The field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is at a tipping point. Governments and industries are under increasing pressure to forecast and guide the evolution of a technology that promises to transform our economies and societies. In this series, our lawyers and advisors provide an overview of the policy approaches and regulatory frameworks for AI in
Cecilia Malmström is a senior advisor in the firm's Brussels office. She has devoted the better part of her career to global affairs and international relations and has extensive experience with multilateral leadership and cooperation. Cecilia, a non-lawyer, served as European commissioner for trade from 2014 to 2019 and as European commissioner for home affairs from 2010 to 2014. She was first elected as a member of the European Parliament in 1999, serving until 2006, and was minister for EU affairs in the Swedish government from 2006 to 2010.
As European commissioner for trade, Cecilia represented the European Union in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade bodies. She was responsible for negotiating bilateral trade agreements with key countries, including agreements with Canada, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam, and the four founding Mercosur countries.
Cecilia holds a Ph.D. in political science from the department of political science of the University of Gothenburg.
Last month, the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) met in Paris-Saclay for the second time since its launch in June 2021. (The first ministerial took place in Pittsburgh in September. France hosted this session as holder of the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.) The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Raimondo, and U.S. Trade Representative Tai, and European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Vestager and Dombrovskis. European Commissioner Breton also joined the discussions and the French ministers for foreign affairs, economy, and trade (Le Drian, Le Maire, and Riester) hosted the opening dinner.
The TTC is a new model of economic integration through regulatory coordination. Although both sides reserve their “regulatory autonomy,” they have also invested significant political capital, time, and effort into this process. The TTC spans broad policy areas including tech standards, climate, supply chains, export controls, and investment screening. It operates through ten working groups, which meet at staff working levels and seek input from outside stakeholders. For instance, the European Commission sponsors a “Trade and Technology Dialogue” facility to conduct outreach to the private sector and civil society. Through this technical work, the TTC’s aim is to shape the “rules of the road” for the global economy to favor liberal democracies, leveraging the transatlantic community’s half of global GDP. The ministerials set the themes and political direction for the working groups.
Against the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, the U.S. and EU noted that the TTC has become a “central pillar” of the transatlantic partnership, “indispensable” in facilitating coordination on sanctions and export controls. It will serve as a forum to monitor and discuss the Russia sanctions and may coordinate their eventual removal. Indeed, the TTC has arguably become more of a geopolitical tool than originally intended. Its 48-page joint statement reflects the breadth and depth of the underlying discussions and signals various future policy directions.Continue Reading U.S.-EU Trade and Tech Council: Paris Takeaways and Next Steps