Oil embargo looms — Industry appeals for aligned US-EU tech rules — A backdoor tech lobbying push – POLITICO

Press play to listen to this article

A weekly newsletter on campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the EU.



With thanks to Cory Bennett

Tips, such, traumas to the POLITICO Brussels Team at @liliebayer or [email protected] | View in your browser

Good afternoon and welcome back to EU Influence.

LATEST SANCTIONS: The European Commission is proposing an EU ban on Russian oil in its latest package of sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

Here are the key points for industry: Crude oil would be phased out within six months, while refined oil products would cease by year’s end. Notably, however, Hungary and Slovakia — two countries heavily dependent on Russian oil — would get until the end of 2023 to stop their Russian oil imports.

Also in the sanctions package: Penalties on Russia’s biggest bank and bans on multiple Russian media outlets.

Now, EU countries will hammer out the final details as analysts debate the economic fallout. Stay tuned.

**Margrethe Vestager, EVP for a Europe fit for the digital age, European Commission, will join our high-level lineup of speakers at POLITICO Live’s Competitive Europe Summit on June 15-16. Confirm your attendance today and shape the future of Europe’s competitiveness with them. Register here.**


TRANSATLANTIC ADVOCACY: BusinessEurope and the US Chamber of Commerce are imploring officials on both sides of the Atlantic to better align their tech rules ahead of the second meeting of the US-EU Trade & Technology Council later this month.

“Just as we have seen unprecedented US-EU coordination on export controls and sanctions vis-à-vis Russia,” the groups wrote in a joint statement“the TTC must facilitate similar coordination in other areas as well.”

The statement ticked off a few of these areas: unaligned China policies, “diverging” digital rules, the rise in “digital protectionism,” the emergence of new technologies and the need for supply chain security.

The business community said it wanted “a stronger commitment to increase bilateral trade and investment, for example through an agreement to further reduce industrial tariffs.”

AI IN FOCUS: DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl and US Congressman Jerry McNerneychair of the Congressional AI Caucus, made their own transatlantic pitch to include artificial intelligence in the discussions.

“Artificial Intelligence is addressing some of our biggest global challenges — including combatting climate change, detecting cyber threats, and improving health care diagnostics and treatments,” they wrote. “American and European firms are developing new innovations, but differences in regulatory approaches can hinder collaboration, thereby delaying or preventing progress.”

Bonefeld-Dahl and McNerney said they “urge negotiators to focus on aligning common AI standards, as well as setting common principles for AI risk assessment.”

AMERICAN TECH USES DATA CENTER PACT TO LOBBY: US tech giants are using an industry pact aimed at greening data centers to push their views on broader tech legislation in Brussels, according to two European members of the initiative, reports my colleague Louise Guillot.

The Climate Neutral Data Center Pact — a voluntary industry agreement struck with the European Commission in 2021 — commits industry players to reducing data centers’ high environmental and carbon footprints. It also allows them to avoid stricter regulation from Brussels, beyond existing requirements. Members of the pact include Google, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Amazon’s Web Services. They’ve committed to tackling energy, resource and water use at their data centers, and to power them using only renewable energy by 2030.

But a manager from a European member organization said large US data firms are instead using the pact as a lobbying vehicle. “It’s never really said, but their objective is to unite the actors of the industry and to be able to speak on its behalf,” the manager said. An industry official at a second European pact member agreed the initiative is “under the influence” of US-based tech companies and “seems to be more and more considered as a tool to elaborate common position papers or lines to take for the whole sector, with respect to [EU] legislations under negotiation.” Read the full story here.

HEALTH PROPOSAL: The European Commission this week presented its new health data proposal, aiming to dramatically reshape access to medical data and its use in research and policy. catch-up here on the top five things to know about the offer, from my colleagues Ashleigh Furlong and Pieter Haeck.

reaction: Medical devices lobby MedTech Europe called on EU policymakers to involve industry in discussions. The group “welcomes the Commission’s intention to create an enabling environment for health data sharing in the European Union. To be successful, the proposed EHDS legislation needs to address the barriers to data sharing, advance investment in infrastructure, and foster the adoption of international interoperability standards. But first and foremost, it needs to lay the foundation for the building of trust in health data sharing amongst EU citizens,” MedTech Europe CEO Serge Bernasconi said in a statement.


SPOTLIGHT ON EU FUNDING: European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly have issued recommendations to the European Commission about how EU funding is being used to promote the rights of people with disabilities and older people to independent living and inclusion.

O’Reilly “found that the Commission could provide clearer guidance” on the subject and said the Commission could “improve the monitoring” of EU funds on the subject. She also recommended that it “take a more proactive approach to enforcement,” arguing it was particularly important to track cash doled out from the EU’s pandemic recovery fund.


Leander Vranken has joined the European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (EUCOPE) as its new policy officer, in charge of digital health-related issues.

Jean Philippe Azoulay joins Rud Pedersen’s Food and Agriculture practice as a senior advisor. He was previously vice president at plant-based company Roquette and the director general of CropLife Europe.

Eva Maere joins as a consultant in Rud Pedersen’s Environment practice. She was previously at the Norwegian Mission to the EU.

SUBSCRIBE to the POLITICO newsletter family: Brussels Playbook | London Playbook | Playbook Paris | EU Confidential | sunday crunch | EU influence | London influence | AI: Decoded | digital-bridge | China Direct | Berlin Bulletin | DC Playbook | All our POLITICO Pro policy morning newsletters

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button