Global Business Briefing with Ms. Maria Martin-Prat de Abreu, Deputy Director General of Trade, European Commission


Ms. Abreu gives opening remarks during the Global Business Briefing on May 7, 2024. Photo by Stephen Bobb

Meridian International Center held a Global Business Briefing with Her Excellency Maria Martin-Prat De Abreu, Deputy-Director General for Trade at the European Commission. Moderated by Mr. Dean Garfield, Vice President of Public Policy at Netflix, the discussion covered the changing regulatory landscape surrounding data flows and digital services as well as the successes and challenges facing the U.S.-EU digital trade relationship. The program also featured Mr. Keith Murphy, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Regulatory Counsel at Paramount. 

About Ms. Maria Martin-Prat de Abreu

Maria Martin-Prat is Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General responsible for Trade Policy in the European Commission. She is currently responsible for Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Caribbean. She is also responsible for Sustainable Development and Green Deal Trade related issues, Services and Digital Trade, Investment and Intellectual Property. Before her current post, Maria Martin-Prat was Director in DG Trade. Prior to that, she was consecutively Head of Unit responsible for Free Movement of Services and Freedom of Establishment, and Head of the Copyright Unit of the European Commission. She was also a Member of Commissioner Joaquin Almunia's Cabinet. Ms. Martin-Prat has worked as a lawyer in the private sector and in the European Parliament and is admitted as a solicitor in Spain. She has two postgraduate degrees in European Law. 

Here are some takeaways from the program:

Europe is the largest market for U.S. digital service suppliers, and the U.S. exported $28.9 billion in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to Europe in 2022. At the TTC’s fifth meeting in January and sixth meeting in April of 2024, the council addressed the importance of strengthening collective economic security through diversifying economies and designing resilient supply chain relationships as well as safeguarding against economic coercion and foreign information manipulation and interference. New legislation and initiatives are fundamentally redefining the regulatory landscape for data and digital services in the EU, such as the 2022 Digital Services Act. Although often creating barriers to market entry and operations, regulations like these create boundaries for safety and steppingstones for innovation while building trust between governments and businesses as well as between countries. The 2023 EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework allows for free-flowing data transfers between America and Europe, a crucial development for the many businesses participating in the trillion-dollar digital service economy shared by the U.S. and EU. Alignment between the U.S. and EU on China and its developing data policies is increasingly vital to maintaining sound electronic commerce practices and supporting the greater international digital trade economy. 

This program was made possible through the support of:


Project summary

Global Business Briefing with Ms. Maria Martin-Prat de Abreu, Deputy Director General of Trade, European Commission | May 2024
Number of Visitors: 25
Number of Attendees: 25
Regions: Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Foreign Policy
Program Areas: Corporate Diplomacy
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector
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