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Building the European Data Economy: A Transatlantic Perspective

9 Dec 2016
Digital Economy

On Thursday, 8 December 2016, AmCham EU organised its fourth annual Transatlantic Digital Economy Conference.

This year’s event, entitled “Building the European Data Economy: A Transatlantic Perspective”, welcomed about 120 participants and featured Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, as keynote speaker, followed by three panel discussions respectively discussing infrastructure, data flows and transatlantic cooperation.

Commissioner Oettinger highlighted the importance of the transatlantic relationship for the digital economy. The cooperation needs to be strengthened, while Europe needs to speed up the creation of a Digital Single Market. This includes first off a speedy adoption of the European Electronic Communication Code to provide all businesses and households with robust and high-speed internet connection. The DSM shall create a level-playing field for all actors, including by tackling issues such as ownership of data.  Guaranteeing trust and security, including through the implementation of the Cybersecurity Partnership, and the upcoming review of the Privacy Shield will also be crucial.

The subsequent panel discussions focused on two key DSM initiatives for the data-driven economy. The first panel discussed the recent Commission’s proposal for reviewing the telecom markets rules. Participants stressed their support for this proposal, while calling for smart regulation boosting investment and enabling ever faster innovation cycles. In particular, speakers stressed that a sensible approach needs to be found for new communications services.

The second panel explored data issues in relation to the Commission’s January data package. Free data flows within the EU are key for the emergence of data-driven products, which rely on cross-border technologies. They are also a pre-condition for global data flows.  The question for a need for an EU regulatory framework for solving emerging issues such as access, IOT liability, machine to machine contracting remains open. Clear concerns were expressed around adverse impacts on Europe’s leadership in Industry 4.0.

The event concluded with a high-level panel discussion between Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the EU Adam Shub, and Maltese Deputy Permanent Representative Neil Kerr on the political outlook for digital policy and transatlantic cooperation, including topics such as Brexit, the new U.S. administration, the Maltese Presidency and the Privacy Shield.

You can see photos and read Commissioner Oettinger's speech from the event here.



Opening remarks: Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU

Keynote: Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society


Panel I: Building the Infrastructure for the EU Gigabit Society

Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament

Anna Krzyzanowska, Head of Unit Investments in High-Capacity Networks, DG Connect, European


Pascal Rogard, Attaché for Telecommunications and Information Society, Permanent

Representation of France to the EU

Kevin Martin, Vice-President for Global and Mobile Access Policy, Facebook

Karim Lesina, Vice-President for International External A airs EU, Caribbean, Central and Latin

America and Trans-Atlantic Relations, AT&T

Moderator: Pastora Valero, Vice-President, Public Policy and Government Affairs, EMEA, Cisco, and Chair of the Digital Economy Committee, AmCham EU


Panel II: Data transforming the Transatlantic Economy

Eva Paunova, Member of the European Parliament

Dr. Dirk Staudenmayer, Head of Unit for Contract Law, DG Justice, European Commission

Jaana Sahk, Counsellor for Information Society, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU

Paolo Temporiti, Regional Managing Director (Italy, MEA) & Head of Strategic Sales (EMEA), First Data

Dr. Wolfgang Dierker, Director Government Affairs & Policy, GE Germany & Austria, GE Digital Europe

Moderator: Christoph Luykx, Director, Government Relations EMEA, CA Technologies, and Vice- Chair of the Digital Economy Committee, AmCham EU


Panel III: A view from both sides of the Atlantic

Neil Kerr, Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU of Malta

Adam Shub, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Mission to the EU

Moderator: Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU