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EU-US launch Trade and Technology Council to lead values-based global digital transformation

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Following the launch of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) at the EU-US Summit in June by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden, the EU and the US announced on 9 September the details for its first meeting on 29 September 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It will be co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, together with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The TTC co-chairs declared: “This inaugural meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) marks our joint commitment to expanding and deepening transatlantic trade and investment and to updating the rules for the 21st century economy. Building on our shared democratic values and the world's largest economic relationship, we have been working hard since the Summit to identify the areas where we can take concrete steps to ensure trade and technology policies deliver for our people. In conjunction with the TTC, both the EU and US are committed and look forward to robust and ongoing engagement with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that the outcomes from this cooperation support broad-based growth in both economies and are consistent with our shared values.”

The TTC's ten working groups will tackle a diverse set of challenges, including cooperation on technology standards, global trade challenges and supply chain security, climate and green technology, ICT security and competitiveness, data governance and technology platforms, the misuse of technology threatening security and human rights, export controls, investment screening, and access to, and use of, digital technologies by small and medium enterprises. The full statement is available here.

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Competition: EU, US and the People's Republic of China participated in the Fifth Global Maritime Regulatory Summit

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On 7 September, senior government officials from the EU, the US and the People's Republic of China participated in the Fifth Global Maritime Regulatory Summit. Participants included representatives of the competition and maritime authorities responsible for regulating international liner shipping in the world's largest liner trade lanes.

The summit covered sectoral developments since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, including the challenges faced by the international container transport sector and broader issues of maritime supply chains. Participants agreed that the pandemic presented operators in shipping companies, ports and logistics services with exceptional challenges, on routes to and from the EU as well in other parts of the world.

They exchanged views on the respective actions undertaken by their jurisdictions, as well as future outlook and perspectives, including possible actions to increase the resilience of the sector. The summit takes place every two years and is a forum to foster cooperation between the three authorities. The next summit will be convened in 2023 in China.

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EU Summits

2021 G7 Leaders' communiqué: Our shared agenda for global action to build back better

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At the end of the latest G7 meeting (11-13 June), G7 leaders managed to agree on a joint communiqué - compared to the last G7 when Trump agreed and then rejected the communiqué, this can already be notched-up as progress. There was broad agreement on the need to combine efforts to assist in the global response to the pandemic. Other issues addressed were common ideals of promoting an open society and democracy, common commitments to multi-lateralism and promoting prosperity as the world recovers from the pandemic.

The main points.

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EU and Japan hold high-level policy dialogue on education, culture and sport

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On 10 May, Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel held a videoconference with the Japanese Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Koichi Hagiuda (pictured), to discuss EU-Japan co-operation in the fields of their portfolios. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation and support from their respective programmes, and agreed to join forces on researcher mobility. This ongoing cooperation has taken on new significance during the COVID-19 crisis, which has hit these sectors hard.

Commissioner Gabriel said: “Education, culture and sport bring people together – to learn, to teach, to create and to compete. International cooperation in these areas will always lead to a better understanding – like between Europe and Japan. In Brussels, as in Tokyo, we are looking at the future of education and the digital transition. I was delighted to exchange ideas and good practices in this field, as well as in culture and sport, with Mr Hagiuda and his team.”

Ahead of the Summer Olympic Games in Japan, Minister Haiuda shared updates during the meeting on the organisation of such a large-scale event in these unprecedented times. Commissioner Gabriel and Minister Hagiuda also welcomed the progress of the three special joint EU-Japan Erasmus Mundus Master programmes in robotics, extended reality, and history, which were launched as an outcome of the first policy dialogue of July 2018. Finally, they both emphasised the importance of people-to-people exchanges and agreed to maintain direct discussions on a regular basis. The forthcoming EU-Japan Summit will further highlight the scale and breadth of cooperation under the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement. A joint statement and more information following today's meeting are available online.

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