Associate Senior Research Fellow and Head of Digital Forum, CEPS
All Sessions by William Echikson (moderator)
21 February 2019
Meet the Yellow Vests and climate change activists shaking up European politics
10:00 - 11:00
They are the outsiders shaking up European politics; Yellow Jackets and climate change activists who are taking their grievances to the streets. But they are part of a broader wave of political activity not channelled through established parties. Some of them want to join traditional politics, but others prefer to remain outside the mainstream (e.g. the Yellow Jackets are split over whether to run in the European Parliament elections). At the same time, schoolchildren have skipped school to spark the creation of a Climate Action Network, an umbrella group for 1,300 NGOs in more than 120 countries, that demands fast action to combat greenhouse gases. Session partially in French.
Francois Boulo, a lawyer from Normandy, will speak about his activities, Zanna Vanrenterghem, Climate Ambition Project Coordinator at CAN Europe, will explain the student-led mobilisation. Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe, will provide a wider view of the phenomenon based on his recent study.
Digital and taxation: Towards a global consensus?
16:00 - 17:30
As EU states disagree on the merits of digital taxes, a global consensus is developing on how to address the tax challenges arising from digitalisation. G20 leaders recently confirmed their commitment to seek a consensus-based solution by 2020. The OECD reports “significant progress” in its process, which now includes more than 120 nations, including all the major G20 economies. Following its tax reform, the United States has engaged more actively in the search for a global solution. France and Germany have called for minimum taxation in the OECD framework. The United Kingdom and other countries have also presented proposals. At the same time, while talks on an EU digital tax linger on, several EU member states have announced unilateral tax laws. What are the prospects of reaching global consensus and what might this look like? What are the merits of unilateral vs global action? What are the risks and opportunities as the European economy goes increasingly digital?
Digital Economy, Regulation & Innovation
22 February 2019
Is Europe succeeding in digital trade? (Bertelsmann Stiftung)
08:00 - 09:00
While overall trade in goods stagnates, trade in digital services is booming and now accounts for almost a quarter of world trade. Last year, Bertelsmann published a study showing that this trend could result in dramatic economic shifts within Europe. While Ireland was grabbing new digital opportunities and ranked first, manufacturing heavy Germany was not and ranked only 19th out of 28. This year, a new study attempts to explain why and identify what domestic policies facilitate or hinder the adoption of new digital services – and what policies can support productivity growth and better use of digital business models.