Bridging the Digital Gap - IE.F and partners establish transatlantic digital forum

Clark Parsons, 05.04.2017

In April 2017, the Internet Economy Foundation together with the Aspen Institute Germany and the Atlantic Council launched the initiative "Transatlantic Digital Bridges". The aim of this joint forum is to strengthen cooperation in the field of digitalization between politics, business and civil society in the USA and Europe.

German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries at the kickoff event at ESMT

The Aspen Institue Germany and the Atlantic Council are well-known organizations with decades of experience in promoting transatlantic cooperation. Together with the expertise of the independent Internet Economy Foundation, a platform was created to improve the digital dialogue between Europe and the United States.

This forum is necessary to tackle the major transformations caused by digitalization which will change our society in the 21st century. Regarding this key issue, it is important to highlight the shared European and US values in the global context. However, a structured approach to transatlantic cooperation in this area is still largely missing.

This is where the Transatlantic Digital Bridges come in. We want to lead a debate with key stakeholders on both continents on topics such as cross-border data flows, digital trade, platform economics, Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, labor market impacts, online political action, fake news, cybersecurity, data privacy and global Internet governance. In the light of the major changes that accompany these developments, this dialogue is intended to formulate guidelines for shaping our society of the future. Last but not least, it is about creating a digital social contract - a contrat digital social - for the way of life that Europe and the US wish to promote.

The aim of this value-based strategy is to elaborate concrete policy recommendations and to create a common digital market. Overall, it is about nothing less than securing the prosperity and democratic order of the transatlantic hemisphere.

Information on current events and more details on positions and objectives may be found on the initiative’s dedicated website:

Digital Bridges Website

Friedbert Pflüger (Chairman, IE.F), Mariya Gabriel (EU-Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society), Rüdiger Lentz (Executive Director, Aspen Institute Germany), Frances G. Burwell (Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council) at a High-level Dinner in Brüssel