Canada and the European Union have launched talks on a digital partnership to create a digital identity and make the internet a safer and more inclusive place.The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, and the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, met February 1 to begin work on implementing the Canada-EU Digital Partnership, which was concluded at the Canada–European Union Summit 2023 held in Canada in November."On online platforms, the EU and Canada intend to continue to cooperate and exchange information on measures to ensure transparency, fairness and accountability and to make the Internet a safer and more inclusive place for users. In the coming year, the partners aim to exchange on the implementation of their respective frameworks," the parties said in a joint statement released February 1."On digital identity, digital credentials and trust services, both sides intend to promote interoperability through pilot projects."The two parties said they wanted to take similar approaches to "domestic initiatives" in both Canada and members of the European Union."On cyber security, the EU and Canada intend to collaborate on the implementation of cyber security regulatory frameworks, including in the areas of critical infrastructure protection and cyber security of products. There is an opportunity to cooperate on cyber security certifications and standards. As a first step, the partners will identify opportunities for the exchange of information and best practices in pursuing domestic initiatives," the statement said."On secure and resilient connectivity, the EU and Canada intend to exchange information to encourage the development of secure and high-quality connectivity. The partners will also explore actions to develop secure and high-quality connectivity between Europe, North America and Asia, for example, potential routes in the Arctic or North Atlantic."The EU and Canada said they want to cooperate on developing semiconductors and securing their supply chains. Regarding AI, the parties intend to communicate regularly and exchange information on governance and international standards. On quantum science, the EU and Canada will expand mutually beneficial collaboration to accelerate research, development and innovation while promoting jobs and the utilization of quantum technologies in the broader economy.The two sides agreed to convene a ministerial-level Digital Partnership Council in the spring to take stock of progress and decide on next steps.According to his cabinet website, Champagne was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009. The businessman, lawyer, and international trade specialist with more than 20 years’ experience at large international companies in Europe, has served on several boards over the years, and was notably president of the Canadian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the Banff Forum.Champagne, 53, was first elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice—Champlain. He has previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of International Trade.In June of 2020, a Globe and Mail story exposed that Champagne, then foreign affairs minister, had two mortgages totaling $1.2 million held by the Bank of China. By the end of the month, he announced he had repaid them both in full.Breton, 69, is a French business executive, politician, and writer. Breton was vice-chairman and CEO of Groupe Bull, chairman and CEO of Thomson-RCA and chairman and CEO of France Télécom.He has been EU commissioner since 2019. According to his webpage, he has been charged with implementation of a European Defence Fund an Action Plan on Military Mobility and a Digital Services Act.Other responsibilities include strengthening of "EU tools to prevent and counter disinformation and fake information online, while preserving freedom of expression, freedom of the press and media pluralism."Breton has also been charged with leading the "digital and green transition", pursue net zero carbon emissions by 2050, "enhancing Europe’s technological sovereignty by putting the right policies and investment in place in the areas of data, artificial intelligence, 5G, defence and space technology."Breton, who was the French minister for finance and industry from 2005 to 2007, spoke at a World Economic Forum event in Tokyo last July to foster economic security.