Digital Policy Economy & Business European Union Technology & Innovation
Issue Brief December 18, 2020

Engaging Europe: A transatlantic digital agenda for the Biden administration

By Frances Burwell

While the United States has been embroiled in electoral politics throughout 2020, the European Union (EU) has spent the year laying out an ambitious agenda for regulating digital technology and policy. The next two years will see the EU adopt a raft of new laws with impacts far beyond Europe; indeed, EU leaders have not been shy about their ambitions to create the “gold standard” of digital regulation for the world. The Joe Biden administration must engage with the EU on these issues promptly and energetically, and with a clear understanding of its own ambitions in digital policy. Without that engagement, Europe and the United States are likely to continue their disparate approaches to the digital economy, resulting in ever greater transatlantic tensions over digital tax, privacy, content moderation, competition policy, emerging technologies, and other issues. They will also lose a vital opportunity to unite in ensuring that authoritarian states—including China, with its strong tech sector—do not become the rule makers of the global digital world.

Future Europe Initiative

Providing expertise and building communities to promote transatlantic leadership and a strong Europe in turbulent times.

The Future Europe Initiative promotes the transatlantic leadership and strategies required to ensure a strong Europe.

Image: Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, attend a news conference on the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 15, 2020. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS