- July 03, 2023
- July 03, 2023
On July 3, the Aspen Institute Germany and Telefónica Germany host a Digital Dish event titled “Charting the Course? Europe’s Quest for Digital Sovereignty in the Changing Geopolitical Order”. We are happy to welcome Catarina dos Santos, MdB, CDU; Juan Luis Redondo Maíllo, Director Digital Public Policy, Telefónica S.A.; Sarah Bäumchen, Member of the Executive Board, German Electro and Digital Industry Association (ZVEI); Steven Heckler, Deputy Head of Digitalization and Innovation, Federation of German Industries (BDI); and Antonia Hmaidi, Analyst, Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).
Pandemics, geopolitical conflicts, and the threat of trade wars have once again underscored the critical importance of Europe’s pursuit of digital and tech sovereignty in the geopolitical context. The rise of dominant players like the United States and China, with their influential tech giants and cutting-edge technologies, has prompted the EU to carve out its own path and assert its interests. The EU leverages its regulatory power, built upon European standards and values, as a crucial tool to address digital challenges while conditioning access to the single market on meeting its high standards and norms. This approach aims to foster fair market competition, spur business growth and innovation, and set international standards—often referred to as “The Brussels Effect.” Recent examples of legislative proposals in this context include the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Services Act, the Chips Act, and the AI Act.
However, the EU finds itself in a delicate position between the United States and China. On one hand, the EU is deepening its cooperation with the United States through initiatives such as the U.S.-EU Trade and Tech Council based on shared values. On the other hand, the EU is advancing regulations that predominantly impact major U.S. tech companies and is not yet inclined to align itself fully with the U.S. approach of explicitly opposing China.
In the pursuit of global digital leadership, eyes are increasingly turning towards the Global South as potential allies. Here, democratic players such as the US and the EU thrive to offer alternatives to the promises of digital infrastructure and investments made by China and Russia.
Together with guests from politics, administration, business, and research, we will discuss the increasingly geopolitical dimension of digitalization and technology and chart the EU’s course towards succeeding in the global competition, decreasing dependencies, and fostering new alliances.