Special Events

INVITATION | Special Event | Smart and sustainable: How can Digital help the green transition? (July 12)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Monday, 12th of July at 17.00.

We will discuss the role of ICT in finding smart and sustainable solutions for the green transition.

Our distinguished speakers for the evening will be:

  • Vincent Berrutto, Head of Innovation, Research, Digitalisation and Competitiveness, European Commission – DG ENERG;
  • Markus Ferber MEP (EPP/DE);
  • Lise Fuhr, Director General, European Telecommunication Network Operators’ Association (ETNO);
  • Luis Neves, CEO, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI);
  • Eva Barteková, Policy Analyst, Environment Directorate, Environment & Economy Integration Division, OECD.

Birgit Klesper, SVP Group Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom, will give an introductory speech.

Björn-Sören Gigler, Senior Digital Innovation Officer, European Commission – DG CNECT, and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, will hold a keynote speech.

This event will be moderated by Anja Ingenrieth, Vice President, European Affairs – Brussels, Deutsche Telekom.

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event will be held in streaming

This event is co-organised with

As part of the series


About the debate

In mid-July 2021, the European Commission will present the “Fit for 55” legislative package to fundamentally overhaul the EU’s climate policy architecture and put the EU on track to meet its 2030 climate target (55%). Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 means that European economies and societies will have to undergo a significant transformation to achieve the decoupling of resource use from economic growth. The EU climate targets pave the way for a flood of legislation that will change most aspects of EU citizens’ daily lives.

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Digital Markets Act: How to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy?


On Monday
, 25th of January 2021 at 17.00 PubAffairs Bruxelles was delighted to hold an evening discussion on how to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy, with special regard to the recent release of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) with our distinguished speakers Ms Deirdre Clune MEP (EPP/IR), Mr Martijn Snoep, Chairman, Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), Professor Nicolas Petit, Competition Law, European University Institute (EUI) and Mr Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, Competition Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

FULL EVENT DISCUSSION moderated by Aoifa White

This event is organised in collaboration with CCIA


About the debate

The European Commission’s newly released  Digital Markets Act (DMA) is poised to overhaul the EU single market and contribute to making “Europe fit for the digital age by addressing questions around the fairness of platforms’ relationships with their business users and the contestability of online platform environments.

This approach to regulation of the platform economy has been considered significant, not only because of the scale of the possible impacts on both the European and the global digital sector, but also because of the scope of the proposed legislation. Traditional competition policy objectives of “efficiency” and “consumer welfare” have been replaced with “fairness” and “contestability” for a range of digital services including marketplaces, app stores and social networks, as well as online search engines, operating systems and cloud services.

The DMA aims at shaping the European digital single market by targeting significant and entrenched operators of “a core platform service which serves as an important gateway for business users to reach end users”. Market significance and entrenched and durable positions are defined through quantitative criteria, such as size or revenues, supplemented by case-by-case qualitative assessment.

The matter of how to preserve competition in digitally enabled markets is still relatively new. How to strike the right balance between ex-ante regulation and open competition, as well as of how to achieve the intended effects – and to avoid unintended side-effects – of regulations in the digital world is featuring high in the current EU public policy debate. Indeed, the questions arising from network-based and fast-evolving markets of the digital and platform economy have come at a tipping point which several observers predict will imply a long global process of scrutiny, discussion and adaption.

The question hence is: “How to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy?”


About the speakers

Deirdre Clune

Deirdre Clune was elected as an MEP in 2014 and served in the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and the Delegation for Relations with Canada, among others. In the current parliamentary term, she is Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) for which she holds the position of a Shadow rapporteur with regard to the Opinion on the Digital Services Act and fundamental rights issues posed.

Martijn Snoep

Since September 2018, Martijn Snoep has been the Chairman of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). He obtained his law degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Until his appointment at ACM, he worked at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for 28 years. Operating from both their Amsterdam and Brussels locations, Martin Snoep gave advice to businesses about the application of competition law in the Netherlands and abroad. As managing partner, he stood at the helm of the firm between 2010 and 2016.

Nicolas Petit

Nicolas Petit is Professor in Competition Law at the Department of Law at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute (EUI). He is also visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. Prior to joining the EUI, Nicolas Petit has held a public office position as a part- time judge with the Belgian competition authority and has also worked in private practice with a leading US law firm in Brussels.

Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli

Mr. Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli (Kay) is Competition & Regulatory Counsel to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) based in Brussels where he represents and advises the association on competition policy issues and European regulatory policy matters. Kay has over ten years’ experience as a competition lawyer in private practice, in the European Commission Directorate- General for Competition, in academia, and as Senior Legal Counsel at a leading media and communications company.

About the moderator

Aoife White
Aoife White is a longtime Brussels-based journalist at Bloomberg

Opening the gate: Why and how to regulate large platforms acting as gatekeepers?


Opening the gate: Why and how to regulate large platforms acting as gatekeepers? 


On Tuesday, 10th of November 2020 at 15.00 PubAffairs Bruxelles was delighted to hold an evening discussion on the upcoming Digital Services Act package and how to regulate large platforms acting as gatekeepers with our distinguished speakers Mr Werner Stengg, Cabinet Member, EVP Margrethe Vestager, European Commission, Ms Stéphanie Yon-Courtin MEP (Renew/FR), ECON Vice-Chair and IMCO Member, European Parliament, Mr Robert Dehm, Digital Policy and Telecommunication Counsellor, German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Mr Carel Maske, Director, Competition, Microsoft and Mr Fadhel Lakhoua, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Orange.

EVENT DISCUSSION moderated by Philippe Defraigne


This event was kindly sponsored by


About the debate

Under the second priority of the President von der Leyen-led European Commission’s ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’, at the beginning of this year, the EU executive body has started the elaboration of a new legislative action with the principal aims of reinforcing the EU single market for digital services, fostering innovation and enhancing competitiveness of the European online environment. Described as Europe’s first large overhaul of the approach to regulating the European online space for two decades, the Digital Services Act package is largely focused on online services, such as search engines, social media and e-commerce platforms. Those platforms have emerged as crucial actors of the digital transition, not only in terms of innovation and economic growth, but also for their societal effects and impacts on the European rule of law and democracy.

Some of them have developed a gatekeeping role over the years which can question consumers’ choice, or EU innovation and competitiveness and which raises the issue about how can we ensure that the digital economy remains fair and contestable. While competition law can address some of the concerns as shown by past decisions, there is a growing trend arguing in favour of imposing additional specific rules to efficiently tackle structural competition problems exerted by large digital platforms acting as gatekeepers. While such an issue is structuring for the future of the internal market it also is complex: there is a need for new rules but for who, on what and how?

These are the questions addressed by the Digital Services Act and by the New Competition Tool Commission initiative. The European Parliament is adopting its reports on the very matters paving the way for a better framing of the responsibilities of gatekeepers. Similarly the European Council in its 1 and 2 October meeting conclusions called for an update of competition law and for exploring the possibility of adopting rules on the systemic role and responsibilities of online platforms with significant network effects. Finally, numerous stakeholders answered the Commission’s consultations, including platforms and telecom operators. Among them, Orange has emphasised that it is essential to ensure that the online world remains competitive and contestable.

The reform of the EU rules applicable to European online space, with special regard to large platforms acting as gatekeepers, will have to take into consideration the current state of play of the digital single market and its possible evolutions. It should also take into consideration the impacts of any new rules on the various actors of the digital economy, and, as a result, to what extent Europe will be able to strengthen its competitiveness and digital sovereignty and set both internal and global standards on such a structuring initiative.


About the speakers

Werner Stengg

Werner Stengg, who joined the European institutions in 1996, is currently a cabinet expert on the cabinet of Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, dealing with digital matters. Between 2006 and 2019, he held different head of unit positions across the European Commission, dealing with e-commerce and online platforms, public interest services, online gambling and postal services, and with the better regulation agenda. Prior to that, he was involved in mainstreaming policy evaluation across the Commission, in the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral textile trade agreements, and in the negotiations on regulatory files in the areas of aviation and maritime transport. He earned his doctoral degree in economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Stéphanie Yon-Courtin

Stéphanie Yon-Courtin is a Member of the European Parliament (Renew Group), Vice-President of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and substitute member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), on the Fisheries, (PECH) and of the sub-committee on taxation (FISC). She was rapporteur for the 2019 annual competition policy report. She is also Chair of the delegation for relations with Canada and a member of the delegation for relations with the United States. Stéphanie is also a member of the Calvados Departmental Council. Prior to her election as an MEP in 2019, she was Mayor of Saint-Contest, and a Vice-President of the urban community Caen la Mer.  Prior to that, Stéphanie worked as an advisor on international affairs in the office of Bruno Lasserre, former President of the French Competition Authority. She was admitted to the Paris Bar in 2004, specialising in competition law, and worked in international law firms. She also worked as a legal expert in the European Commission. Stéphanie holds a Master’s degree in law from the Universities of Caen and Bristol, and a Master’s degree in European Business Law from the Institute of European Studies. She is 45 years old, married and mother of two children. She is president of the association “Caen les femmes” created in 2011. She has been a regular contributor to the international political section of the journal Concurrences.

