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Photo: Jana Přikrylová
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CZECH EU PRESIDENCY IN LOS ANGELES SUPPORTS EU BIG TECH DIPLOMACY

Series of meetings initiated and organized by the local Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (CZ PRES) in Los Angeles were held on November 15-16, 2022 to welcome Gerard de Graaf, the head of the new EU Office in San Francisco.
 

As the newly opened EU Office was established in California to reinforce European digital diplomacy, Gerard de Graaf and his deputy Joanna Smolińska on their first visit to Los Angeles took part in the working lunch with the EU member states trade commissioners in Los Angeles headed by Czech trade commissioner Jana Přikrylová, and participated in the Head of Missions meeting chaired  by Czech Consul General Amb. Jaroslav Olša, Jr. The representatives of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Sweden based in Los Angeles welcomed the establishment of the office and offered their cooperation in Los Angeles area. The exchange of views covered many areas of joint interest – from support of European start-ups on the US West Coast, to cooperation and promotion of European films and gaming. Also the new EU´s landmark platform laws, the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which are now entering into force, were thoroughly discussed as de Graaf had previously been the director who oversaw the drafting and approval of these two flagship regulations.

 

The European Union opened its new office in San Francisco, California, a global centre for digital technology and innovation to 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. It is the first time an EU delegation has opened a second office in the same country. 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.