EU

Center for Global Development series on the EU-Africa Summit

On February 17th, the long-awaited summit between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), delayed since 2020, finally began. But in the time since the first event was scheduled, the world was ravaged by a pandemic that is estimated to have stalled a decade of continuous growth and human capital improvement on the African continent.

The Center for Global Development prepared an excellent series on the EU-Africa Summit consisting of mini reports by CGD experts about the various joint priorities set out by the AU and the EU. The series offers compelling analysis and commentary on the actions needed in order for a meaningful reconstruction of the relationship between the two continents to materialize. 

Find the series here.

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EU Commission puts forward declaration on digital rights and principles

The European Commission is proposing to the European Parliament and Council to sign up to a declaration of rights and principles that will guide the digital transformation in the EU.

The draft declaration on digital rights and principles aims to give everyone a clear reference point about the kind of digital transformation Europe promotes and defends. It will also provide a guide for policy makers and companies when dealing with new technologies. The rights and freedoms enshrined in the EU’s legal framework, and the European values expressed by the principles, should be respected online as they are offline. Once jointly endorsed, the Declaration will also define the approach to the digital transformation which the EU will promote throughout the world.

Read the full story.

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EU and WTO members strike major deal to simplify trade in services

A group of 67 World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including the EU, have today concluded negotiations on a landmark agreement to cut red tape in services trade. The so-called Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation will simplify unnecessarily complicated regulations and ease procedural hurdles faced by SMEs in particular. This agreement will help reduce the costs of global services trade by more than USD 150 billion every year. This is the first WTO deliverable in the area of trade in services in a very long time. Good regulatory practices are crucial for the functioning of today’s economy.

Read the full story

 

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2021 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen

In her State of the Union Address on September 15, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasised the need for Europe to focus on long-term innovation priorities, and to connect them to key green and digital goals. She stated that the EU has the necessary innovation and science capabilities, but needs to create the right conditions to foster innovation. This is particularly important for Europe’s planned digital transformation and in regard to the growing demand for chips, she said, and should be addressed through the European Chips Act, which will invest in European technology sovereignty, strengthen global supply chains, and develop new investment projects for green and digital technologies as part of the European Green Deal.

Read the full story.

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Nations Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech

Speaking at a panel organized by the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. Read full article here.

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Webinar: Ensuring leadership on 5G

Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, this webinar explores the future of technological leadership, with a focus on 5G and other emerging technologies. Panelists discuss the roles that business and government will play in building the next generation of technologies.

Topics include:

  • What is 5G?
  • 5g use cases: examples from the U.S. and Germany
  • Challenges to using 5G
  • How we can engender innovation related to 5G
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U.S. patent chief warns against ‘drastic’ actions in light of COVID

A top U.S. official on Tuesday dismissed calls for countries to waive intellectual property protections on vaccines and other products to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“Before any drastic measures are taken with respect to IP rights, evidence must be brought to bear that such measures are actually needed,” Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said during a discussion hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This has not happened.”

“To the contrary, the evidence to date shows that there is an unprecedented level of cooperation in industry, and that IP has facilitated this worldwide cooperation,” Iancu added.

Read full story [has subscriber paywall].

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How the Oxford COVID vaccine was made so quickly

This article examines the context in which the Oxford COVID vaccine was developed – such as the slow response to the Ebola outbreak – and new technological breakthroughs at Oxford’s Jenner Institute that enabled researchers to cut 10 years of vaccine work down to 10 months.

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EU Commission adopts action plan on intellectual property

In late November 2020, the EU Commission published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorize their intangible assets. The Action Plan aims at enabling the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and at speeding up Europe’s green and digital transitions. In particular, the Action Plan sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.

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