Robert Dehm

Robert Anton Dehm is a Counsellor in the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU and currently chairs the Council Working Party for Telecommunications and Information Society of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. From 2015 to 2016 he was a Policy Officer at the Unit for Economic and Societal Aspects of the Digital Agenda, Digital Sovereignty at the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. Previously, he held the position of First Secretary for Industry Policy at the German Embassy to the United States, in Washington DC and served as Co-Chairman for the Member States Group of the Advisory Council of Aeronautic Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE). He studied economics at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Carel Maske

Carel Maske is Senior Attorney with Microsoft in Brussels covering antitrust in the EMEA region including competition policy, counselling and compliance as well as managing antitrust-related investigations and litigation. In this role he develops and implements compliance programs and provides antitrust trainings for the legal department and the business. Before moving to Microsoft, Carel Maske had practiced competition law with Latham & Watkins in Brussels and Frankfurt and with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Berlin. His expertise extends to unilateral conduct, IP and antitrust, vertical and horizontal cooperations, cartel investigations and merger control proceedings. Carel Maske speaks regularly on competition policy and compliance topics at antitrust conferences.  

Fadhel Lakhoua

Fadhel Lakhoua joined Orange in 2019 as Director of EU and Economics at the Regulatory Affairs Directorate. Between 2005 and 2019, Fadhel was Director of Financial Affairs and Wholesale Markets Surveillance of CRE, the French energy regulator. In his former capacity, he was also Co-Chair of the ACER’s Market Integrity and Transparency Working Group (between 2017 and 2019). Fadhel began his career in 1994 in the banking sector with Caisse des Dépôts, IXIS, IXIS Asset Management and Caisse Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne, where he held various positions, as Economist, in Project Finance, Strategic planning and M&A.

About the moderator

Philippe Defraigne

A founding director of Cullen International in 1988, Philippe has worked extensively on EU regulation affecting the telecoms and internet sectors and the implementation at national level across Europe. He is widely regarded in the industry as one of the leading experts in the field. Philippe pioneered the practice of cross-country benchmarking of national regulation – the core methodology used across all of Cullen International’s intelligence services. He leads business development activities for the company – focussing on building Cullen International’s business outside of Europe, in particular in Latin America, the Middle East & North Africa. Philippe frequently presents Cullen International research at industry conferences, client briefings and training courses.

What are the EU prospects on global multilateral governance after the coronavirus pandemic?

What are the EU prospects on global multilateral governance after the coronavirus pandemic?

On Tuesday, 13th of October 2020 PubAffairs Bruxelles was delighted to hold an open and interactive discussion on the EU prospects regarding multilateral governance after the coronavirus pandemic with our distinguished speakers Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Maria Soraya Rodriguez-Ramos MEP, Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament and AFET Committee Member, Professor Andrea Renda, Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and the Digital Economy (GRID), CEPS, Mr Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer, Huawei USA and Mr Henry Llewellyn, Ad interim Chair, Brussels New Generation of young leaders.

Introductory remarks


Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament 

Video contribution

Mr Julian Jacobitz, Brussels New Generation (BNG) of young leaders

EVENT DISCUSSION hosted by Jennifer Baker

The EVENT SUMMARY is available here

This event was kindly sponsored by

About the debate

As highlighted in the international public debate that followed the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken Europe and the world to its core, testing healthcare and welfare systems, economies, societies and way of living and working together across countries. To respond to the crisis, Europe has come together and put forward the Next Generation EU” not only to deal with the dire impacts of the heath emergency, but also to prepare the ground to a more sustainable and prosperous future and build the next generation of European leaders that tomorrow needs. Every generation has been defined by some historical events that have spread uncertainty or fear. However, these types of events have also given room for a change in the way citizens from all over the globe perceived the world they are living in and the way in which they made individual and collective decisions. Several authoritative commentators therefore stated that now is a defining moment in history as regards international diplomatic and economic relations, as well as the future of a fully connected, intelligent world.

