Digital Services Act Conference Brussels Belgium

Event Overview

Since the Electronic Commerce Directive was adopted in 2000, the digital space has significantly evolved with the emergence of social media platforms, OTT and sharing-economy players as well as with the convergence of media consumption, and the explosion of user-generated content. Concerns about developments in the digital economy, including the rapid proliferation of online hate speech and disinformation, have spurred calls for a revision of the current rules, where it is argued self-regulation is not having the necessary impact. In this context the European Commission is expected to launch a review of the existing E-Commerce Directive through a proposed Digital Services Act, which would “upgrade our liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products, and complete our Digital Single Market.”

This Forum Europe conference will discuss the objectives and potential provisions of any proposed Digital Services Act, addressing issues relating to liability, content moderation and regulatory oversight of intermediary service providers. It will assess what is required to create conditions that foster fair competition for digital platforms and the media sector to thrive, and to safeguard an open and safe online space, ensuring the Internet continues to be a key driver for innovation, economic growth, democratic discourse and social progress.

Speakers

Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager

Executive Vice President, A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

European Commission

Alex Agius Saliba

ALEx AGIUS SALIBA

MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democracts

European Parliament

Daniel Braun

DANIEL BRAUN

Deputy Head of Cabinet, Věra Jourová, Values and Transparency

European Commission

Eva Maydell, MEP

Eva Maydell

MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)

European Parliament

Andreas Schwab, MEP

ANDREAS SCHWAB

MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)

European Parliament

Prabhat Agarwal

Prabhat Agarwal

Acting Head of Unit, "E-Commerce and Platforms", DG CONNECT

European Commission

Javier Espinoza

Javier Espinoza

EU Correspondent

Financial Times

Serge Abiteboul

Serge Abiteboul

Board Member

Arcep

Jason Oxman

Jason Oxman

Chairman and CEO

ITI

Michelle Gibbons

Michelle Gibbons

Director General

AIM - European Brands Association

Natalia Drozdiak

Natalia Drozdiak

European Technology Reporter

Bloomberg

Siada El Ramly

Siada El Ramly

Director General

EDiMA

Albert Liu

Albert Liu

Vice President & Deputy General Counsel

Alibaba Group

Daniel Matray

Daniel Matray

Head of App Store and Apple Media Services

Apple

Michael Koenig 240_240

Michael König

Deputy Head of Unit, Retail and Online Services, DG GROW

European Commission

Frédéric Donck

Frédéric Donck

Regional Vice President - Europe

Internet Society

Paul Adamson

Paul Adamson

Chairman

Forum Europe

Founder

Encompass

Alexandre de Streel

Alexandre de Streel

Joint Academic Director

CERRE

Professor of European Law

Université de Namur

Jan Penfrat

Jan Penfrat

Senior Policy Advisor

EDRi

Christophe Leclercq

Christophe Leclercq

Chairman

Fondation EURACTIV

Founder

EURACTIV Media BV

Michael Menz

Michael Menz

General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Corporate Governance

Zalando SE

Agenda

Event Day
2020-03-24
08:30 - 09:00
Registration and Coffee
09:00 - 09:20
Keynote Speech
Keynote Speech image
Margrethe Vestager
Executive Vice President, European Commission, A Europe Fit For The Digital Age
09:20 - 09:40
Interview and Q&A: Margrethe Vestager, with Paul Adamson, Chairman of Forum Europe
Interview and Q&A: Margrethe Vestager, with Paul Adamson, Chairman of Forum Europe image
Margrethe Vestager
Executive Vice President, European Commission, A Europe Fit For The Digital Age
Interview and Q&A: Margrethe Vestager, with Paul Adamson, Chairman of Forum Europe image
Paul Adamson
Chairman, Forum Europe
09:40 - 09:55
Keynote Speech
Keynote Speech image
Daniel Matray
Head of App Store and Apple Media Services Europe, Apple
09:55 - 10:15
Keynote Speech
Keynote Speech image
Alexandre de Streel
Joint Academic Director, CERRE & Professor of European Law, Université de Namur
10:15 - 11:15
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These

Setting the scene for the rest of the day, this session will explore the extent to which new rules governing the responsibilities of online platforms are needed and will discuss what the best policy and regulatory instruments may be so that the new rules remain fit-for-purpose in the future.

