Washington, D.C. — The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the formation of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). GNI is optimistic that the TTC can create spaces to more effectively address the complex issues in the technology sphere, and is eager to engage proactively and constructively with these governments and other relevant stakeholders, including through relevant TTC working groups (WGs).

As global, democratic leaders, the U.S. and EU each have a responsibility to ensure that human rights are accounted for throughout their domestic and international engagements, including the TTC. The international human rights framework should serve as the shared foundation upon which trans-Atlantic cooperation on trade and technology is built and expanded.

Demonstrating how these shared principles can inform effective, democratic, rule-of-law-based approaches to contemporary issues will provide a necessary contrast with top-down, authoritarian efforts. It will also help ensure broader buy-in from other democratic states and key non-state stakeholders, making resulting solutions more impactful and sustainable.

Human rights should play an especially critical role in the efforts of WG 5 on “Data, Governance, and Technology Platforms,” and WG 6 on “Misuse of Technology Threatening Security and Human Rights,” both of which GNI looks forward to participating in.

GNI is encouraged by the initial commitment that the EU and U.S. have demonstrated including relevant stakeholders from civil society and the private sector in the TTC’s inaugural meeting. As work shifts to the WGs, we encourage relevant officials to provide transparency around the working methods and agendas of these groups, as well as ongoing opportunities for meaningful engagement by relevant non-state actors.

GNI also welcomes the reference made in the Joint Inaugural Statement to a “shared interest in using voluntary and multistakeholder initiatives to complement regulatory approaches in some areas.” The GNI has served for over a decade as an example of how voluntary, multistakeholder efforts can facilitate information sharing, build trust, and foster accountability among diverse actors working on issues relevant to technology policy, and we are eager to share our experiences and insights.

GNI looks forward to continuing and deepening our engagement with the TTC.