Both Europe and the whole world are simultaneously confronting a global health crisis and the profound changes from the advancement of digital technologies and climate change. For example, China’s economic stimulus and the New Infrastructure initiative, as Europe’s Next Generation EU, call for spending heavily on projects towards the recovery and the strengthening of the economy for the digital and environmental-friendly age. At a wider global level, the UN Sustainable Development Goals aim at putting people first by helping developing countries in achieving higher standards, enhance action for better education for all, create a sense of community and a shared vision of the future, while countering the idea of “clash of civilizations”. Can countries and blocs all over the world chose separate paths without creating barriers for international relations, cooperation, and global governance that fail to meet the needs of global citizens?

The State of the Union speech of President von der Leyen has laid the foundation stone for Europe to make its own choices, based on its own values, respecting its own rules by showing what is possible to achieve when trust is fostered and cooperation is a crucial element to reach common goals. An increasing need has emerged at both a European and global level to enhance trust and cooperation in diplomatic relations, as well as to define common goods and objectives to shape a better way of living for the world of tomorrow. As regards EU-China relations, the interests in common on issues such as climate change are conveying nations to honor the Paris Agreement, lead by example, and adhere to the rule of law. How can multilateral governance best function in response to external crises, capacity building of partners, and protection of the Union and its citizens?

About the speakers

Maria Soraya Rodríguez Ramos
Soraya Rodriguez Ramos is a Member of the European Parliament from Spain and Renew Europe Group. She also served as an MEP under the 5th parliamentary term between 1999 and 2004. Under the current term, she chairs the Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament and is member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. Mrs Rodríguez is Renew Europe’s Coordinator at the Subcommittee of Human Rights. Prior to her current term in the European Parliament, between 2016-2019 Ms Rodríguez was a Member of the Spanish Congress. Mrs Rodríguez was state secretary for international cooperation and development in the Spanish government (2008-2011). She is a lawyer by education and worked to defend the rights of women.

Andrea Renda

​​​​​​​Andrea Renda is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the CEPS Unit on Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and the Digital Economy (GRID). He is Part-Time Professor of Digital Policy at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute, in Florence (Italy). He is a non-resident Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics and was Adjunct Professor of Law and Economics at Duke Law School (United States) for Academic Year 2016/2017. He is also Visiting Professor of Competition Policy and the Digital Economy at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium), where he held the “Google Chair” for Digital Innovation from September 2017 to August 2020. Andrea is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science, and a CITI Fellow at Columbia University’s Centre for Tele-Information. A very prolific author and keynote speaker, Andrea provides regular advice to several institutions, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the OECD, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and many more. He was a member of the EU High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and is a member of the advisory group on Economic and Societal Impacts of Research (ESIR), for the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation.

Andy Purdy

Andy Purdy joined Huawei Technologies USA as Chief Security Officer in July 2012. Andy oversees Huawei USA’s cyber security assurance strategy and program and supports Huawei’s global security program. Andy was a member of the White House staff team that helped to draft the U.S. National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (2003), and later went to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help form and launch the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) where he served as the lead cyber security official for the U.S. government from 2004-2006.  Before joining the White House staff, Andy served as Acting General Counsel and, before that, Chief Deputy General Counsel, at the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Earlier in his career he served as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Senior Staff Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (President John Kennedy), Special Counsel to the U.S. House Ethics Committee, and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial Committee.

Henry Llewellyn
Henry Llewellyn is an associate at Slaughter and May, specialising in European and UK competition law and has been resident in the Brussels office since 2015. Henry has advised clients including Elanco, Equinix, FMC, Google, JP Morgan, Tata Steel and Vodafone on matters ranging from merger control, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance. Henry is also the current Chair (Ad Interim) of Brussels New Generation (BNG), which is the young professionals network of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and aims to be the leading network for young international professionals in Brussels.

About the moderator

Jennifer Baker
Jennifer Baker has been a journalist in print, radio and television for nearly 20 years, specialising in EU policy and legislation particularly in the technology sector. She has worked across a wide range of media, from editing a national daily paper in Malta, to reporting on European affairs for Middle Eastern television and has a wealth of experience in navigating the political quagmire of the EU. She is passionate about the importance of rigorous journalism to society and believes ethical journalism should go hand in hand with conviction on human rights issues. She regularly features as an EU policy expert on BBC radio.

LIVE STREAMING | Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible? (May 5)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the prospect and the importance of a global consensus on non-personal data with our distinguished speakers Mr Christophe Kiener, Head of Unit, Services and Digital Trade, European Commission, Ms Helen Stylianou, Deputy Head of the Australian Mission to the EU, Mr Javier Lopez Gonzalez, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD, Mr Robert MacDougall, Head of Enterprise Public Policy, Vodafone Group and Mr Kevin Rogers, Head of Mobile Services, Panasonic.

