#EIFAsks on the Transatlantic Digital Agenda 2020

#EIFAsks on the Transatlantic Digital Agenda 2020


– If you look at digitization, it touches every element of our societies, our economies, the way in which
people access information. And so it’s very much
a cross-cutting issue. So it’s time that we
also connect the dots. And I’m convinced that
lawmakers and governments cannot do this alone and that frankly, there’s not the amount
of trust in government and politics that we may
hope for across the Atlantic. And so it’s important that
different stakeholders, the private sector, civil society, people in academia,
experts in the field of security and technology, come together and draught this agenda. So what we basically need
is a sort of coalition of transatlantic
commitment that goes beyond government-to-government relations. – Well, lots of people
have lists of issues, particularly digital
issues, that they think need to be addressed by the United States and the European Union in common. However, history shows us that
we need a bigger framework, we need a political
commitment to the process. And the model is the new
transatlantic agenda, which dates from 1996, I believe, and which set political
objectives for the partnership. We need to revisit this exercise, because we need a political
commitment to the agenda before we begin to address the agenda, and that is one of the purposes of the Transatlantic
Policy Network exercise, and EIF are part of it. – I think it’s about getting
the stakeholders engaged. I think that we need to
have everyone involved. It’s a lot to debate now about
consumers and governments, but we also need to make
sure that the companies are on board and business. And then we need to find the stakeholders that are needed for this
debate and bring them together. – One of the main topics that
I think we must address now is to have a rules-based
frame around digital trade. We see that trade is rapidly evolving, services are crossing borders
at the click of a mouse, and this is all very exciting. But it’s also important
that the rule of law retains its meaning and
its implementation online. So that is what I think
is vitally important now, that the open societies,
the open economies, the supporters of the open
internet in this world, in other words, the
democracies of this world, of which the U.S. and the EU
are still the key leaders, drive this rules-based
digital trade agenda. – Well, we need to be forward-looking. The current agenda is a bit bogged down always in privacy issues. But we need to look at
the technology explosion that’s in front of us, and
we need to do it together, notably the future of work
and artificial intelligence, which is beginning to
emerge as a high concern in the political world
for better or for worse. So we think, in this process, EIF thinks that the future
of work is number one. We then have identified several others. We need to be sensitive to consumer and citizens’ interests and expectations, and policies that lead in
that direction are important. We need to address the
rapidly-expanding sphere of data. We need to structure that debate
within the bigger picture. We need common policies for
third world relationships and trade, partnerships
and trading relationships, and try to harmonise our approach
to the digital dimension. And finally, we need to balance
freedoms and obligations and address the growing concerns around the threat to the
democratic processes. – I think we need to start with the biggest issues, actually, and still, I would say
the elephant in the room is all around data. We need to address that
because it’s important, and it’s important for everyone who’s engaging in the digital economy. So it’s all about actually addressing it, trying to sort it out in
the best possible way.

Danny Hutson

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