EU relations with the American region in the Information Society field have been substantially reinforced over the last years. ICT is now firmly in the bi-regional political agenda.

USA and Canada

USA

The European Commission has regular annual ICT policy dialogue with the U.S. Department of State. The Directorate has an ICT Counsellor stationed at the EU Delegation in Washington D.C., since 2010.
In 2013, the Council of Ministers approved the mandate for the European Commission to launch negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This will be the most wide-ranging and largest Free Trade Agreement ever to be negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union in its 60-plus-year history. The ICT sector plays an important role, as over half the bilateral EU-US trade depends on the Internet, and the sector brings about jobs and innovation.

Canada

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was adopted by the Council and signed at the EU-Canada Summit on 30 October 2016.

Canada is one of the EU's oldest and closest partners - diplomatic relations were formally established in 1976. European and Canadian representatives meet regularly to exchange views at all levels, from bilateral summits of leaders to meetings between officials on specific issues including in various multilateral fora. The original EU-Canada Partnership Agenda adopted at the Ottawa Summit on 18 March 2004, identifies ways of working together to move forward, especially where joint action can achieve more than acting alone. This was the first formal agreement of its kind between what was then the European Economic Community (EEC) and an industrialised third country. Over the past seven years EU-Canada relations were upgraded through negotiations on a CETA and a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). CETA was finally adopted by the Council and signed by both sides at the EU-Canada Summit on 30 October 2016

EU-CANADA S&T cooperation agreements

The Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Canada and the European Union has been in place since 1996 and is not limited in time. The responsibility for the S&T cooperation dialogue lies with the EU–Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC). The JSTCC meets on a regular basis to review progress and provides new directions for cooperation in the fields of science and technology.

ICT: The support project of the EU-Canada cooperation ERA-CAN+ addresses how  ICT activities can be better integrated with other sectors. The Canadian Nationl Contact Point (NCP) will explore collaborative opportunities in the upcoming ICT 2016-17 Work Programme in the Big Data field. Both sides support the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR)’s potential partnership with JPI Oceans around ICT interests.  Cyber-security could be another potential area of cooperation.

Latin America

Latin America and the Caribbean encompass 33 countries and 625 million people. They are moving quickly from developing countries to emerging and fast-growing economies and are looking at Europe to find a common approach to creating an internal market based on harmonised regulations and policy-making.

The European Commission cooperation with Latin America includes regulatory harmonisation, R&D cooperation and support for a submarine fiber-optic cable between Europe and Latin America.
Cooperation is framed by EU and CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Heads of States and Governments who adopted a Declaration and an Action Plan at the last EU-CELAC summit in June 2015.

Regulatel, the Forum of Latin America telecoms Regulators, has signed at the end of 2013 a memorandum of understanding with BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. In June 2015, the financing was finalised for a submarine optic fibre cable linking Lisbon to Fortaleza and from there, interconnecting RedCLARA, the South American research & education network and GEANT, the European research & education network. The cable is expected to be operational before the end of 2017.

The Commission also actively participates in the eLAC Ministerial Conferences organised by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). eLAC is a regional action plan for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), whose long-term vision  is to promote ICT as a tool for economic development and social inclusion.

Furthermore, specific bilateral relations with the EU include:

Brazil

Ongoing cooperation focuses on cloud computing, high-performance computing and experimental platforms; upcoming topics in 2016 cover 5G, Cloud and IoT. Brazil is a key Latin American partner under the ICT theme Horizon 2020, with several coordinated calls leading to results with high social and industrial impact.

Mexico

Mexico's reform of the national audio-visual and telecommunications sectors in 2014 has started the deregulation of the market to introduce competition. The Commission maintains regular contacts with IFT , the national regulatory body.

Colombia

In Colombia, the Commission is subsidising the roll-out of the latest digital video broadcasting technology, DVB-T2.

Team responsible

DG Connect

Published: 

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Last update: 
Tuesday, 16 May, 2017