Following the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC)’s Joint Statement in December 2022 and ahead of the next TTC ministerial hosted by Sweden in the summer of 2023, EU Cyber Direct, the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the EU Insitute for Security Studies (EUISS) invited cyber ambassadors and attachés from EU member states and the US to a panel discussion on advancing transatlantic relations and strengthening cyber and digital cooperation.
The panel was composed of: Nathaniel Fick, Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, U.S Department of State; Joanneke Balfoort, Director of Security and Defence Policy, EEAS; David Ringrose, Head of Connectivity & Digital Transition Division, EEAS; and Lorena Boix Alonso, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity, DG Connect.
The panel discussion dealt with a series of different issues, ranging from protecting critical infrastructure and supply chains to developing tech innovation policies within the current geopolitical environment. The Trade and Technology Council, EU-US Cyber Dialogues, and OECD Global Forum on Technology were all credited as important settings for leaders and officials to meet their transatlantic counterparts and discuss burgeoning tech and digital issues. On the UN front, all sides acknowledged their support for the Cyber Programme of Action and recognised that the new ITU leadership will require financial, operational, and human resources to succeed. The panel also discussed how closer cooperation on capacity building could be achieved and what the EU and US could learn from each other’s tech innovation strategies and policies.
Following the panel discussion, the ensuing Q&A session allowed the audience to ask further questions on the recently released US cybersecurity strategy and its implications for the EU, joint-cyber attribution and assistance mechanisms, and how the US viewed the EU’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act. The concluding remarks acknowledged challenges that lay ahead for transatlantic relations, but also avenues for collaboration on a joint tech future.