The 17th EU - U.S. Information Society Dialogue saw discussions on the COVID-19 response and the technology that is at its forefront.

On July 7, 2020, the European Union hosted the 17th U.S.-EU Information Society Dialogue (ISD) virtually. Roberto Viola, Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), European Commission and Robert Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State, co-chaired the dialogue.

The European Union and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to working together on the basis of shared values to respond to COVID-19.

Both sides agreed to engage in a specific discussion on artificial intelligence (AI), focussing on the importance of AI in supporting democracy, the approach to AI in international fora, and a continuation of the discussion on regulatory approaches to AI.

The European Union and the United States discussed their ongoing work to address threats posed by security vulnerabilities in 5G networks. The EU referenced its forthcoming report on the implementation of the measures outlined in the report, Cybersecurity of 5G Networks: EU Toolbox of Risk Mitigating Measures, released on 29 January. The United States stressed the importance of international cooperation on 5G research and development. Both sides agreed to continue to share information and coordinate on 5G.

The United States agreed to continue discussions on the EU's public consultation on the Digital Services Act (DSA), including the revision of the Commission’s 2000 e-Commerce Directive.

Finally, the European Union and the United States highlighted the recently launched “International COVID-19 Knowledge Exchange” as an important aspect of practical cooperation on an international issue – using supercomputing to fight a common enemy. The United States and Europe made use of the existing collaboration between the European Union’s PRACE team and the U.S. Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) to launch a coordination of supercomputing resources and researchers to accelerate progress to combat COVID-19. Both sides agreed to discuss in more detail how HPC and modelling could be used for future disaster preparedness.

The discussions will continue and future iterations of the EU-U.S. Information Society Dialogue will build upon the discussions at this year’s dialogue.