EU and Canada boost their strategic digital partnership to address new challenges

Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne met on 1 February to begin work on implementing the EU-Canada Digital Partnership, which was concluded at the 23-24 November summit held in Canada.

They issued the following joint press release following their virtual meeting:

The new Digital Partnership will help the EU and Canada address new challenges in digital transformation that impact research, industry, society and the broader economy.

It aims to focus on increasing cooperation on artificial intelligence (AI), quantum science and semiconductors, public policy related to online platforms, secure international connectivity, and cyber security. These priorities will be discussed at the officials’ level through a Digital Dialogue in February.

On semiconductors, the EU and Canada intend to cooperate to address future disruptions in the semiconductor supply chain by exploring monitoring and early warning mechanisms. They intend to exchange information on public support to the sector. The two sides also explored collaboration in research and development of cutting-edge semiconductor technologies. The partners intend also to exchange information on workforce development initiatives, with the involvement of academia, research organisations, and industry.

On AI, the EU and Canada intend to set up regular channels of communication and exchange information through workshops, including on AI governance and international standards.

On quantum science, the EU and Canada aim to expand mutually beneficial collaboration to accelerate research, development, and innovation while promoting jobs and the utilisation of quantum technologies in the broader economy.

On online platforms, the EU and Canada intend to continue to cooperate and exchange information on measures to ensure transparency, fairness and accountability and make the internet a safer and more inclusive place for users. In the coming year, the partners aim to exchange on the implementation of their respective frameworks.

On secure and resilient connectivity, the EU and Canada intend to exchange information to encourage the development of secure and high-quality connectivity and explore actions to develop secure and high-quality connectivity between Europe, North America and Asia, for example potential routes in the Arctic or North Atlantic.

On cyber security, the EU and Canada intend to collaborate on the implementation of cyber security regulatory frameworks, including in the areas of critical infrastructure protection and cyber security of products. There is an opportunity to cooperate on cyber security certifications and standards. As a first step, the partners will identify opportunities for exchange of information and best practices in pursuing domestic initiatives.

On digital identity, digital credentials and trust services, both sides intend to promote interoperability through pilot projects.

The two sides agreed to convene a Ministerial-level Digital Partnership Council in the spring to take stock of progress and decide on next steps in line with today’s discussion.

Source: European Commission | Press Corner (