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POLICY | 09 March 2021

International Relations

The world has grown smaller: we travel easily and communicate seamlessly with remote parts of the world. So, international relations are more important than ever.

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Technologies, online transactions and big platforms, such as social media, are now global, and we use them all daily. Therefore, international cooperation on technology is important for all of us, even if we may not always realise it. The European Union works with countries around the world and international organisations to ensure technology helps to improve lives everywhere.

The Internet (the World-Wide-Web) brings the world into the people's living rooms, offices and schools. The global world comes to us through platforms offering big lists of movies online, and through the use of online office or teaching tools, such as video conferences or cloud services that allow people from around the world to work on the same project.

When everything functions well, we do not realise the amount of work that goes on behind our smartphones or computer screens. However, if ever we cannot access some content online or terrorist content appears on videos our children are watching, we may notice that there is a whole machine working to make the online world safe for people and businesses not only in Europe, but also around the world.

Europe has a lot to offer in building better societies and economies around the globe. The European Union is a champion in multilateral relations with other countries and organisations. The EU with international partners in different areas such as trade, security, the rule of law and more. The Digital world is not an exception. The EU is making sure that the offline world is reflected in the online environment. The Internet should be free and secure, there should be no trade barriers online, and  terrorist content should have no place on the Internet.

The EU's aim is to make the digital world work to the benefit of all, respecting our values. The EU's work on digital policies concentrates on several geographical areas, such as the EU neighbourhood, developing countries,  especially Africa as a continent and the Mediterranean, and developed countries such as the US and Japan. The EU also focuses on policy areas, such as internet governance, digital trade, data sharing and research. Moreover, the EU outlines a new approach to global digital governance to promote European values internationally.

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