October has been a busy month of international engagement for techUK
October has been a very busy month of international engagement. techUK has travelled across Europe to discuss our policy priorities on tech and trade.
My month started in Brussels, with the hearings for the new Commissioners-designate in the European Parliament, which offered a first glimpse into EU’s legislative priorities for the next five years. Everything from ePrivacy to Artificial Intelligence and Digital Services Act made key topics of these hearings, although an actual agenda is to be presented once the Commission is confirmed. Which is a bumpy process, with France, Romania and Hungary having their initial nominees rejected by the European Parliament.
Left Brussels behind for the second week of October and went to Geneva for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Public Forum. On 08 October, I was invited by our member Sovereign Strategy on the panel discussing the necessary rules for making the digital economy and trade policy fit for young entrepreneurs. This was followed by a couple of days of back-to-back bilateral meetings with the Missions of EU, US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Canada on the JSI e-commerce negotiations. On the Thursday, together with several other trade associations, we hosted a business reception at the WTO.
In that same week, Julian David travelled to Amsterdam to speak at the Connected Mobility Summit, organised by Politico. To a Europe-wide audience, he spoke about the future of work in the context of automation, skills and lifelong learning, as well as sustainability and the new era of automotive tech.
On 11 October, we both travelled to Paris where Julian spoke to our friends at Syntec Numerique, the trade association of the French tech sector, about data flows after Brexit and the need for a Data Adequacy agreement as soon as possible.
I came back to London the following Monday, to represent techUK at the Chatham House Global Trade Conference. I spoke on the digital trade panel on the set of rules and principles that will help enhance digital trade globally.
And last week, Julian and I participated in the DigitalEurope National Trade Associations CEO Summit in Zagreb, where we worked through DigitalEurope’s priorities for engagement on key policy files in view of the Croatian presidency of the European Council, which is due to start on 01 January. We have also agreed with colleagues around Europe to publish joint papers calling for a Data Adequacy agreement.
In the meantime, I spent some time in Brussels, liaising with our members, as well as the European institutions, making sure we are well plugged into the Brussels Bubble, while awaiting the new legislative agenda of the European Commission.
November is unlikely to be any calmer, with new rounds of ecommerce negotiations planned at the WTO, new hearings of new Commissioners in the European Parliament and then, there’s a general election coming up too.
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