Europe, North America and Asia. »

This reference refers to a submarine cable intended to link Europe to Japan via Alaska. Although it is strongly supported by the European side, the support of the United States for this expensive project is still not assured. It is for this reason that it does not appear in the declaration.

AI roadmap

The statement includes an integrated artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap outlining AI risk management tools and techniques. This is a practical first step in running reliable AI.

It aims to develop a common understanding of key concepts such as reliability, risk and harm, building on the European AI Regulation and the US AI Bill of Rights. Coordination will also focus on developing standards, starting with research that underpins this work.

In addition, the EU and US aim to create a common repository of metrics to measure the reliability of AI and risk management methods. Such a reference may also support work carried out in other bodies such as the OECD.

Other concrete steps include a catalog of risk categories to better identify emerging risks as well as interoperable AI risk assessments — for example to determine reliability.

Emerging technology

The draft findings mention that a pilot project on privacy-enhancing technologies has been identified and is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2023. However, there is no actual mention of what the project will consist of.

Reference was also made to Tech for Good, a collaborative platform for research projects focusing on extreme weather and climate, health, power grid optimization, agriculture and disaster response management. emergency.

An expert quantum team will be created to overcome barriers to transatlantic cooperation in this critical research area and to work together on issues related to technological readiness, intellectual property, export controls and international standard.

Standardization

The two partners have worked on developing a common standard for electric vehicle charging by 2024. In this regard, they will provide common technical specifications for the physical connection and communication exchange between the vehicle and the infrastructure.

Standards cooperation projects have been launched in additive manufacturing, plastics recycling and digital identity. Standards for post-quantum encryption and the Internet of Things, including cybersecurity, are now being developed.

Supply chain security

In the area of ​​supply chain security, the US government and EU executives will sign an administrative arrangement to implement an early warning mechanism that will build on a pilot project carried out last summer to test the exchange of information in the event of a disturbances.

Since transparency is seen as a decisive way of avoiding a race for subsidies, the next ministerial meeting will be marked by the signing of an administrative arrangement aimed at commemorating the protocol. In addition, the goal is to work with the sector to improve the prospects of world demand for semiconductors.

Export control and investment analysis

The war in Ukraine served as a test case for strengthening transatlantic coordination on export control measures aimed at Russia and Belarus and targeting dual-use technologies. Now is the time to extend this coordinated approach to like-minded partners.

“The United States and the European Union are increasingly concerned about the use of economic coercion aimed at interfering with our legitimate sovereign choices”indicates the project.

Maintenance

The summit will launch a transatlantic initiative on sustainable trade to foster coordination on green public procurement strategies, greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment methodologies and supply chain monitoring, particularly in the Chinese-led solar sector.

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