Joint Statement on United States of America and European Union Holding the 15th Information Society Dialogue

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the European Union on the occasion of the 15th Information Society Dialogue.

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On 1 February 2018, Linda Corugedo Steneberg, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) Director for International Affairs, European Commission, and Robert Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, U.S Department of State, co-chaired the 15th Information Society Dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America. The EU and the United States are close strategic partners sharing common values.

Strengthening the global digital economy is a shared priority and a pillar of our trade relationship. The private sector is a key partner in this endeavor; both delegations participated in discussions with industry representatives on digital and ICT issues.

In the course of the Dialogue, DG CONNECT updated the United States on current and upcoming initiatives related to the Digital Single Market, a priority for the European Commission. The United States likewise updated DG CONNECT on U.S. Information and Communications Technology priorities and perspectives on a broad range of issues. Topics of discussion ranged from cyber-security, 5G, Next Generation Technologies, the telecoms regulatory framework, online platforms to data flows. Each side also explained its approach to important issues of personal data protection and the free flow of data. We also recognized the central role played by data as an engine of digital transformation and a facilitator for transatlantic trade.

The U.S. Delegation provided a briefing on two recent changes in the United States – the Executive Order on the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure and the Federal Communications Commission’s Order “Restoring Internet Freedom.”

We agreed on the importance of EU-U.S. coordination in key international fora such as the G7, G20, the International Telecommunication Union, and the Internet Governance Forum. We reaffirmed the need for multi-stakeholder approaches in defending and promoting an open Internet.

The discussions will continue on many levels in light of shared digital transformation goals. The United States agreed to host the next Dialogue. Upcoming high level visits on both sides will complement this year’s successful Information Society Dialogue.