Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:
Hello, and welcome to the new Cyber In 60 Seconds. My name is Marietje Schaake, and you're finding me at the Democracy Forum in Athens. So, from my hotel room, I'm looking back at the Trade and Technology Council that took place in Pittsburgh this week.
For those who missed it, this gathering brought together high-level officials from the Biden administration and the European Commission. It was a long-anticipated meeting that was supposed to reach conclusions about a shared governance agenda for tech-related issues like AI, data, semiconductors, and foreign direct investments. But the Trade and Technology Council was also expected and hoped to mark a new start after very difficult years across the Atlantic. I think we all remember the years when President Trump was still in the White House. And thankfully, the August fallout and French anger did not end up pouring cold water over the events. Although, the general sentiment in Europe that the honeymoon weeks are over is widely shared.
The conclusions of the Trade and Technology Council actually read more like an agreement on the agenda for the next couple of years, rather than tangible actions and conclusions. Tony Gardner, the former US Ambassador to the EU actually remarked that reading them, he figured the fact that the meeting took place at all was a result to mark. But with low expectations, the only way seems up, and there is work being planned in no less than 10 working groups, focusing on green tech standards and SMEs.
And developments that I'm going to watch are trade rules such as sharing information on dual-use export controls, but also FDI screening. The coordination on semiconductors, despite respective programs to develop domestic industries. Data governance, including access for academics. But without the privacy, because that issue is negotiated separately. And then of course, the question of aligning and governing AI in line with democratic values and respect for human rights. Between now and the next meeting, it will be interesting to watch how the tensions between the EU, the US, and China may unfold and whether the EU and the US will converge as part of a larger democratic alliance, but also which domestic legislative initiatives may go on and unfold that could actually impact the agenda of the next Trade and Technology Council in a year.