EU opens office in San Francisco to promote “digital diplomacy”

Europe now has an embassy in Silicon Valley. The European Union officially announced the opening of its San Francisco, California office on 1 September. This office, located on the premises of the Irish Consulate, is intended to “strengthen cooperation between the EU and the United States on digital diplomacy and strengthen the EU’s ability to reach out to lawmakers, the business community and civil society, among others.” in the field of digital technologies.

Europe promotes “digital diplomacy”

“This is a concrete step towards strengthening the work of the EU on topics such as cybersecurity and the fight against hybrid threats, information manipulation and foreign interference,” said European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell.

Europe wants to strengthen technological cooperation with the US. On July 18, the EU Council held a meeting on digital diplomacy, and hoped it would “become an important component of EU external action”. The goal is to promote a “human-centered approach to digital” in multilateral forums such as the UN, G7, OSCE, OECD, WTO and NATO.

dsa, dma, privacy protection, cyber…

More prosaically, the San Francisco office will be responsible for the after-sales service of key documents recently adopted in Europe, such as DMA and DSA, which have an impact on Big Tech.

It will also need to advance discussions within the 2021 Trade and Technology Council (TTC), a transatlantic forum that covers technology standards, cleantech, supply chains, security, data and investment, among others. Important negotiations are currently underway between the EU and the US on a successor to the Privacy Shield, which should regulate transatlantic data transfers.

The California office will be taken over by the EU Delegation in Washington, DC and will be led by Gerard de Graaff, Commissioner who worked on the DMA and DSA texts. It is symbolic that large American companies in Silicon Valley are immediately behind Washington as interlocutors of European diplomacy in the United States.

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