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Today, the EU and Canada strengthened their relationship as strategic and like-minded partners in the digital field. At the 19th EU-Canada Summit, President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Trudeau launched the EU-Canada Digital Partnership. The EU-Canada Digital Partnership reflects a shared vision for a digital economy and society at the service of people, in a context of accelerating digital transformation and geopolitical uncertainty. The EU and Canada have a long-standing dialogue on digital matters. Now they have agreed to work together in crucial areas such as artificial intelligence, secure international connectivity, cyber security, online platforms, digital identity and digital skills.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The EU and Canada share the same vision of a digital future in line with our democratic values. The new Digital Partnership will help us strengthen semiconductor supply chains, increase our cooperation on Artificial Intelligence and secure connectivity and cyber threats.”
The EU-Canada Digital Partnership will:
- Support cooperation on secure international connectivity between the EU and Canada and with other world regions, including new submarine routes;
- Support monitoring of the development and deployment of AI systems, including the benefits and risks of foundation models and generative AI;
- Strengthen the resilience of semiconductor supply chains;
- Promote discussion on quantum technologies, and exchange best practice approaches in Earth System Modelling initiatives;
- Cooperate in the field of cyber security to mutually reinforce resilience to cyber threats;
- Pursue cooperation and information-sharing in the area of platform regulation;
- Enhance cooperation to share and develop best practices on addressing foreign information manipulation and disinformation;
- Exchange best practices on approaches to digital identity, data governance frameworks and data spaces;
- Develop closer cooperation through digital research and deployment programmes in the areas of supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cyber security, advanced digital skills, and digital identity and digital credentials.
The EU and Canada have built a reliable partnership, based on effective multilateralism and inclusive trade. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), provisionally applied since 2017, and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) have brought Canada and the EU closer.
The EU-Canada Digital Partnership is the fourth such instrument signed with key international partners. The first digital partnership was concluded in May 2022 with Japan, the second with the Republic of Korea in November 2022 and the third with Singapore in February 2023. The Partnerships establish an annual high-level meeting – the Digital Partnership Council – led by Commissioner Breton on the EU side and the relevant Minister for each of the four partner countries. The Digital Partnership Councils provide the political steer, set the priorities for implementation and take stock of the progress achieved.