EU opens new Office in San Francisco to reinforce its Digital Diplomacy

F.P. Report

BRUSSELS: The European Union opens its new office in San Francisco, California, a global centre for digital technology and innovation. The office will reinforce the EU’s cooperation with the United States on digital diplomacy and strengthen the EU’s capacity to reach out to key public and private stakeholders, including policy makers, the business community, and civil society in the digital technology sector.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said: “The opening of the office in San Francisco responds to the EU’s commitment to strengthen transatlantic technological cooperation and to drive the global digital transformation based on democratic values and standards. It is a concrete step to further reinforce the  EU’s work on issues such as cyber and countering hybrid threats, and foreign information manipulation and interference.”

As a world leader in digital solutions and in developing policies and rules that support a human-centric vision of the Internet and digital technologies, the EU has focused on creating valuable partnerships in like-minded countries around the world, notably with the United States.

The opening of the office is a result of the 2021 EU-US Summit shared commitment to strengthen transatlantic technological cooperation and is a core part of the Conclusions on Digital Diplomacy, adopted by EU Foreign Affairs Council in July of this year.

The EU office in San Francisco will seek to promote EU standards and technologies, digital policies and regulations and governance models, and to strengthen cooperation with US stakeholders, including by advancing the work of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.

The office will work under the authority of the EU Delegation in Washington, DC, in close coordination with Headquarters in Brussels and in partnership with EU Member States consulates in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will be headed by Gerard de Graaf, a senior Commission official who has worked extensively on digital policies, most recently on the EU’s landmark new platform laws, the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act. The office will initially be co-located with the Irish Consulate.