Event series

Photo Album | Debate | Sustainable City solutions: a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition?

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INVITATION | Sustainable City solutions: a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition? (June 20)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on sustainable city solutions as a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition with our distinguished speakers Mr Dimitrios Sofianopoulos, New Energy Technologies, Innovation and Clean Coal, European Commission, DG ENERG, Ms Dorthe Nielsen, Policy Director, Eurocities, Mr Adrian Joyce, Secretary General, European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE) and Mr Marco Marijewycz, Technology Policy & Modelling, E.ON.

The debate will be moderated bu Hughes Belin, freelance journalist.

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This event is kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The executive body of the European Union announced its willingness “to lead the energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason, the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens”. The bold stance of the European Commission has multiple goals: firstly, the fostering of the modernisation of European economy and society in order to remain coherent with the obligations stemming from both the issue of climate change and the commitments of the Paris agreement. Secondly, this policy setting should not only lower both the demand and the dependency on fossil fuels, but should also lower energy costs for EU citizens who could eventually benefit from a more sustainable environment by the use of affordable and advanced solutions.

Ambitious climate goals and respective measures to reduce CO2 emissions as part of the overall Energy Union goals present enormous challenges to cities and communities alike. In addition, cities of all scale will play a crucial role in the next phase of the energy transition towards a low-carbon society. While urban infrastructure needs to be transformed into an active player in the energy system, smart networks will connect urban and rural areas, where the massive deployment of renewable energies in Europe happened in the first place. Districts of all kinds are the nucleus of sustainable development. With decentralised and highly efficient energy solutions for new development areas and renovation projects, communities can actively shape a climate neutral environment. Furthermore, dense urbanized areas are ideal platforms for coupling together different sectors, e.g. electricity with heating and transport.

While smart meter applications and devices, as part of the development of a vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT), are the crucial enablers of the vision of sustainable city solutions, an adequate level of financing for the transition towards a low carbon energy economy is also of prior importance for the environmental and economic sustainability of the whole of the EU in the years to come. Smart city solutions could, for example, allow for proper energy storage and water and sewage treatment, as well as for smart metering and environmental monitoring. However, the policy solutions of a more sustainability-friendly EU are encountering a series of challenges.

The Clean Energy Package addresses the above mentioned issues, from local energy communities and self-consumption to smartness indicators for buildings, to long-term renovation strategy and infrastructure for E-mobility, just to mention a few. For instance, while the review of these elements is still under scrutiny, digital solutions and big data still need to be fully integrated, while the questions of data privacy and cyber security are further complicating the findings of integrated policy solutions. Last but not least, the financial side of innovative green projects has often been pointed out by experts and officials as the weak link in the chain.

Sustainable City solutions: a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 20th of June at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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Photo Album | Debate | Payments security: do the EBA RTS on strong customer authentication create an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe?

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INVITATION | Payments security: do the EBA RTS on strong customer authentication create an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe? (May 31)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) regulatory technical standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication and the creation of an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe with our distinguished speakers Ms Silvia Kersemakers, European Commission, Retail Financial Services and Payments, DG FISMA, Ms Marie Pascale Brien, Senior Policy Advisor, European Banking Federation, Mr Matthias Hönisch, Head of Card Business Unit, National Federation of Cooperative Banks and Ms Emma Mohan-Satta, Fraud Prevention Consultant, Kaspersky Fraud Prevention.

Ms Emma Mohan-Satta, Kaspersky Fraud Prevention will hold an introductory speech, while Mr Pascal König, Policy Advisor, E-commerce Europe, will be also present for comments.

The debate will be moderated by John Rega, Chief Correspondent, Financial Services at MLex

This event is kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published on the 23rd of February its final draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication. These RTS, which were mandated under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and developed in close cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB), are meant to lay the first stone for an open and secure market in retail payments in Europe.

The final draft RTS are – in the EBA own words – “the result of difficult trade-offs between the various, at times competing, objectives of the PSD2, such as enhancing security, facilitating customer convenience, ensuring technology and business-model neutrality, contributing to the integration of the European payment markets, protecting consumers, facilitating innovation, and enhancing competition through new payment initiation and account information services”.

The EBA received hundreds of replies to the two consultations organized on the very matter; these may have influenced the introduction of some changes in the final RTS draft. Firstly, there is a new exemption from strong customer authentication based on the level of risk of a payment, and this for payments up to 500 euro. However, this exemption can only be used if the payer’s payment service provider (PSP) has an overall fraud rate lower than the reference fraud rate specified in the RTS. This change is likely to be welcomed by the e-commerce industry, where strong customer authentication might generate user friction and therefore cancellations of purchases. An important question is however whether one-size-fits-all fraud rates will be usable across different industries, such as e-banking and e-commerce and whether the same thresholds are appropriate in a BtoB context. Furthermore, the EBA has deleted in the final draft RTS its initial requirement to use different channels, devices or mobile applications to initiate and authenticate payments; this seems to make it possible to use a single device, and even a single mobile app, to initiate and authenticate a payment. Also, unattended payment terminals have been exempted from strong customer authentication as well as remote payments up to 30 euros.

The EBA has now submitted the final draft RTS to the European Commission for adoption, after which they will be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council. Overall, transactional risk analysis technology has gained importance in the final draft RTS. However, for this to work, PSPs will need to keep their fraud levels under control in order to meet the reference levels. At the same time, the RTS also provide more flexibility to use mobile apps to authenticate payments. However PSPs will need to protect these mobile apps against various threats.

