SMART CONSUMERS: How digitalization may benefit B2C relationship

Wednesday 21 June 2017 ore 14:30 - 17:30

European Economic and Social Committee - Room TRE 7701

Nell’ambito delle iniziative europee di I-Com, l’iniziativa Smart Consumers ha avuto come obiettivo principale quello di promuovere il dibattito sulla rivoluzione che Internet e i servizi digitali sta apportando alla relazione tra i consumatori e le imprese nel contesto europeo. Ci si è focalizzati principalmente sui benefits dell’economia digitale e i suoi possibili effetti su un’ampia gamma di strumenti in mano ai consumatori.

L’iniziativa si è conclusa con un conferenza pubblica/dibattito dove per l’occasione è stato presentato e discusso il nuovo paper I-Com che ha visto la partecipazione di speaker qualificati come ufficiali della Commissione Europea, MEP, imprese e associazioni di consumatori.

L’evento SMART CONSUMERS – How digitalization may benefit B2C relationship si è svolto a Brussels il 21 giugno dalle 14:30 alle 17:30 al Comitato economico e sociale europeo – Room TRE 7701 (Trèves Building, 7th floor, 74 rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels), con il supporto e la partecipazione della Presidenza del TEN Group, responsabile delle questioni digitali.

La presentazione dello studio I-Com è stata seguita da un panel, composto da figure istituzionali e stakeholders e da una sessione di Q&A che ha preceduto gli interventi conclusivi.

Il paper si è focalizzato sulla penetrazione dei servizi digitali nei diversi settori dell’economia Europea, così come sulla nuova relazione digitale tra i consumatori e i fornitori di servizi nei principali retail markets, con un focus particolare su energia e mobilità. Sono state inoltre trattate diverse questioni normative.

I-Com Presentation
Paper I-Com
Comunicato stampa

In the framework of I-Com EU activities, the initiative Smart Consumers aimed at fostering the debate on the revolution that internet and digital services are bringing to the relationship between consumers and companies in the European context. The main focus was on the benefits of digital economy and its positive effects on a wider array of tools effectively empowering consumers.

The initiative consisted in a public event shaped as a conference-debate where a new paper realized by I-Com was presented and discussed with qualified speakers such as European Commission officials, MEPs, companies and consumers associations.

The event SMART CONSUMERS – How digitalization may benefit B2C relationship took place in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21st from 14:30 to 17:30 at the European Economic and Social Committee – Room TRE 7701 (Trèves Building, 7th floor, 74 rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels), with the support and the participation of the Presidency of the TEN Group, responsible for digital issues.

After the presentation of the I-Com paper, a panel, including institutional and non-Institutional stakeholders, and a Q&A session followed before concluding remarks.

The paper focused on the penetration of digital services in different sectors of European economy, as well as on the new digital relationship between consumers and services providers in main retail markets, with a focus on energy and mobility. Regulatory issues were also addressed in some specific chapters and through the debate.

I-Com Presentation
Paper I-Com
Press release

Speakers confirmed:


Antoine AUBERT
Director Public Policy, EU Strategy, UBER


Antoine Aubert joined Uber in April 2015 as Director Public Policy, EU Strategy. Antoine joined after spending 7 years at Google, leading its policy team in Brussels. Previously he was Policy Manager in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Information Society and Media.  He was dealing with content and Intellectual Property Right policies in the Unit responsible for the EU policy framework for the information society and media – the i2010 Strategy. Antoine first job in Brussels, was as Legal Counsel for the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, where he was responsible for copyright, media regulation and child protection issues. Antoine holds a post graduate Degree in Intellectual property law (DEA “Droit des Créations Immatérielles”), from the French University of Montpellier.

Head of Sector, E-Commerce, DSM Directorate, DG CONNECT, European Commission


Jasmin Battista is a member of cabinet of the European Commissionner and Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the digital single market. She was before a case officer in the Directorate for Competition of the European Commission and a Référendaire at the Court of First Instance (now General Court) in Luxembourg. Before joining the Court of First Instance, she worked for 3 years (2002-2005) as a case handler (predominantly in the field of the EU State aid law) for the DG Competition. This job was preceded by an associate’s position and a traineeship at two law offices – Coudert Brothers and O’Connor & Company respectively.

Head of Digital Area, I-Com


Compagnucci has a degree in law from University of Tor Vergata and a master degree in “Antitrust and Markets Regulation” from the same university. In 2010 she got the licence to practice law. She worked for the Authorities’ Juridical Service for the Communication Guarantees and then for the E.ON. Directorate for Regulatory Affairs. She worked with the Caravita di Toritto & Associatilegal firm as well handling countentious’ audio-visual issues. She now practices the legal profession.

Stefano da EMPOLI
President I-Com


Stefano is the president and principal policy analyst at I-Com, the Institute for Competitiveness, a think tank based in Rome and Brussels which he founded in 2005. He currently teaches political economy and economic policy at the Roma Tre University, in Rome. Stefano is a graduate of the Coripe Consortium for Research and Continuing Education in Economics (Piemonte, Italy), where he received a Masters Degree in Economics and the George Mason University (Virginia, USA) where he obtained his MA (Economics).


