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DIGITAL SOVEREIGNTY IN AN ERA OF U.S./CHINA OLIGOPOLIES

For its third seminar for 33 students, the 'Defence and Economic Security' (DSE) major addressed the issues of digital sovereignty and new technological frontiers. Today, information and communication technologies are at the heart of an international competition in which the United States and China are the main contenders. Between these two powers, the European Union (EU) is seeking to assert its position by being proactive on the issue of digital sovereignty, in order to lend credibility to the 'third way' that it represents on the international stage.

Using an analysis of the GAFAMs on the American side and the BATXHs in China, the idea of this module is to highlight the new digital power games and issues at stake on a global scale. It also looks at Europe's and France's ability to protect their strategic data and to protect critical digital infrastructures. Lastly, this module aims to give listeners a better understanding of these issues and the place of Europe, which could eventually become a battleground in the Sino-American digital confrontation.

On Thursday 16 December, students in the DSE major met at the Ecole Militaire for a series of lectures and round tables.

The first lecture, in the form of an introduction, was given by Bernard Benhamou, Secretary General of the Institut de la Souveraineté Numérique, on the theme of digital sovereignty.

Bernard Benhamou, General Secretary of the Institute for Digital Sovereignty

The auditors then got together for a committee work session, supervised by the lead experts overseeing their work: Mr Ali Laïdi (Researcher and journalist, Ecole de pensée sur la Guerre économique / France24), Mr Peer De Jong (Co-founder and senior vice-president of the THEMIIS Institute), Mr Yves Bertoncini (Consultant in European Affairs and President of the European Movement - France) and Mr Vincent Aussilloux (Department Director, France Stratégie)

 The afternoon was then opened by General (2s) Marc Watin-Augouardhead of the Digital Sovereignty and Cybersecurity major, who also moderated the two round-table discussions on the theme: "Digital Sovereignty and Cybersecurity". Existing digitally in Europe in the shadow of the United States and China ".

General (2s) Marc Watin-Augouard, Head of the Digital Sovereignty and Cybersecurity Major

The first round table, "Digital and innovation: a pleonasm", provided an opportunity for the audience to exchange views with Mr Jean-Noël de GalzainFounder and CEO of WALLIX Group, Mr Gilles Fontaineeditor-in-chief of Challenges, and Mrs Maxence DemerléDirector of Digital at MEDEF

A round table with Maxence Dermerlé, Director of Digital at MEDEF; Jean Noël de Galzain, Founder and CEO of WALLIX Group and Gilles Fontaine, Editor-in-Chief of Challenges.

The first day ended with a second round-table discussion, "European Regulation and Platforms", which provided an opportunity for the audience to exchange views with three panelists: Mr Guy Mamou-ManiCo-Chairman of the Open Group, Mr Hubert TardieuIndependent Director in charge of government relations at GAIA-X and Ms Joëlle ToledanoProfessor Emeritus of Economics, associated with the Chair of Governance and Regulation at the University of Paris-Dauphine.

Friday 17 November saw another day of conferences and round-table discussions, culminating in a presentation by ANSSI at the Ecole Militaire.

The day opened with a round-table discussion on "Post-COVID financial issues in a global environment", with the following speakers Pascal LagardeExecutive Director of Bpifrance and Mr Vincent AusillouxDepartment Director at France Stratégie.

A round table with Vincent Ausilloux, Department Director at France Stratégie and Pascal Lagarde, Executive Director of Bpifrance.
Speech by Emmanuel Lardeux, Group International Trade Compliance Officer at Air Liquide

The end of the morning concluded with a conference by Mr Emmanuel LardeuxGroup International Trade Compliance Officer at Air Liquide, on the theme of "Protecting strategic data".

Auditors from the DSE major were then able to attend a sequence designed in collaboration with the French National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI), divided into three parts:

  • Mr Vincent LoriotHead of the Digital Security Management Division, and Mr Mathieu CouturierHead of the cyber crisis management support office, presented the aspects of a cyber crisis and the means of dealing with it;
  • Mr Renaud LabelleThe deputy director of expertise then spoke about the challenges of sovereignty and the problems of the cloud and sovereign security equipment;
  • And finally.., Mr Sébastien RummelhardtDeputy Assistant Director Operations, concluded the session by presenting the activities of his department.

The seminar closed with a speech by Michel Van Den Berghe, Chairman of Campus Cyber.