Mr Alejandro Cainzos, Member, External digital connectivity, VP Vestager Cabinet, European Commission will hold the introductory remarks.

The debate will be moderated by Matthew Newman, EU Chief Correspondent, MLex

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak,  our event series will be held in streaming.

This event was kindly sponsored by



About the debate

Over the last decade, the question of data flows has become a primary issue of concern for businesses, governments and citizens alike, both in Europe and across the world. At the EU level, along with the GDPR and the other EU data protection rules, the entering into force of last year’s regulation aimed at fostering the free flow of non-personal data in the internal market has marked the European Union’s formal recognition of data flowing as a pre-requisite for innovation, research and a successful finalisation of the digital transformation of the economy. Furthermore, the recently released EU Data Strategy has confirmed this stance by highlighting that the increasing volume of non-personal industrial data and public data in Europe, coupled with the current technological shift in how data is stored and processed, will constitute “a potential source of innovation and growth that should be tapped”.

At a global level, in January 2019, 76 countries, along with the EU, have supported the WTO E-commerce Joint Initiative, which made conspicuous the interrelation between e-commerce, trade and data. Subsequently, during the G20 summit of last June, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe launched the so-called “Osaka Track” with the aim of creating a framework to promote cross-border data flows with enhanced protections and safeguards for intellectual property, personal information and cybersecurity. On that occasion, the Prime Minister of Japan pointed out that “we must enable the free flow of medical, industrial, traffic and other most useful, non-personal, anonymous data to see no borders” and added that “the regime we must build is one for DFFT, Data Free Flow with Trust”. The potential of the data economy lies not only in technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), smart cities and online platforms, but also in the digitalisation of more traditional industry sectors such as logistics, agriculture and manufacturing. In addition to this, there is a widespread agreement among experts on the fact that this trend is being amplified by the shift from 4G to 5G-based technologies and the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which both, in turn, will allow smart applications and autonomous systems to unlock new tools and capabilities.

Twenty-four countries, including the United States and China, along with the EU, supported the “Osaka Track”. Yet, despite the unprecedented innovation, growth and societal value linked with the digital transformation of the economy, the questions surrounding the free flow of data have generated new policy challenges for European and global leaders alike. Indeed, addressing these issues at the global level has featured quietly but steadily, across the currently uneven global landscape. While some observers have remarked that the digital economy’s foundation is in danger due to current barriers to data flows, others have highlighted the potential of fostering an open, competitive and rules-based global digital economy through the enacting of new international rules to manage the fundamental driver of today’s global economic and societal advancement. Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible?


The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #NonPersonalData

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 at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 5th of May 2020.

INVITATION | Building synergies and optimising cooperation: how far can the EU cyber capacity go? (April 29)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the upcoming set up of a European Cyber Competence Centre and its partner national network and their role to enhance the EU cyber capacity with our distinguished speakers Ms Tamara Tafra, Counsellor for Cyber Issues, Croatian EU Presidency, Mr Miguel Gonzalez-Sancho, Head of Unit, Cybersecurity Technology and Capacity Building, European Commission, Mr Rasmus Andresen MEP (Greens/EFA,DE)  and Mr Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO).

The event will be moderated by Ms Vesela Gladicheva, Senior Correspondent, MLex

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, our event series will be held in streaming.


About the debate

In the last decade, citizens, businesses and governments alike in Europe and across the globe have become increasingly dependent on digital technologies. However, along with the exponential increase of opportunities, the number, complexity and scale of cybersecurity threats and their impact on the economy and society have also grown. In addition, technological developments have de facto changed the very concept of security, as both strategic economic sectors, such as energy, finance, health and transports, and defence capacities largely rely on digital infrastructures. This trend is expected to increase with the roll out of Internet of Things (IoT), while the prospect of the shift from 4G-based to 5G-based technologies will further extend the array of opportunities and threats. For these reasons and as a result of the numerous EU initiatives aiming to foster and secure the Digital Single Market, the European Union is about to finalise, at an institutional level, the set up of a European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre, together with a Network of National Coordination Centres.

