The Multisided Path to European Digital Sovereignty and the future of EU-US Relations

Tuesday 30 November 2021, 14:30 - 17:00

The Office

I-Com, the Institute for Competitiveness, on behalf of PromethEUs organised the EU Conference “The Multisided Path to European Digital Sovereignty and the future of EU-US Relations”.

The event took place on Tuesday 30 November 2021, 14:30 – 17:00 CET in Brussels, at The Office, Rue d’Arlon 80.

Participants who did not have the possibility to be present physically were able to stream the event on our website.

In order to unbox the EU’s multisided path towards digital sovereignty, the conference was divided in 3 different Panels: Panel I touched upon EU’s digital and tech competitiveness; Panel II explored the digital regulation in the EU, thereby involving a discussion on key dossiers such as the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Service Act, the Artificial Intelligence Act and the Data Strategy. Finally, Panel III addressed the recently launched Trade and Technology Council and the future of EU-US relations.

Please find attached the event’s agenda, output report, as well as PromethEUs Joint Paper on Digital Sovereignty.

PromethEUs Agenda



Speakers confirmed:

[tp no_translate]Pablo ARIAS ECHEVERRÍA
MEP, IMCO Committee[/tp]


Born in Madrid, Mr. Arias is Member of the European Parliament since 2019 in the 9th legislature and previously between 2009 and 2014 in the 7th legislature. His career in Brussels began in 2000, when he was assistant to Alejandro Agag, Secretary General of the Christian Democratic International in Brussels at that time. Between 2002 and 2004, he was assistant to Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and later served as chief of cabinet of former Prime Minister Aznar. Currently, Mr. Arias is serving on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Transport and Tourism. He is also part of the European parliament’s Delegation for relations with the United States. Mr. Arias is highly engaged in promoting a safe and fair digital ecosystem in the European Union. In this context, he is Chair of the EPP Working Group on the DSA and DMA. Mr. Arias has followed the courses of the Superior School of Marketing and Management in ESEM, International School of Business Management (Madrid) and a Master in Business Administration and Management (ESEM). He also completed a Leadership Program for Public Management at IESE (Madrid).

[tp no_translate]Martynas BARYSAS
Director, Internal Market, BusinessEurope[/tp]


Martynas Barysas joined BusinessEurope as Director for Internal Market in February 2018. His main responsibilities are to oversee the development of the organisation’s positions on the free movement of goods and services (including transport), the digital economy, better regulation and single market governance in general. Before joining BusinessEurope he worked at the European Parliament’s IMCO Committee Secretariat, and also had extensive experience of work at the Council when posted as special attaché for the Internal Market at the Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the EU. His academic background is in world literature and economics, and his career has always been closely related to EU policies with major impact on the business environment.

[tp no_translate]Benedikt BLOMEYER-BARTENSTEIN
Director for EU Policy, Allied for Startups[/tp]


As Director of EU Policy at Allied for Startups (AFS), Benedikt engages with policy files ranging from AI to online platform regulation. He is particularly interested in shaping a fact-based discussion on the possibilities of innovation and technology, after having worked on the Digital Single Market in the last years. Prior to joining AFS he worked for a Small Business Alliance and Deutsche Welle and completed a traineeship at the Council of Europe. Benedikt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History from Jacobs University Bremen and a Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

[tp no_translate]Christian BORGGREEN
Vice-President and Head of Brussels Office, CCIA Europe[/tp]


Christian Borggreen is Vice President and Head of the Brussels office of the Computer & Communications Industry Association. He leads CCIA’s work on a wide range of EU and international policy issues including international trade, data flows, and Internet governance. Mr Borggreen also leads CCIA’s engagement with international institutions such as the WTO, ITU, IGF and the OECD. Before joining CCIA in August 2014, Mr. Borggreen served since 2010 as Policy Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the EU. In his role for the U.S. Department of State, he managed and advised senior U.S. decision makers on digital policy issues. He played a key role in securing transatlantic alignment on Internet governance and in promoting interoperability in the areas of data privacy and online commerce. From 2008 to 2010 he managed the advocacy on digital economy policy advocacy for the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU. Prior to that, he worked for the United Nations in New York and Santiago de Chile, in the area of digital and economic development.
He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration comprised by university studies in the United States, Argentina, Italy, and Denmark. Mr. Borggreen is fluent in English, Danish and French and conversant in Spanish, Italian, and German.

[tp no_translate]Alejandro CAÍNZOS
Member of Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager[/tp]


Alejandro Cainzos is member of cabinet to European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, whom he advises on the international aspects of her portfolio, cybersecurity and defence. He has previously advised the Commission’s Deputy and Acting Secretary-General and held other posts in the Secretariat-General and the Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services. Prior to joining the Commission, he worked on public affairs in the financial sector. He holds a MA. from the College of Europe and a BS from Georgetown University on international relations and economics.

