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Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

EU, US Push For 'Working Together' to Counter Threat of Being 'Overtaken' by Autocracies

EU, US Push For 'Working Together' to Counter Threat of Being 'Overtaken' by Autocracies

Leaders from across Europe and other countries gathered at the Tallinn Digital Summit to discuss the implementation of digital technologies, cybersecurity investments, and more effective digital government services.

Speaking at the Tallinn Digital Summit on Tuesday, European Council President Charles Michel said that the West should work together and increase connectivity in order to counter "autocratic" governments.

"Some blocs are working on connectivity to create deep dependencies", said Michel. "They are not waiting for us. Their connectivity offers are already on the table, according to their economic and political interests. So we need to up our game".

He also underscored the importance of Europe pushing for "more influence and less dependence".

Michel's concerns in regard to the "threat" posed by the growing influence of "autocratic" governments and calls to protect "our common values" were shared by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission executive vice president.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also weighed in, saying that "setting the rules cannot be left to autocratic governments".

"The EU and the US have to show the world that we can solve problems across the Atlantic", she noted.

Dombrovskis will announce the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council later in September in Pittsburgh, with the goal to coordinate approaches on global trade, economic, and technology issues and addressing unfair competition and the misuse of new technologies.

"With the United States, we share similar challenges on cybersecurity and the dominant market power of some digital service providers. We share an interest in regulating technologies to protect our consumers and businesses – as well as upholding our common values", Dombrovskis said.

Build Back Better World Partnership Initiative

The Build Back Better World Parnership (B3W), listed as one of the goals discussed at the Tallin Digital Summit, was rolled out in June 2021 by US President Joe Biden in an attempt to assemble the leaders of major democracies behind the idea of "a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure initiative".

Among the approaches offered under the B3W initiative is the so-called Blue Dot Network (BDN), crafted by the United States, Japan, and Australia in order to "attract public–private investments into high-quality and transparent infrastructure projects".

The B3W initiative was in part introduced as an alternative to the Chinese "Belt and Road" initiative for the development of infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries.

The new approaches come as western nations, the United States in particular, orient themselves to tackle the "challenges" they claim are posed by China and Russia.


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