Stefano has served in key advisory or expert positions on a number of taskforces or scientific boards, including:

  • Director at the Observatory on Energy Policy of the Einaudi Foundation;
  • Expert Member of the Technical Secretariat for the Protection of Nature in the Italian Ministry of the Environment;
  • Expert Member of the Eurelectric Task Force on Investment;
  • Scientific Director of the La Scossa Association;
  • Board member of the European Foundation EYPROM;
  • Vice President of the Health City Institute.

He has authored numerous publications on economic themes, particularly with regard to policy and regulation of the energy market and infrastructural services and the governance of the institutions, and his opinions and analysis has featured in major Italian newspapers including Il Foglio, il Sole24 Ore, Huffington Post Italia and more. Stefano has also undertaken study and consultancy assignments for Italian and international public institutions, including the Senate of the Republic, the Department for EU policies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the OECD, leading Italian and foreign companies and non-profit organizations.


Deputy Director General, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission


Graduated in Law (MA) at the University of Valladolid in 1977, and Sociology and Political Science (MA) at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (section of international studies) in 1979. Obtained his PHD degree at the University of Valladolid in 1984. After graduation serves in different positions at the University of Valladolid, since 1986 he is a professor of public international law and international relations. Between 1988 and 2005 he has been a Collaborateur Scientifique at the Institut d’Etudes Européennes de l´Université Libre de Bruxelles, and a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University San Pablo-CEU between 2010 and 2014. Joined the staff of the European Commission in 1986 and served in several positions, such as the Director for Civil Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship between 2004 and 2008, Director of Judicial Cooperation and acting Director of Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in 2008/9, Director of Criminal Justice, later Acting Director General, DG Justice and Consumers in 2015, while today he is Deputy Director General, DG Justice and Consumers. He is a Founding Member of the Spanish Association for the Study of European Law, official branch of FIDE (1982), member of the Spanish Association of International Law and International Relations since 1979 and the Madrid Bar Association since 2010. Author of several articles and books on European law and public international law.

Head of EU Public Affairs and Regulation, Enel


Nicola is in charge of European Public Affairs and Regulation for Enel, working closely with European institutions and stakeholders on the transformation of energy markets. Before moving to Brussels he spent 10 years of his career in Latin America, where he acted as Area Manager for Mexico and Central America leading the growth of the company in the region through significant investments in renewable projects. Prior to joining Enel, Mr. Melchiotti worked for McKinsey as management consultant. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and Masters in Engineering from Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité (France) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Antonio LONGO
President of Permanent Study Group on Digital Agenda, EESC


President of the Movimento Difesa del Cittadino (Citizens’ Rights Movement) – Member of CNCU (National Council for Consumers and Users). Sections: Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption and Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society.

Kostantinos STAMATIS
Policy Officer Smart Grid and Retail Energy Market Technology Development, DG ENERGY, European Commission


Konstantinos Stamatis currently works at the European Commission in DG Energy as a policy officer, dealing with retail energy markets and smart grids. He joined the European Commission in 2012, while previously he worked for eight years in the Greek energy regulator on gas and electricity markets related topics. He also spent several years in the financial sector in the areas of corporate finance and investment banking. He holds a BSc in Economics and a MA in Banking and Finance from Middlesex University in London.

Expert Digital Consumption, Test-Achats (consumers’ association, BEUC Member)


Guy Van Peel (°1961) has a degree in computer and intellectual property law from Leuven University in Belgium. Prior to joining Test-Aankoop in 2015 he worked for many years in digital B2B publishing. Guy’s professional experience includes product- and project management roles for leading Belgian, Spanish and Italian legal and tax publishing brands like Kluwer (B), La Ley (E) and Ipsoa (I). He now works as “digital consumption expert” at Test-Aankoop and Euroconsumers, where he has managed projects to create new print and online services for consumers. More recently Guy has been focusing on the assessment of consumer benefits and potential detriments of smart (connected) devices, including a security and privacy testing framework, collaborating with international consumer organizations like BEUC, ICRT and ANEC. Guy also is Euroconsumers’ representative in the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI).

MEP, Group of the European People’s Party, ITRE/TRAN Committee


Virkkunen is a Finnish politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Finland. She is a member of the National Coalition Party, part of the European People’s Party. She was Minister of Public Administration and Local Government from 22 June 2011 to 24 June 2014. In parliament, Virkkunen has been serving on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy since 2014. She is the rapporteur on digital platforms. In addition to her committee assignments, Virkkunen is a member of the parliament’s delegation for relations with South Africa.

Christian WAGNER
Public Policy and Government Relations Analyst, GOOGLE


Christian Wagner joined Google’s EU governmental relations team in Brussels in 2015. Among others, he leads their work on the consumer protection and economic policy with a focus on mobile. Prior to joining Google, Christian lead policy work of TechAmerica Europe (later CompTIA). In this role, he advocated on behalf of leading global tech corporations on dossiers like data protection, cybersecurity, and digital trade. Christian previously worked for a Member of the European Parliament. Christian is a Co-Founder of the Young Professionals in Digital Policy (YPDP) Network in Brussels and a graduate of University of Edinburgh School of Law in Innovation, Technology and the Law.