EU Policy. EU-US to announce 6G vision, cooperation on AI at TTC summit

EU commissioners Dombrovskis and Vestager and US state secretary Blinken
EU commissioners Dombrovskis and Vestager and US state secretary Blinken Copyright Rebecca Droke/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
By Cynthia Kroet
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The meeting is likely to be the last TTC; the forum might not survive leadership changes following elections on both sides of the Atlantic this year.

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The EU and US will announce a shared vision on 6G as well as further cooperation on AI and semiconductors during a Trade and Technology Council (TTC) taking place in Leuven, Belgium next week (4 and 5 April), according to draft conclusions seen by Euronews.

The EU and US share the belief that advanced connectivity can foster a more inclusive, sustainable, and secure global economy, the declaration says. 

“We concur on shared principles for the research and development of 6G wireless communication systems, and we recognize that by working together we can support the development of technologies and global technical standards for tomorrow’s critical digital infrastructure that reflect shared principles and values,” the draft added.

Under the 6G agreement, the two sides will strengthen cooperation between their research and innovation funding agencies and focus on research collaboration including on microelectronics; AI and cloud solutions; security as well as energy efficiency, spectrum usage and standards.

Considering the importance of aligning approaches to 6G they also intend to develop an outreach plan with like minded partners to advance the development and commercialization of these networks, the paper said.

Legacy

This TTC summit is likely to be the last one as the forum might not survive leadership changes on both sides of the Atlantic. Both the EU and the US will go to the polls this year. The meetings started under the Von der Leyen commission and Biden administration in 2021 with the aim to improve ties between the two regions.

The document says that “the cooperation between the EU and the US continues to be the bedrock for dealing with global challenges”, and the TTC has been vital for coordinating on trade and technology issues and shaping a forward-looking dialogue.

“We therefore reaffirm the importance of the TTC for advancing our shared objectives, including by facilitating unprecedented coordination and quick responses to key trade- and technology-related developments, not least in the context of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine,” the paper said.

AI

On AI, the regions underline their commitment to advancing trustworthy and responsible AI technologies. They will continue “regular discussions” via a cooperation agreement between the European AI Office and the US AI Safety Institute, including work towards the development of a common framework for evaluating generative AI models.

“Following stakeholder consultations, we have further developed a list of key AI terms with mutually accepted joint definitions,” according to the draft conclusions.

On semiconductors, the two sides said that efforts to build resilient semiconductor supply chains remain crucial to ensuring the secure supply of chips, which are indispensable inputs to an ever-growing range of key industry sectors, and to ensure leadership in cutting-edge technologies. 

They agreed to continue to collect and share nonconfidential information and market intelligence, commit to consult each other on planned actions, and may develop joint measures to address distortionary effects on the global supply chain.

As both the EU and US will have elections this year, the document finally also stressed that actions to combat foreign information manipulation and interference will be taken, to protect human rights defenders online, including in the context of elections.

The meeting will be co-chaired by European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on the EU side and for the US by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

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