Although EU Institutions have been praised for their proactive role in maximising the benefits from digital transformation and fostering overall EU cyber capacity, several challenges lie ahead for Europe. Indeed, the general purpose behind the set up of a European Cyber Competence Centre and its partner national network is to stimulate European cybersecurity technological and industrial ecosystem that still suffers from several structural problems, such as: insufficient cooperation between cybersecurity demand and supply industries; and a lack of cooperation amongst EU Member States, research organisations, industry, and innovation communities. In fact, the ultimate aim of this legislative proposal is to ensure the optimisation of existing EU-wide knowledge and resources through cooperation to implement effective and marketable solutions. Besides the domain of cybersecurity, these should also cover other domains, including: smart data, quantum encryption, and blockchain technologies, for the overall benefit of both the private and the public sector.

Nevertheless, the European Commission itself has highlighted that the cybersecurity industry in Europe developed largely on the basis of the demand of national public sectors. Several studies have likewise emphasised that the Union is a net importer of cybersecurity products as European companies tend to develop within the boundaries of member states and, although being innovative, their operational horizon does not allow them to grow in size. As a consequence, EU cyber capacity is consistently unable to achieve a global scale. If this state of play continues, Europe will be unable to exploit its competitive edge to its best and may also risk isolating the EU market from global opportunities in terms of ensuring security, creating jobs, and fostering knowledge and skills advancement. How far can the EU cyber capacity go?


The event will commence at 6.00 PM and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

The question and answer session will be managed through sli.do #EUCyberCompetence

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.

We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 29th of April 2020.


INVITATION only | How to make Europe’s energy transition a reality with the help of smart technologies (February 19)


The European Smart Energy Solution Providers – ESMIG is delighted to invite you to an evening dinner, co-hosted by Ms Maria Carvalho MEP (EPP/PT), Mr Ville Niinistö MEP (Greens/FI) and Ms Claudia Gamon MEP (Renew/AT).

The event will be held on Wednesday, 19th of February from 18.30 to 21.30 at the European Parliament Members’ Salon, ASP 0 G salon, in Brussels and will consist of a discussion on how to make Europe’s energy transition a reality with the help of smart technologies.

Mr Thor-Sten Vertmann, Member of the Cabinet Member of Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, Mr Zeljko Krevzelj, Counsellor for Energy, Croatian Presidency of the EU and Mr Mark Van Stiphout, Deputy Head of Unit, New Energy Technologies, Innovation and Clean Coal, DG ENER, European Commission and Mr Dieter Brunner, President of ESMIG and President of the board of Directors at Iskraemeco, will be the distinguished guest speakers for the evening.

Please follow this link to download the programme of the evening.

Please note that this is an invitation only event


About the event

The question of climate and the necessity to implement a highly needed energy transition has gained further momentum in the European and international global agenda. In addition, the new President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula Von der Leyen, pledged to make a “European Green Deal to become Europe’s hallmark” and appointed Mr Frans Timmermans as Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, as well as Climate Action Commissioner.

Within this context, the “importance of integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches”, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, has emerged as a crucial question of the energy transition process and has dotted the bottom lines for an energy-generation based on demand, rather than on market developments, as well as for a regulatory framework that encourages the trend towards a digitalised, decentralised, consumer focused energy system.

In fact, this approach concentrates the attention more and more on the implementation of the existing regulatory framework and emphasises the importance of the end-users, who should be able to become both producers and consumers, namely “prosumers”, and be incentivised to take a more active part in the energy transition due to the easy management of their own data.

As a result, the European Smart Energy Solution Providers (ESMIG) has pledged to enable the consumer to proactively engage in the European energy transition by using their data to manage their consumption, produce and store their own energy according to their demands, and potentially trade with other consumers or energy providers.

To make this new energy market a reality, a clear regulatory framework and a resolute policy implementation are necessary in order to create the right market conditions and to place the consumer at the heart of the energy system.

The guarantee of the security of data provided by the consumers and how to ensure their privacy are also matters of concern as the decentralised energy distribution systems may give more opportunity for cyber attacks, if they are not carefully designed and equipped to prevent them.

The event will bring together a cross-national and cross-party group of MEPs, Policy Advisors and Professionals interested in the energy transition towards a digitalised, decentralised, consumer focused energy system integrating renewables, as well as in the implementation of the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package.

The event will commence with a welcome drink followed by the introductory and keynote speeches at 18.30 pm, and a discussion at 20.00 pm.

During the dinner there will be the opportunity for questions and answers.

We look forward to seeing you at 18.30 pm on the 19th of February 2020 at the European Parliament Members’ Salon, ASP 0 G salon, Brussels.