[tp no_translate]Ricardo CASTANHEIRA
Counsellor, Perm. Rep. of Portugal to the EU[/tp]


Ricardo Castanheira is, since 2017, the Digital Counselor Coordinator at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union (REPER), in Brussels. Previously, he was General Manager at Motion Picture Association – Latin America (2013-2017), which represents institutionally the biggest studios in the world: Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal, Paramount and recently Netflix. Ricardo Castanheira was also the Director of Corporate Affairs for Microsoft Brazil, from 2011 to 2013; Legal and Corporate Affairs Lead at Microsoft Portugal, from 2007 to 2011; CEO of FDTI (Foundation for the Promotion of Information Technologies), in Lisbon, between 2005 and 2007. Between 1995 and 2002, he was the youngest MP in the Portuguese Parliament, elected for Coimbra. He was also a Member of the NATO Assembly (1999/2002) and a petitioner of the “Committee of the 24” at the United Nations, in NY. He actively intervened in diverse entities such as ABPI (Brazilian Association of the Intellectual Property) and the Federation of the Portuguese Trade Chambers in Brazil. He graduated in Law (1997) at the University of Coimbra and he holds diverse additional post-graduations: on Negotiation by the University of Harvard – John F. Kennedy School of Government (Boston); on Communication Management by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV/Brazil); an Advanced Management Program (AMP) by Instituto de Empresa – Business School (Madrid) and a Mini – MBA by INDEG Business School (Lisbon).

[tp no_translate]Stefano DA EMPOLI
President, I-Com – the Institute for Competitiveness[/tp]


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 task forces or scientific boards, including: Vice President of the Health City Institute; Scientific Director of the La Scossa Association; Board member of the European Foundation EYPROM; Expert Member of the Eurelectric Task Force on Investment; Expert Member of the Technical Secretariat for the Protection of Nature in the Italian Ministry of the Environment; Director at the Observatory on Energy Policy of the Einaudi Foundation. 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 companies and non-profit organizations.

[tp no_translate]Stephen EZELL
Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)[/tp]


Stephen Ezell is vice president, global innovation policy, at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He focuses on science and technology policy, international competitiveness, trade, manufacturing, and services issues. He is the coauthor of Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012). Ezell comes to ITIF from Peer Insight, an innovation research and consulting firm he cofounded in 2003 to study the practice of innovation in service industries. At Peer Insight, Ezell led the Global Service Innovation Consortium, published multiple research papers on service innovation, and researched national service innovation policies being implemented by governments worldwide. Prior to forming Peer Insight, Ezell worked in the New Service Development group at the NASDAQ Stock Market, where he spearheaded the creation of the NASDAQ Market Intelligence Desk and the NASDAQ Corporate Services Network, services for NASDAQ-listed corporations. Previously, Ezell cofounded two successful innovation ventures, the high-tech services firm Brivo Systems and Lynx Capital, a boutique investment bank. Ezell holds a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with an honors certificate from Georgetown’s Landegger International Business Diplomacy program.

[tp no_translate]Megan FUNKHOUSER
Director of Policy, Tax and Trade, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)[/tp]


Megan Funkhouser serves as Director of Policy, Tax and Trade. She primarily focuses on advancing ITI member priorities in the international tax space. Before joining ITI, Megan handled trade & investment policy for the Global Business Alliance (GBA), formerly known as the Organization for International Investment (OFII). Megan led GBA’s legislative and regulatory advocacy for trade policy, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), export controls, federal procurement, and other issues affecting foreign direct investment in the United States. In that role, she collaborated with GBA member companies to provide input regarding implementation of CFIUS reforms through the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA). Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a minor in Economics from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in International Development with concentrations in Defense & Security Economics and Latin America from Sciences Po in Paris, France. Megan currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT).

[tp no_translate]Sandro GOZI
MEP, IMCO Committee[/tp]


Former Italian Secretary of State for European Affairs (2014-2018), Sandro Gozi is Member of the European Parliament for the Renew Europe Group (Liste Renaissance) since February 2020. he was elected President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) in November 2018. Doctor of Public Law from the University of Bologna with a thesis on comitology (1996), holder of a DEA in international relations at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (1995), as well as a Master’s degree in international relations at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1998). Member of the cabinet of the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi between 2000 and 2004. In 2006, he was appointed European Affairs Advisor to the President of the Italian Council of Ministers and, between 2008 and 2013, he was elected leader of the Democratic Party group in the Parliamentary Committee on European Union Policies and responsible at national level for the policies of the European Union for the Democratic Party. In August 2013, he is elected Vice-President of the Assembly of the Council of Europe and, from January to July 2014, he is appointed Vice-President of the Socialist Group in the Assembly of the Council of Europe.

[tp no_translate]Raquel JORGE RICART
Policy Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute[/tp]


Raquel Jorge is Policy Analyst at Elcano Royal Institute working on the technology and digital agenda. As former Fulbright Fellow, she holds a Master’s in Security Policy, concentrating in technology, at the Elliott School of International Affairs (Washington, DC). She has previously worked on the planning process of the National Strategy on Technology and Global Order at Spain’s MFA; at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Centre for Internet & Society, and at a UK-based firm working with UN organizations. She is Young Leader at the European Leadership Network, and part of the “35Under35” Emerging Young Leaders across Europe List (Santander Bank-CIDOB).

