Digital technology and EU governance (2019-2022)

TRIGGER (Trends in Global Governance and Europe’s Role), 2019 – 2022, was an EU Horizon 2020 funded project tasked with providing EU institutions with the knowledge and tools to enhance their actorness, effectiveness and influence in global governance. As a partner in the TRIGGER project, IRGC contributed to advancing the understanding of global governance; scrutinised the evolution of the EU’s interaction with global governance; identified emerging trends that strengthen/weaken global governance and cooperation; and helped to build capacity for strategic foresight and public engagement inside EU institutions.

IRGC leaded the research pillar on governance and technologies, interrelations and opportunities, which focused on:

  • Understanding how digital technologies and governance interact. For example: how distributed ledger technologies or machine learning are used by governments and public administrations.
  • Analysing new developments and current trends in the governance of and by various emerging technologies. For example: initiatives to regulate AI and to use AI for automating decision-making.
  • Examining how these technologies contribute to shaping the EU policy agenda and new modes of governance. For example: new forms of citizen consultation that might substitute or complement institutional democracy.
  • Developing policy recommendations in the fields of open source standards, distributed ledger (blockchain) technologies, and artificial intelligence (machine learning).
  • Analysing how the ‘actorness’ of the EU has evolved regarding data protection, and the pivotal role of the EU Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to shape influential principles, both in Europe and globally (about ‘actorness’, see

Governance Of and By Digital Technology” conference

The “Governance Of and By Digital Technology” conference was hosted on 18 November 2020 by IRGC and the TRIGGER project.

This event brought together leading policymakers, researchers and practitioners to discuss the rapid pace of change and society’s increasing reliance on digital technologies. The event also included discussions of governance by technology, looking at the danger that decision-making algorithms will reduce or remove the ability of people and societies to make decisions. What kinds of rules and regulations are necessary to prevent new technologies from causing harm?


  • Review of current governance regimes and EU initiatives concerning AI (working paper), D4.3, 2020, Download PDF
  • Governance and technologies: interrelations and opportunities (WP4 Final report), D4.6, 2021, Download PDF
  • Nine recommendations for EU governance of and by digital technologies, 2021, TRIGGER blog post (also as IRGC spotlight on risk article, Link)
  • Assessing the EU’s actorness and effectiveness in the data protection domain (Link)

 TRIGGER project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement number 822735. This website reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Style Switcher

NOTE: Vertical headers will not work on pages that have the naked header enabled