INVITATION | SPECIAL EVENT | Digitalisation of SMEs: How to make it possible? (October 16)

Date:   16 October 2019
Welcome drink:  18h00
Event:    18h30-20h00
Cocktail reception:  20h00-21h00

The Office, Rue d’Arlon 80, 1040, Brussels



Patricia Hoogstraaten, Vice President, EuroCommerce and General Manager, Vakcentrum, responsible for SMEs


Petri Peltonen, Finnish SME Envoy



Ivan Štefanec, Member of the European Parliament and President of SME Europe

Jasmin Battista, DG CNECT, European Commission

Katerina Borunska, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

Birgit Winn, Head of Digital Projects, Hospitality.Digital, METRO AG

Alexandre Nilo Fonseca, President of ACEPI (Portuguese Digital Economy Association)

Mira-Maria Kontkanen, Advisor, Federation of Finnish Enterprises

Marta Mikliszanska, Head of Public Affairs, Allegro


Michael Acton, MLex Market Insights



Henrik Reimer, Head of Office, SME Connect


This event was organised by

In cooperation with

About the debate

The digital transformation of the economy is underway, offering new market opportunities in Europe and all over the world. This technological shift is fostering both innovation and exchanges across EU borders, as well as the opportunity to secure a share in the emerging markets for current and future products and services.

Within this context, micro as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are of strategic importance as they create two thirds of jobs in the private sector and contribute to more than half of the total added value generated by businesses in the EU. As the latest Annual Report on European SMEs states, the re-emergence of SMEs has continued over recent years, as this sector made a significant contribution to the recovery and subsequent expansion of the EU economy by accounting for 47% of the value added generated by the non-financial business sector between 2008 and 2017, and for 52% of the cumulative increase in employment in the sector.

However, SMEs are not taking full advantage of digitalisation offered by advanced technologies and innovative business models yet. They are faced with several challenges, from market access, to fully benefitting from public and private finance, the need to scale up, as well as to handle both data management and cyber threats. It is therefore crucial that the regulatory framework, SME instruments and programmes, such as the Digital Europe funding programme of the European Commission, ensure fair access to the single market and stimulate innovation. In addition, strengthening the regulatory framework of the Digital Single Market for SMEs should also include a constant reflection on existing policies and the need to further adapt them to the challenges of a fast-changing and increasingly competitive global environment.


The event will commence with a welcome drink at 18.00, followed by a panel debate at 18.30. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you at 18.00 on Wednesday, the 16th of October at the premises of The Office, rue d’Arlon, 80, Brussels.

The debate will be followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.


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INVITATION | Towards global consensus on cybersecurity requirements (October 8)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the prospect of a global consensus on cybersecurity requirements with our distinguished speakers Ms Maija Rönkä, Counsellor, Telecommunications, Permanent Representation of Finland – Finnish Presidency of the EU, Mr Karel Lanoo, Chief Executive Officer, CEPS,   Dr. Bart Preneel, Professor, KU Leuven and Dr. Thomas Voland, Partner, Clifford Chance.

The event will be moderated by Magnus Franklin, Director, Teneo cabinet DN and former Chief Correspondent at MLex.

This event was organised within the framework of the

European Cyber Security Month

About the debate

Cyber security of network and information systems is a global concern and is crucial for ensuring the smooth running of the economy, the efficiency of the public administration, and the well-being of citizens. These questions have been highlighted in Europe, with the European Union Institutions acknowledging the importance of network technologies as essential infrastructure. Within this context, the issue of cybersecurity gained the global spotlight again during the G20 meetings in June 2019, when the Osaka Track” framework for free cross-border data flow was launched.

Already introduced at this year’s World Economic Forum by the Japanese President, Sinzo Abe, the “Osaka Track” aims at the standardisation of rules in order to facilitate data flows across the world, while ensuring better protection in cybersecurity and privacy. However, views on cyber security and privacy protection vary across the globe. Several countries and trading blocs, such as the EU, are concerned about data sharing and how best to ensure resilience and security of network and information systems.

Although issues raised over 4G mobile networks were essentially commercial, ongoing discussions on 5G technologies have been highly politicised in Europe and at the global level as underlined by several commentators. This significantly diverts attention from raising the overall level of cyber security in the EU. The European Parliament Think Tank stated: “it is vital for the EU to preserve its strategic autonomy against the backdrop of geopolitical pressure”, while confirming that “security risks have arisen from a combination of technical and political concerns”. How do we drive towards global consensus on cybersecurity requirements?

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 7.00pm, followed by a panel debate at 07.30pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you at 07.00pm on Tuesday, 8th of October at the premises of The Office, rue d’Arlon, 80, Brussels.

