Current and Emerging Trends in Disruptive Technologies: Implications for the Present and Future of EU’s Trade Policy

20-09-2017

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in particular with regard to the implications of digital technologies for EU’s external trade policies. It accentuates the critical importance of data and cross-border data flows for the emergent digital economy and underscores the need to appropriately address them with a calibrated and more proactive positioning of the EU in international trade venues.

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in particular with regard to the implications of digital technologies for EU’s external trade policies. It accentuates the critical importance of data and cross-border data flows for the emergent digital economy and underscores the need to appropriately address them with a calibrated and more proactive positioning of the EU in international trade venues.