  • Why is new legislation needed? What are the shortcomings of existing rules?
  • What should the DSA add to these existing regulations?
  • How might the new rules interact with sectorial policies that have already been adopted to tackle specific issues including terrorist content online, copyright infringements, hate speech or child sexual abuse material?
  • What should regulatory oversight look like? Should regulation be EU-wide, or should more power be allocated to existing regulatory structures in specific states? How could any regulation improve on the current self-regulation model?
  • What positive impacts could such changes, including possible amendments to current data portability rules, have on the tech sector in Europe and how can it be ensured that sufficient support will be provided to SMEs and start-ups to face the possible challenges that such provisions could have on their business models?
  • How can cooperation between the private sector and public authorities for the detection and removal of illegal activities and material be enhanced?
  • To what extent will the new rules reinforce the EU’s global position as a place enabling open access to information and content via a thriving and safe online space where copyright and fundamental rights are respected?
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Javier Espinoza
EU Correspondent, Financial Times
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Alex Agius Saliba
MEP
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Prabhat Agarwal
Acting Head of Unit, E-Commerce and Platforms, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Siada El Ramly
Director General, EDiMA
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Albert Liu
Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Alibaba Group
Session 1: Modern Rules for the Digital Age: Assessing Objectives and the Policy Instruments to Achieve These image
Frédéric Donck
Regional Vice-President, Europe, Internet Society.
11:15 - 11:30
Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:30
Session 2: Liability & Online Content – Defining Responsibilities

An expected provision of the Digital Services Act would oblige online platforms to have a “duty of care” for content that is both hosted and shared on their sites. In the past years, policymakers have called for online platforms to take a more proactive role in addressing illegal content, through initiatives such as the ‘Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online’. It is argued however that voluntary self-regulation hasn’t proved to be efficient, with platforms increasingly being criticised for failing at tackling illegal content, hate speech, activities infringing copyright rules or the spreading of disinformation. This has led to calls for clarified rules regarding platform responsibilities and to question the liability exemptions that platforms have been enjoying under the e-Commerce Directive, known as ‘Safe Harbour’. In an era where online content is increasingly user-generated, this session will discuss the extent to which tech companies can be incentivised to be more proactive in removing illegal material without undermining freedom of expression, hindering innovation and worsening the user experience.

  • How could provisions for the removal of illegal content through mandatory and transparent notice-and-action rules concretely work in practice of any proposed regulation?
  • What can be learnt from the member states that have already designed national laws addressing illegal content and hate speech? Can harmonised EU-wide rules be created on their basis?
  • How will monitoring online content work in practice? What role will technologies such as Artificial Intelligence play in ensuring transparency and accountability, and what are the risk associated with automated filtering technologies?
  • Is there an EU-wide definition for what is deemed ‘illegal content’? How will the new rules address ‘harmful content’ that is not necessarily illegal, and how can it be ensured that attempts at regulating such content does not put our rights and freedom at risk? How can safeguards be utilised to avoid the wrongful removal or blocking of legitimate speech and content?
Session 2: Liability & Online Content – Defining Responsibilities image
Natalia Drozdiak
European Technology Report, Bloomberg
Session 2: Liability & Online Content – Defining Responsibilities image
Jason Oxman
President and CEO, ITI
Session 2: Liability & Online Content – Defining Responsibilities image
Serge Abiteboul
Board Member, Arcep
Session 2: Liability & Online Content – Defining Responsibilities image
Jan Penfrat
Senior Policy Advisor, EDRi
12:30 - 13:45
Lunch
13:45 - 14:05
Keynote Speech
14:05 - 15:05
Session 3: E-Commerce and Liability Exemptions – Working to Tackle Counterfeit, Illicit and Unsafe Goods Online

The E-Commerce Directive (ECD) sought to deal with issues of liability relating to any illegal activity of users of internet platforms. When the ECD was originally drawn up, much of this centred on goods sold online. While hate speech and illegal content online is subject to much focus from policymakers and the media, counterfeit and unsafe products sold on internet platforms continue to be a priority area for e-commerce players, brands and consumer advocates amongst others. This session will look at how the DSA will seek to address and update policy on the relationships between platforms, their users and consumers, brands and manufacturers, focusing on liability, competition, trust and cross-sectoral cooperation.

