The world is facing increasing volatility and unpredictability, with a rise in authoritarian governments and the erosion of the rules-based international order. In the field of digital and tech policy, Europe cannot face these challenges alone. Therefore, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union should take a leadership role in enhancing the EU’s cooperation with international partners and allies.
One key issue that needs to be addressed is the open and non-discriminatory access to the cloud market. A thriving data-driven economy requires a competitive European market for cloud computing services. The EU Cybersecurity Certification Scheme for Cloud Services (EUCS) needs to be rethought as it currently excludes global and EU cloud vendors subject to foreign laws from the market, leading to digital isolationism. The focus of the EUCS should be on advancing the EU’s cybersecurity goals, instead of preventing EU enterprises and public entities from procuring cloud services from outside the EU.
Additionally, robust enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is necessary. The European Commission’s proposal to improve enforcement of the GDPR should address the shortcomings witnessed in the past five years. This includes respecting defendants’ basic rights, ensuring consistent enforcement across Europe, and introducing swift fixes for faster case-handling.
Cooperation with like-minded partners is also crucial to advance shared interests. In pursuit of digital sovereignty, Europe should maintain non-discrimination, mutual consultation, and dialogue with close partners. The EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) should serve as a forum to address transatlantic issues and remove global barriers to digital trade and the free flow of information.
Furthermore, Europe should lead the implementation of global tax reform and replace unilateral measures. The OECD/G20-led tax agreement should be implemented in a coordinated and consistent manner, avoiding the introduction of new discriminatory digital taxes or levies.
To meet these challenges, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union has an opportunity to strengthen the EU’s position in digital and tech policy, enhance cooperation with international partners, and protect shared values and the rules-based international trading system.
– ECIPE study on the threats and risks of the EU Cybersecurity Certification Scheme for Cloud Services (EUCS).
– European Commission’s proposal to improve enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
– EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC).
– OECD/G20-led tax agreement.
(Note: URLs for sources have been omitted.)