The debate will be followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.


[FR] INVITATION | Quels défis pour le multilinguisme dans l’Union européenne d’aujourd’hui? (26 septembre)






Nous sommes heureux de vous inviter au débat organisé par PubAffairs Bruxelles et la Représentation Permanente de l’Organisation Internationale de la  Francophonie (OIF) auprès de l’UE sur les défis pour le multilinguisme dans l’Union européenne d’aujourd’hui avec nos orateurs M.me Anna-Maria Stan, Chargée politique, Ecoles et Multilinguisme, Commission européenne – DG EAC, M.me Monica Semedo, Députée européenne (Renew Europe/FR), Commission de l’emploi et des affaires sociales – EMPL, Prof. Jacques De Decker, Secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique et M.me Anna Sole-Mena, Auteur de « Multilingues dès le berceau.  Éduquer les enfants en plusieurs langues ».

M. Stephane Lopez, Ambassadeur, Représentant de l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie auprès de l’UE, tiendra un discours d’introduction.

Le débat sera modéré par M. Renaud Denuit, écrivain et éditorialiste pour Agence Europe


À propos du débat

La diversité linguistique est une des caractéristiques intrinsèques de l’identité et de l’histoire européenne et représente simultanément une richesse et un paradoxe. En effet, s’il existe bien une culture européenne, il n’existe pas une langue européenne, mais des langues européennes. Dans l’Europe d’aujourd’hui, outre les 24 langues officielles, on compte plusieurs langues régionales, sans compter les langues parlées par les citoyens originaires d’autres continents.Le Conseil de l’Europe a institué une journée européenne du multilinguisme en 2001 afin de mettre en avant la diversité linguistique de l’Europe, de promouvoir l’apprentissage des langues quelle que soit l’étendue de leur usage, et de favoriser la participation à la citoyenneté démocratique à travers les langues.

Ancré dans la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l’UE et réaffirmé dans le Traité de Lisbonne, le multilinguisme en tant que composante essentielle de la culture européenne, et du dialogue interculturel dans l’UE trouve une application dans le droit qui est donné à tout citoyen de communiquer avec les institutions dans l’une des 24 langues officielles de l’UE et dans le devoir des institutions européennes de répondre dans la même langue. Mais, force est de constater qu’il y a, ne serait-ce que sur les sites internet des institutions ou sur les affiches géantes des campagnes de communication placardées sur les façades des bâtiments, une tendance lourde à l’uniformisation anglophone. Les statistiques des écrits en première langue vont aussi dans ce sens. Le multilinguisme est par ailleurs l’un des buts les plus ambitieux de l’UE, qui a établi que « la capacité de communiquer dans une langue autre que sa langue maternelle doit être reconnue comme une des compétences clés que les citoyens devraient chercher à acquérir ». Les opportunités d’étudier, de travailler et de voyager dans un autre pays européen se sont multipliées, très au-delà des programmes ERASMUS et ERASMUS+.

Cependant, la réalisation de ces ambitions en matière de multilinguisme et d’inter-culturalisme rencontre bien des obstacles, relatifs à l’éducation, à l’apprentissage des langues et aux dynamiques sociétales contemporaines. Néanmoins, l’aspiration de l’UE à être unie dans la diversité sous-tend le projet européen tout entier et la coexistence harmonieuse de nombreuses langues en Europe en est la preuve concrète.Dans ce contexte, la question du multilinguisme en tant que pont entre les peuples, opportunité d’accès à des expériences de croissance personnelle et professionnelle, ainsi que comme moyen pour mieux comprendre d’autres cultures, est une question qui, même si très actuelle, reste souvent méconnue.

Quels défis pour le multilinguisme dans l’Union européenne d’aujourd’hui?

L’évènement commencera avec une réception à 19h00, suivie par un débat à 19h30.

Nous espérons avoir le plaisir de vous voir le 26 septembre à 19h00 dans les locaux de The Office, rue d’Arlon, 80, Bruxelles.

Cet évènement sera régi par la règle de Chatham House. Les participants sont libres d’utiliser les informations reçues, mais ni l’identité ni l’affiliation des participants ne peuvent être révélées. Pour cette raison, sauf autorisation expresse de PubAffairs Bruxelles, le tournage et/ou l’enregistrement des débats est strictement interdit.

A la fin de chaque débat, les participants sont invités à continuer la discussion autour d’un verre dans une ambiance conviviale.