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.
The United States has historically been a strong partner in cyber diplomacy for the EU based on common values (human rights, rule of law), goals (open, stable and secure cyberspace) and interpretation of international law. Cyber diplomacy with the US has also been operationalised in the form of information-sharing and cooperation to tackle cybercrime, cooperation on cyber defence via NATO and cyber capacity building in third countries. Despite differences over certain foreign policy issues, the EU and the US remain close allies in cyberspace.
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.