  • How should the DSA update the longstanding liability exemptions for e-commerce and other platforms?
  • Is enough being done by and between industry and platforms, particularly with regards to data sharing, in order to tackle unsafe and counterfeit goods?
  • Can solutions such as artificial intelligence really offer the depth of protection required?
  • Are the variety of self-regulatory programmes initiated by the platforms to tackle counterfeit goods and intellectual property infringements online fit for purpose, and what might be improved under any new DSA rules?
  • What is the future role for law enforcement, in particular agencies such as Europol, in the area of e-commerce, where cross-sector, cross-border cooperation is necessary to tackle the sale of illicit goods and services?
Session 3: E-Commerce and Liability Exemptions – Working to Tackle Counterfeit, Illicit and Unsafe Goods Online image
Andreas Schwab
MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
Session 3: E-Commerce and Liability Exemptions – Working to Tackle Counterfeit, Illicit and Unsafe Goods Online image
Michael König
Deputy Head of Unit, Retail and Online Services, DG GROW, European Commission
Session 3: E-Commerce and Liability Exemptions – Working to Tackle Counterfeit, Illicit and Unsafe Goods Online image
Michelle Gibbons
Director-General, AIM - European Brands Association
Session 3: E-Commerce and Liability Exemptions – Working to Tackle Counterfeit, Illicit and Unsafe Goods Online image
Michael Menz
General Counsel & Senior Vice President for Corporate Governance, Zalando SE
15:05 - 15:30
Coffee Break
15:30 - 16:30
Session 4: Media, Fake News, Political Advertising and the DSA: Ensuring Trust and Safeguarding Democracy Online

Availability and access to trusted information is at the core of the functioning of our democracies. In recent years however, the increasing use of online platforms for the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ and ideological ideas in rapid, repetitive patterns, have impacted the integrity of the political discourse, leading the European Commission to establish a ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’ to address these issues. Following the publication of the first annual self-assessment reports by the signatories of the Code last October, this session will debate the main findings, explore the concerns that remain to be addressed and will discuss the role that the Digital Services Act provisions can have in creating the right conditions to improve the integrity of media services.

  • How might the DSA improve the fight against disinformation and against rogue actors seeking to influence political discourse?
  • To what extent might any proposed rules encourage further transparency, particularly surrounding contentious issues such as political and issue-based advertising on online platforms?
  • How might the DSA interact with existing provisions of the Democracy Action Plan, the AVMSD and various other codes of practice currently in operation? Will it be enough to preserve media plurality?
  • How can the DSA build on the ECD with regards competition in the media sector?
  • What role can technological innovation and algorithms play in improving the integrity of services by promoting relevant, quality and appropriate content?
Session 4: Media, Fake News, Political Advertising and the DSA: Ensuring Trust and Safeguarding Democracy Online image
Daniel Braun
Deputy Head of Cabinet, Věra Jourová, Values and Transparency, EU Commission
Session 4: Media, Fake News, Political Advertising and the DSA: Ensuring Trust and Safeguarding Democracy Online image
Eva Maydell
MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
Session 4: Media, Fake News, Political Advertising and the DSA: Ensuring Trust and Safeguarding Democracy Online image
Christophe Leclercq
Chairman, Fondation EURACTIV & Founder, EURACTIV Media Network BV
16:30
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Sponsors and Partners