Payments security: do the EBA RTS on strong customer authentication create an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 31st of May at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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Photo Album | Debate | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test?

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INVITATION | DEBATE | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test? (April 26)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations as a unity test for the EU with our distinguished speakers Ms Danuta Maria Hubner MEP (EPP/PL), Mr Jo Leinen MEP (S&D/DE), Mr Michael Theurer MEP (ALDE/DE).

The debate will be moderated by Graham Bishop, leading expert in EU and UK Economic, Financial and Government Affairs.

About the debate

While the UK was grappling with internal disagreements on both the timing of the triggering of Article 50 and the establishment of the extent to which the British Parliament should have controlled the Brexit process, the leaders of the EU’s four largest economies organised a meeting in Paris in order to prepare the 25th of March EU summit in Rome and (re) launch the so-called ‘two-speed Europe’ proposal, namely a newly reinvigorated method to forge ahead with integration, while leaving those not on board free to join when they deem it appropriate. These political developments can also have been interpreted as a first reaction to the so-called ‘White Paper’ in which President Juncker outlined the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade and presented five scenarios according to which the European Union could evolve by 2025, depending on how it will respond.

In fact, as massive attention has focused on the possible economic impacts of the Brexit referendum on both the UK and the EU, how the EU bloc itself might change will probably prove to be the most important outcome of this particular political and institutional momentum that the old continent is undergoing. Not without controversy, the Rome summit declaration acknowledged, both in tone and content, the need to ‘act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction’, whereas particular emphasis was given to the question of unity by stating that the European Union is ‘undivided and indivisible’. Indeed, the issue stemming from this last question will be of crucial importance for the achievement of a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable Europe, which should play a major role at a global level in the years to come.

If the so–called ‘populist movements’ have shaken up the political narrative as well as the public debates both at EU and national level, they do not seem for the time in a position to gain sufficient power to lead to a radical change of Europe’s political and institutional landscape. However, it is not possible to exclude such a scenario becoming reality in the future, if change does not occur fairly soon. Within this context, the possible implementation of the ‘two-speed Europe’ process, the Brexit negotiations, as well as the European Union capacity to adapt to the current circumstances remain elements of capital importance for the years to come. Will the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations constitute a combined unity test?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 26th of April at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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Photo Album | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

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INVITATION | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the link between the European emission trading system (ETS) and renewables with our distinguished speakers Mr Peter Zapfel, Head of Unit, ETS Policy Development and Auctioning, European Commission, Mr Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, Renewables and CCS Policy Unit, European Commission, Mr Michel Matheu, Head of EU strategy, EDF, and Mr Daniel Fraile, Senior Analyst, Wind Europe.

Mr Florent Le Strat, Researcher and Expert, Climate policy R&D, EDF, will hold an introductory speech about a recent EDF study entitled “Towards a successful coordination of climate energy policies”

The debate will be moderated by Hughes Belin, freelance journalist

This event was kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The emission trading system (ETS) revision, one of the European Union’s pivotal policy instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the period 2021-2030, has been approved by the European Parliament’s plenary vote in mid-February and is now to be discussed under the lead of the Maltese Presidency. Given the width of the scope, the European and international repercussion of the EU decision-making on climate change, as well as the issues at stake for the industry, the draft law has this far been object of intense discussions. Many commentators and policy makers are not convinced that this setting will be sufficient to strengthen the climate-change ambition of the ETS.One of the reasons is that the more general issue of ensuring a cost-effective energy transition has been set aside. The difficulties in maintaining consistency between the ETS and so-called ‘overlapping policies’ might well have been under-estimated. In particular, the interplay between the reform and the growth of power generation from renewable sources is a crucial factor for a cost-effective energy transition and has been overshadowed by the request for exemptions for specific economic sectors.

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Photo Album | Debate | What could be the features of the Pan-European Personal Pensions initiative (PEPP)? (March 8)

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INVITATION | Debate | What could be the features of the Pan-European Personal Pensions initiative (PEPP)? (March 8)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion about  the possible features of the Pan-European Personal Pensions initiative (PEPP) with our distinguished speakers Ms Nathalie Berger, Head of Unit, Insurance and Pension, European Commission, DG FISMA, Mr Heinz K. Becker MEP (EPP/AU), Mr Bernard Delbecque, Senior Director, Economics & Research, EFAMA and Mr Guillaume Prache, Managing Director, Better Finance.

Ms Sultana Sandrell, Trade, Economic and Financial Affairs Unit, Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU and Mr Philippe Setbon, Member of the AFG Strategic Committee, will respectively hold an introductory speech.

The debate will be moderated by Mr Pierre Bollon, Chief Executive, AFG (French Asset Management Association). 

This event was kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The European Commission has recently announced that it will propose a legislative initiative to launch a framework for Pan-European Personal Pensions (PEPP) by the summer 2017, with the objective of enhancing the resources of future pensioners. European pension systems are indeed facing the dual challenge of remaining financially sustainable  while being able to provide Europeans with adequate resources when retiring. Along with occupational retirement schemes  such as  pension funds, PEPPs are be seen as a complement to state-run pension systems. The future PEPPs could also be a useful tool for the growing category of self-employed workers  who  cannot access an employee retirement scheme, and the increasing mobility of workers. Lastly they could  fit appropriately into the Capital Market Union project as they could provide long-term financing for the European economy.

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