Digital sovereignty, Europe needs a geopolitics of technology

“To counter the Chinese and Russian influence in the technological field, the European Union should forge digital alliances with related countries, seek greater convergence with the United States and other Western allies, as well as offer the countries of the global South an attractive path alternative for digital development “. It is the recipe indicated Julian Ringhof And José Ignacio Torreblancarespectively visiting fellow and senior policy fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relationsa pan-European think tank committed to conducting independent research to develop a foreign policy based on European values.

Competition without discounts

In the policy brief entitled “The Geopolitics of technology: how the EU can become a global player”, the experts start from the observation that conflicts in the digital space are at the center of global power struggles, for which the EU cannot remain aloof. “To become a geopolitical actor, the EU should learn to get involved on a global level in the tech field, and adopt an ambitious digital diplomacy strategy”, reads the analysis. Which reminds us how digital diplomacy would allow the area to better defend its values, increase its security and encourage the development of internal and global digital markets.

The role of Beijing

There Chinathey report Ringhof And Torreblancais inducing other countries to develop a technological dependence on Beijing, isolating their citizens from foreign influences, orchestrating cyber and cyber-espionage attacks, as well as strategically using 5G technologies to control foreign telecommunications networks.

At the same time the Russia it is using the power of mass media and social networks to protect its interests, isolate its population and undermine democracies around the world.

While the United Statesthe policy brief continues, “try to counter the Sino-Russian influence, thanks to the use of advanced military artificial intelligence, theEU it lags far behind its rivals in terms of the sophistication of tools, strategies, resources and plans for the future ”.

The war in Ukraine “He highlighted how Europe must catch up in this sector. Having accelerated the trends and challenges already in place, in fact, the conflict has transformed technology into a new global theater of battle ”.

Continental challenge

“The EU”, they warn, “must participate in the global match that is played on the technological field“. It is therefore necessary to develop an all-round digital strategy capable of cooperating and, at the same time, competing with Chinathe Russia and even the United States. From this analysis derive some recommendations for developing an EU digital diplomacy: create a global fund to protect democracy, with the aim of protecting democratic elections at a global level from foreign interference operations and cyber attacks; create a fund to facilitate global regulatory convergence on digital rights; then lead the establishment of a global alliance on democratic governance and the ethics of technology.

The “advice” does not end there. The two experts also underline the importance of assisting allied countries “in the protection of its own critical infrastructurescompanies and public administration offices through a EU Intelligence and Situation Center it will provide warning mechanisms and sufficient training to handle cyber attacks globally ”. Finally, an important role can be played by the Transatlantic Council for Trade and Technology (known by the acronym TTC), which can make it possible to improve transatlantic relations. “In the light of the war in Ukraine and the strengthening of the Sino-Russian alliance – the experts conclude – the Ttc could be a means to improve relations between theEU they United States and make the respective technological regulations more compatible “.

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