03 Mar 2021

Masters of Digital 2021: Greater EU-US alignment needed for innovation, says EU Ambassador to US

Masters of Digital 2021

2021 has marked a renewal of the transatlantic relationship, with greater collaboration and alignment called on by both sides of the Atlantic on digital trade, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. EU Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis made it clear that Europe’s leadership in digital needs to build on international cooperation.

EU Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis at Masters of Digital 2021

In a keynote discussion with DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl and Natalia Drozdiak, Technology Reporter at Bloomberg, Ambassador Lambrinidis placed an emphasis on EU and US cooperation bilaterally but also in multilateral forums such as the World Trade Organisation.

A transatlantic partnership, he stressed, is how Europe can level the playing field, by incentivising domestic innovation, and advancing markets vis-à-vis competitors.

Earlier this year, DIGITALEUROPE welcomed the election of the new US administration and proposed six new priorities for relaunching the transatlantic relationship. These themes were echoed in the Ambassador’s belief that “as the world’s two biggest democracies, the EU and the US should work together on setting the rules”.

Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Ambassador the US

“Europe wants to be a player in digital, and to run as fast as anyone else. This is only possible with extremely close EU-US cooperation.”

In order to make sure that standards in the digital sector are based on our shared values, Lambrinidis highlighted that this is particularly vital in cases of AI (taking a human-centric approach, and looking at high-risk applications), cybersecurity, export controls, privacy and disinformation. The EU-US Trade and Technology Council should seek to deal with all of these topics.

DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl built upon this: “with 85% of European companies transferring data to the US, data flows should be the top priority for transatlantic discussions”, she said. In agreement, the Ambassador expressed the need increased dialogue on privacy and data protection between the EU and US, even if the issues are sensitive – “Europe wants to be a player in digital, and to run as fast as anyone else. This is only possible with extremely close EU-US cooperation”.

Watch the full keynote conversation

Masters of Digital 2021: Keynote conversation with EU Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis

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