[tp no_translate]Enzo Maria LE FEVRE CERVINI
Project Leader, DG DIGIT, European Commission[/tp]


Enzo Maria Le Fevre, Ph.D., is Project Leader in the European Commission’s Directorate for Informatics (DG DIGIT) and Adjunct Professor of Digital Governance at the Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Between 2017 and 2020 served as Senior Expert at the Agency for Digital Italy – Presidency of the Council of Ministers (AGID) and Coordinator of the Thematic Group on Emerging Technologies (AI & Blockchain) of the OECD Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials (E-Leaders). He is also a Senior Research Fellow on international practices of digital governance at the Laboratory on Innovation and Artificial Intelligence of the University of Buenos Aires, and Board Member of the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti.

[tp no_translate]Maria-Manuel LEITÃO-MARQUES
MEP, Vice-Chair IMCO Committee[/tp]


Maria Manuel Leitão Marques was a member of the Portuguese Parliament, as the Minister of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernisation in 2015 -2019. Prior to this, she held the office as the Secretary of State for Adminstrative Modernisation. In 2002 Maria Manuel was the European Commission expert, tasked with drafting on higher education in Angola and Mozambique under the ACP-EU cooperation programme in higher education. Between 2013 and 2014, Maria Manuel was a consultant for the “Evaluation of services of the one‑stop shop (BAÚ)” project in Mozambique, which resulted in subsequent elaboration of proposals for modernization supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. During this time, she also was member of the High-Level Group on Administrative Burdens (European Commision). In 2013 she was a consultant for the ‘Brazil-EU Exchange on Participatory Democracy’ (CESO PT/Ministry of Planning BR). Maria Manuel Leitão Marques has a Doctorate in Economics (University of Coimbra) aind is since 2003 professor and Permanent Researcher at the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.

[tp no_translate]Stefan MORITZ
Managing Director, European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME[/tp]


Since 2014 Mr Stefan Moritz is Managing Director of European Entrepreneur CEA-PME, the Brussels-based confederation of European SMEs associations representing 2 million enterprises with about 16 million employees. Moritz has many years of experience in EU-funded economic development projects managed by international partner networks all over Europe. After his studies in Sociology in Germany, he moved to Italy where, in 1999, he founded, together with 4 other partners, the Consulting Firm AREA EUROPA scrl, with seats in Bologna and – since 2013 – in Brussels. He led the company from 1999 until 2013 and, since then, manages the Brussels office. He is an experienced project manager for regional economic development, European network manager, workshop facilitator and strategic advisor.

[tp no_translate]Liesje SCHREINEMACHER
MEP, INTA Committee[/tp]


Liesje Schreinemacher MSc LLM is a Dutch Member of the European Parliament for Renew Europe. She started her mandate in 2019 when she won her seat in the European Parliament with preferential votes. Prior to becoming a Member of the European Parliament, Liesje was an attorney-at-law in procurement law and contract/construction law. She started her career, after her studies in law and communication science, as political assistant to two Dutch MPs before serving as the political advisor to the Dutch Minister of Defence. In the European Parliament, Liesje is a member of the INTA, JURI, IMCO and AIDA committees as well as a member of the Delegation to the United States. She is committed to building a fair European market and trade policy (both offline and online) in which a fair playing field must always be the basis.

[tp no_translate]Paulo TRIGO CORTEZ PEREIRA
Chairman, Institute of Public Policy[/tp]


Paulo Trigo Pereira is Full Professor of Public and Welfare Economics at ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics and Management (University of Lisbon). Graduated at ISEG, Master in Sociology and Economic History (NOVA University) and PhD in Economics from Leicester University (UK). He has been chairing the Master of Economic and Public Policy, and teaching Public Finance, Institutional Economics and Law and Economics at ISEG. Author of several books on Portuguese Public Finance and Institutional Economics and published in social choice, public choice and electoral studies journals. Apart from academia he did some consultancy for Portuguese governments on regional and public finance as well as the reform of the State. He has been leading civil society projects on Budget Transparency in Portugal (the «Open Budget Survey», «Budget Watch» and “Citizens’ Budget”) and has a regular presence in the Portuguese media (newspapers “Público” and now “Observador”). He is also the co-founder and President of the Board of the Institute of Public Policy.

[tp no_translate]Aggelos TSAKANIKAS
Scientific Advisor, IOBE[/tp]


Aggelos Tsakanikas is a Research Fellow, heading the Entrepreneurship Observatory, at the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (FEIR/IOBE), the leading private think tank for economic research in Greece. He is also an Associate Professor, Director at the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics (LIEE), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in the field of Economic Evaluation of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Systems. His main research interests and most of his published work are in the area of firms’ technology strategy, business strategy, innovation economics, entrepreneurship and related public policies. In the context of his research activity has been involved with numerous sectoral studies, studies on entrepreneurship and competitiveness, as well as studies on information society. He has also participated in various European projects in the area of innovation studies, socioeconomics research and information society. He teaches at the business administration postgraduate programme “Athens MBA” and he is a member of the Greek team that participates in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. He has served as Vice chairman of the Hellenic Industrial Property organization (Greek Patent Office) from 2017 to 2019.