On 21-22 September CHERN’s Working Group 2 High technology and innovation in close collaboration with the Digital Power China (DPC) research consortium organized a very successful two day policy workshop in Brussels, at several venues cordially provided by Egmont Institute. The workshop concluded a series of CHERN WG2 webinars and a weeklong online seminar in which the members of the Digital Power China consortium presented their findings and recommendations regarding China’s growing footprint in digital technologies and its implications for EU policymaking. DPC members include researchers from the French Institute of International Relations, Harvard Belfare Center, Leiden Asia Center, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, KU Leuven, University of Insubria, Mercator Institute for China Studies, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, Clingendael Institute, and The Swedish Institute of International Affairs among others. DPC is co-chaired by Tim Rühlig from the German Council on Foreign Relations, who also leads the CHERN WG 2, and Carlo Fischione of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. All papers were co-authored by pairs of European technology experts and China scholars; EU officials served as paper discussants.
This first in-person workshop after a long period of lockdowns and travel restrictions was very well attended, with 50+ participants, of which many EU policy makers and experts from the European Council, the European External Action Service, the European Parliament and for a wide range of Directorate-Generals of the European Commission. The workshop aimed to facilitate the exchange of EU policymakers and European researchers as well as interdisciplinary exchange of technical and China experts with a focus on policy relevant research and entailed presentations, discussions, roundtables and policy take aways on semiconductors, digital information campaigns, wireless networks, digital connectivity in the Indo-Pacific/Eur-Africa as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). A report summarizing the key findings will be presented to the European Commission in January 2022, followed by a series of CHERN policy briefs detailing the findings and advice.