Event Organiser
Forum Europe
www.forum-europe.com
Forum Europe events are where people and policy meet. We have been organising policy conferences in Brussels and around Europe since 1989. Our events provide unique insights from the people behind the policy and those seeking to influence it. Our expert team develop conference programmes with impact and provide first-class event logistics.Forum Europe is more than an event management and conference production specialist. With offices in Brussels and the UK, we operate across Europe and globally. Through our international arm, Forum Global, our events cover five continents, and engage policymakers and industry at national and regional levels around the world. Our mission is to drill down to the issues that matter, creating policy events that are ahead of the curve, facilitating frank and open debate on some of the most pressing issues facing Europe and the world today.
Platinum Sponsor
AIM - European Brands Assocation
www.aim.be
AIM (Association des Industries de Marque) is the European Brands Association, representing manufacturers of branded consumer goods in Europe on key issues which affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands.AIM represents 2500 businesses ranging from SMEs to multinationals, directly or indirectly through its corporate and national association members. Our members are united in their purpose to build strong, evocative brands, placing the consumer at the heart of everything they do.AIM’s mission is to create for brands an environment of fair and vigorous competition, fostering innovation and guaranteeing maximum value to consumers now and for generations to come. Building sustainable and trusted brands drives investment, creativity and innovation to meet and exceed consumer expectations. AIM’s corporate members alone invested €14 billion in Research & Development in Europe in 2014, placing them fifth in the EU ranking of R&D investment.
Platinum Sponsor
ITI: Information Technology Industry Council
www.itic.org
ITI is the global association of the tech industry, and advocates for public policies that promote innovation, open markets, and enable the transformational economic, societal, and commercial opportunities that our companies are creating worldwide. Our members represent the entire spectrum of technology: from internet companies, to hardware and networking equipment manufacturers, to software developers. ITI’s diverse membership and expert staff provide a broad perspective and intelligent insight in confronting the implications and opportunities of policy activities around the world. Visit http://www.itic.org/ to learn more. Follow us on Twitter for the latest ITI news.
Platinum Sponsor
EDiMA
www.edima-eu.org
EDiMA follows and is involved with regulatory and policy developments affecting the online sector, specifically those which currently relate to content online, intellectual property rights in the online environment, the liability regime for Internet intermediaries and consumer rights issues related to e-Commerce, privacy and security online.Our mission is to contribute to policy and regulatory developments towards the realisation of a EU digital single market that ensures European consumers are provided with the benefits offered by the Internet sector. Legislative decisions and developments may impose substantial technical and financial burdens on new media companies, and may adversely affect the growth of the market. EDiMA therefore acts in order to influence the resolution of these issues in a way that preserves the interests of its members and the Internet community.EDiMA maintains an ongoing dialogue with relevant EU officials, including those within the European Commission, Member State Permanent Representations, and the European Parliament. Currently, this includes discussions and engagement on such issues as the EU copyright review, audiovisual media services, the contracts for the supply of digital content or ePrivacy.
Media Partner
Encompass
www.encompass-europe.com
Encompass is an online magazine delivering comment, opinion and analysis on the affairs of the European Union and Europe’s place in the world. We aim to demystify the complexity of the EU and to be lively and provocative. Encompass is also a space with podcast interviews and, through Encompass Live, political and cultural events. As our name indicates we will strive to be open and accessible.

Costs

  • Standard €175.00

    Applies to: Corporate Organisations

  • Reduced €140.00

    Applies to: NGO/Not for Profit, Academic/ Student, National Government/ Regulator, Diplomatic Mission to the EU

  • Complimentary FREE

    Applies to: European Commission/ Parliament/ Council, EU Permanent Representations, Journalist/Press

* Please note that fees do not include Belgian VAT @ 21%, and this amount will be added to the total price when you are invoiced.

Group Discounts

Group discounts are available when registering multiple delegates on the same booking, as shown below.

Number of
delegates
Group
discount
3 – 510%
6 - 820%
9+25%

Venue

Renaissance Hotel, Brussels

Rue du Parnasse 19
Brussels, 1050 Belgium

Renaissance Brussels Hotel

Rue du Parnasse 19
Brussels, 1050 Belgium

Get directions from Google Maps here.

Contact

For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact the team.

dsaconference@forum-europe.com

Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 077