Data Governance

Start Date: March 2021

Principal Investigator: Mireia Paulo



As digitalisation sweeps across economies and societies, governments are developing a deeper understanding of the value and potential power of digital data. Data is a driver of economic growth that increases the competition among numerous actors that tests existing notions of power structures, sovereignty, and security. Data governance has become a contested political space shaped by diverging interests, norms, and values. This research project therefore aims to explore the European Union’s and Asian countries’ data governance models.

The project is based on interdisciplinary research applying to international political economy and legal studies. The project is aiming to examine the role of different actors such as the EU, China, Japan and South Korea to increase understanding of their domestic data governance models and data legal regimes. By doing so, we rethink the understanding of concepts such as data sovereignty and data security. Central to the research project is the study of the potential and risks of data-related policies and regulations. This involves looking at the implications of new enacted strategies, policies and regulations in those countries from both internal and external dimensions. The project helps stakeholders, policymakers, and academia to understand data governance issues in the EU and Asia.


Organisation of events

Online lecture. Watch on YouTube

Vásquez Callo-Mülle, M. (2020). How to build interoperability? Europe, East Asia and the data economy. Youtube. 14 November. 20:54. Watch.


Conference contributions, lectures, and presentations 

2023 China-Europe Digital Dialogue, 24 March 2023. Download the programme  

Mrs. Paulo was invited to participate in the 2023 China-Europe Track II Digital Dialogue Plan (2023年中欧数字领域二轨对话). She delivered a speech during the first panel related to regulatory rules for cross-border data flow between China and Europe.

Workshop, 6 May 2022. Download the programme  

Mrs. Paulo gave a talk on China’s data governance at the Workshop “Linking Climate Change, Digitalisation, and Sustainability: Turning Foresights into Action in Times of Crisis”. The workshop took place at the World Trade Institute (WTI) at the University of Bern.

Lecture, 31 March 2022. Download the programme

Mrs. Paulo delivered a lecture on China´s Data Governance at the School of Law, University of Valencia, Spain. Prof. Dr. Javier Plaza also spoke on the EU´s Data Governance.

International Conference, 11 November 2021. Download the programme

Mrs. Paulo spoke at the Barcelona/Shanghai Innovation Day 2021 (SciTechDiploHub) on Data Governance. This event brought together the most prominent stakeholders from academia, startups, industry, and public institutions from Barcelona and Shanghai to strengthen relationships between both ecosystems; showcase best practices in science, innovation and higher education, and engage with Barcelona’s top professionals in the area.

International Symposium, 14-15 October 2021

Mrs. Paulo jointly with Maria Vasquez, Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, presented their research on ‘Comparative analysis on the interoperability of the Pacific Alliance’s and China’s data protection regulations: The Case of TikTok’ at the Latin America – Asia Pacific International Symposium sponsored by the Chair of the Pacific Alliance made up of four universities: Universidad del Pacífico (Peru), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Chile), and Universidad Iberoamericana (México).

Online presentation, 3 August 2021. Watch on YouTube

Mrs. Paulo participated in the Virtual Expert Roundtable on the “EU’s Strategic Autonomy in the Era of Global Internet Governance” organized by the Europe-Asia Centre, Brussels. Ms. Paulo discussed EU technological autonomy, data governance, and cybersecurity aspects in an expert round. Discussion among distinguished speakers, e.g. H.E. Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport (2014 to 2019), highlighted the role of the private sector, interoperability, and policy-making process. 

Thematic Workshop, 24-25 June 2021

Mrs. Paulo participated in the Thematic Group 5 (Economics, Politics, Public Policy, International Relations and Law) at the Forum for European Researchers in China and the European Research & Innovation Days China organised by the EU Delegation to China and EURAXESS China. This Forum was organised in the framework of the European Research and Innovation Days, European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event.

Thematic Workshop, 18 June 2021. Download  Policy Brief

Mrs. Paulo delivered a speech on Digital Connectivity: Impact on Relation between EU and China, Japan, and South Korea at the EU-COST. Workshop focused on Infrastructure Connectivity in Europe with Chinese characteristics III focusing on Digital connectivity, organized by WG I, Strategic sectors and infrastructure development, at the Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungary and University College Cork, Ireland. This workshop was part of China in Europe Research Network, a research platform co-chaired by VU Amsterdam and Bristol University.