Last week, I was fortunate enough to join José Gontijo, from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation & Communications (MCTIC) in Brazil, to co-chair the 9th EU-Brazil ICT Dialogue.
Looking across the changes in the EU & in Brazil since our last policy dialogue, we discussed the developments related to the EU’s Digital Market Strategy and concluded that Brazil and the EU share similar experiences, and are going in the same direction on many regulatory matters in response to the common challenges. In this context, Brazil explained how their first data protection law is being prepared, and the areas in which their work on privacy is close to Europe’s recently adopted General Data Protection Review.
One of the areas on which we agreed that we share common values is on how to keep the Internet open, unique and secure for all. For example, Brazil’s Marco Civil da Internet (Civil Rights Framework for the Internet) law gives citizens the right to an open and free Internet. We welcomed the recent IANA transition, and the way in which that strengthens the global support for a multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. Brazil has played a major role in global discussions on Internet Governance, including organisation and support of the NETmundial event in 2014, where the multi-stakeholder model was used to reach a negotiated outcome, and by hosting the 10th meeting of the IGF in Joao Pessoa in November 2015.
We agreed the gains of the Internet won’t be available to all our citizens unless we have adequate connectivity. The Commission pointed to the recent package adopted by the Commission and our ambitions for a “Gigabit Society“. ANATEL, the Brazilian regulator, underlined the importance of competition policy in achieving a better roll-out of broadband infrastructure and noted that its proposal on this will be presented before the end of the year. ANATEL and the Commission agreed to keep in touch on this and other issues over the coming year.
The joint research and innovation activities carried out by Brazil and Europe under Horizon 2020 constitute an important foundation of the ongoing cooperation in ICT. While a number of success stories have been reported we agreed to conduct a review of 2nd call with the help of external/independent experts to draw useful lessons for our future cooperation in this area. The 4th call opened just a few days before our meeting with €8 million of funding provided each from the Brazilian & EU sides, aiming to advance our joint work on 5G, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing. .
Another example of fruitful cooperation is the work on open platforms and especially FIWARE, where the Brazilian universities, municipalities and various companies including start-ups are exploring the potential of open platforms for the developments of applications for smart / digital cities which is resulting in the emergence of a FIWARE-based eco-system. The meeting of minds here is matched by the twinning between StartUpEurope and Start-up Brazil, similar to the partnership that EU is developing with other start up ecosystems in Silicon Valley, and India.
One of the most prominent examples of the EU-Brazil cooperation is the deployment of the transatlantic sub-marine cable linking directly EU and Brazil, and which is expected to be operational in a year or so from now. This will result in a much-needed capacity boost, supporting data traffic between Europe, Brazil and South America. It responds to the increased interconnection between the economies of EU and South America but also the cooperation between research and educational institutions from both sides of the Atlantic. The GÉANT consortium, in cooperation with EU Member States and their South American partners will be supporting this joint undertaking by reserving part of the capacity made available for research and innovation activities. This matter was also discussed at the recent Summit between the EU and its partners in the Caribbean and Latin America in Santo Domingo.
Finally we welcomed the success in September of the EU-Brazil ICT Week in Brasilia, and agreed to meet again at the Mobile World Congress, in February next year where the European 5G Infrastructure Association will sign a memorandum of understanding with its Brazilian counterparts, and where the Câmara IoT in Brazil will signal its intention to work closely with the Alliance for IoT Innovation, AIOTI.
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