Global co-operation preferable to rivalry

Global co-operation preferable to rivalry

Everyone benefits from co-operation

23-11-2023 · Background

When it comes to artificial intelligence, the US dominates the market. With drones, China is in the lead. While the EU is wondering how can you improve global co-operation? The Maastricht political science professor Roberta Haar is seeking answers, together with dozens of researchers from seven universities. The EU has reserved three million to facilitate this.

Of the forty researchers (and ten support staff), from universities such as Bremen, Leuven, and Rotterdam, five women from UM have carried the load. “I am very proud of that,” says Roberta Haar, co-ordinator of the research project. “I wonder if this has ever happened before.” The female researchers are at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and University College.

It is all about REMIT, as the project has been named. This is an abbreviation of REignite Multilateralism via Technology. The most important question is: how can the EU improve global co-operation in the field of high-quality innovative technology? Co-operation of this kind – such as joint, international regulations for AI– is practically non-existent at the moment.


Look at the US, says Haar, who is originally from America, working as a lecturer and researcher at University College Maastricht. “The US distrusts China and advises EU countries not to do business with Huawei for the installation of 5G networks. The US also raised the alarm over exports to China by Dutch chip manufacturer ASML.”

In the meantime, China is going its own way, either with or without the other upcoming economies in BRICS, including Russia and Brazil. “China may be stealing and copying a lot of intellectual property, as the US keeps emphasising, but it has also become an innovative player on the world stage.”

Serious game

The REMIT researchers will first map out the state of affairs worldwide. Not just in the digital field (AI, 5G) but also in terms of cloud technology, blockchain, Internet Infrastructure, biotechnology (mRNA vaccines), and security and defence (drones, robotics, quantum, and cyberattacks). They will map who sets out the lines of policy in the US, China, and the EU? What are their visions and views held by these various local and other governments and think tanks? Do they see advantages in co-operation or not? How do they see the future?

Haar: “We want to present our results in so-called ‘scenario-testing workshops’. We will present scenarios to policymakers, preferably in a serious game, but that may be too ambitious. We will see.”

All of this should result in a series of recommendations about the way in which the EU can stimulate international, technological co-operation. What is interesting in this, are the parties in the US and China that are on the same wavelength as the EU and who may serve as allies.

Deep fakes

“Ultimately, everyone benefits from co-operation,” says Haar. “If China, the US, and the EU were to combine forces, they would make the greatest progress. At the same time, you could combat the downsides better. Deep fakes, to mention but one. Hopefully, along the way trust would be built, goodwill created, and that could lead to joint efforts in other areas.”

Will Russia feature in the research? Haar: “Russia does not excel in technological innovation. Many drones that they use in the war against Ukraine, are from Iran. Russia is first and foremost a threat for the international order and co-operation. But Russia also works together with China, and is as such a factor of importance.”

Photo: Pixabay

Categories: Science
Tags: roberta haar, remit, ai, drones

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