China has the largest amount of users in the world, a significant digital economy growth potential, and its national Internet giants Alibaba, Didi, Tencent and Baidu are increasingly able to rival the biggest Western competitors in terms of market value and influence on the global tech landscape. China’s cyber diplomacy puts special attention towards equal participation, the principles of non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes, and support for multilateral institutions to shape normative views on the governance of cyberspace. However, China’s propagation of the cyber-sovereignty approach to international cybersecurity policy and an absolutist reading of sovereignty in cyberspace provide a legal cloak for state practices that often run counter to the core European values of a global, open, and free Internet.
Brazil is the world’s eighth largest economy in terms of GDP, and by far South America’s most populous and powerful state. While the country has suffered economic and political crises since 2014, it has made significant advances in domestic digitization and played a pivotal, albeit ambiguous role in international negotiations on cyberspace. Brazil has the world’s fifth largest internet user base, after China, India, the United States and Indonesia, and is a leading country in South America when it comes to ICTs usage. The share of Brazilians using the internet has increased from less than 3% of the population in 2000 to more than 68% in 2019. As such, Brazil remains a critical partner for the EU’s efforts to build a secure, stable and rights-based cyberspace.
Thanks to its regulatory powers, robust digital economy, and active foreign and security policy, the European Union is one of the key players in cyberspace. The EU strongly promotes the position that international law, and in particular the United Nations (UN) Charter, applies in cyberspace. As a complement to binding international law, the EU endorses the voluntary non-binding norms, rules and principles of responsible State behaviour that have been articulated by the UN Group of Governmental Experts. It also encourages the development and implementation of regional confidence building measures, both in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other regions. On a bilateral level, the EU has established cyber dialogues with strategic partners to reinforce the exchange of good practices, lessons learnt and further the idea of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.