- September 08, 2021
- September 23, 2023
On September 8, 2021, the Aspen Institute Germany together with Microsoft Berlin hosted a hybrid event on Transatlantic Perspectives on Digital Sovereignty with Mario Brandenburg, MdB and Spokesperson on Technology Policy of the Free Democratic Party Germany, Jeff Bullwinkel, Associate General Counsel and Director of Corporate, External & Legal Affairs at Microsoft Europe, Dr. Frances G. Burwell, Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Senior Director at McLarty Associates, and Ambassador Dr. Hinrich Thölken, Director for Climate and Energy Policy and Digital Transformation at the German Federal Foreign Office. The event was moderated by Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner, Executive Director at the Aspen Institute Germany.
In the light of the newly elected U.S. President, technology experts anticipate the Biden administration to bring forward an “alliance of techno-democracies,”. At the same time the European Union and its member states have made their own quest for “digital sovereignty” a key strategic priority for the coming years. While EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. President Joe Biden underlined their ambition to cooperate closely in the tech field by launching a Transatlantic Trade and Technology Council in June 2021, many questions remain unanswered. Hence the EU and the United States have yet to synchronize their discussions on the security of critical infrastructure, such as 5G networks. Additionally, it is to be determined how the transatlantic partnership can counter the Chinese techno-authoritarianism. Both actors also still need to find a transatlantic solution to the open question of personal data transfers. What effect does the Schrems II judgement have on the European trade policy toolset towards the United States? How have the European and U.S. positions towards Huawei evolved? Is there a realistic window of opportunity for stronger transatlantic cooperation with the new Biden administration? Together with our guests, we discussed these and many other questions from a transatlantic perspective.