WIK Online Workshop - Debating the EU Digital Markets Act on 23 March 2021

Who are the “gatekeepers” and how should they be regulated?

In December 2020, the European Commission published proposals for a “Digital Markets Act”, which would apply regulatory controls on “gatekeeper” platforms which act as vital gateways to the digital economy. WIK-Consult, together with ICF, Cullen International and CEPS prepared the support study for the Impact Assessment accompanying the DMA.

In this virtual seminar, with the aid of leading academics, major platforms and their users and challengers, we explore the rationale behind the Digital Markets Act and tackle key questions around its design and impact.

The first session will be introduced by Michael Koenig, deputy head of unit for retail and online services at the European Commission (DG GROW) and one of the leading architects of the Digital Markets Act.

Afterwards, we invite Prof. Marshall van Alstyne (Questrom Professor of Management at Boston University) to give a keynote presentation and introduce the scientific discussion. We will also hear contributions from Prof. William Kovacic (Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy at George Washington University Law School and non-executive Director of  the UK Competition & Markets Authority) and Prof. Jan Krämer (Professor of Internet & Telecommunications Business at the University of Passau and Academic Co-Director at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE)). The session will be moderated by Prof. Alexandre de Streel (Professor of EU Law at University of Namur and Academic Co-Director at CERRE).

Finally, in an interactive session chaired by Philippe Defraigne, Director of Cullen International, we will debate the provisions of the DMA with insights and contributions from the following stakeholders: Johan Keetelaar (Facebook), Ben Schroeter (Booking.com), Amaury Libbrecht(AIM), Jacques Lovell (HOTREC), Jan Penfrat (EDRi).


The future of the EU Postal Directive in rapidly changing postal markets

European Commission publishes WIK-Consult study

The EU Postal Services Directive has been in force since 1997, i.e. for more than 20 years, with almost unchanged requirements for a universal postal service that the EU Member States have to ensure. In recent years, digitisation and growing online trade have led to fundamental changes in postal markets, which are also reflected in changing consumer and business needs for the universal postal service. The European Commission asked us to identify the changing user needs within the EU and additional countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Great Britain). Even though user needs vary depending on national circumstances, the use of letter services is steadily declining across countries. In future, postal users will therefore be ready to accept cuts in quality of service standards in many Member States.

With this study, WIK-Consult presents the first comprehensive evaluation of the EU Postal Services Directive since its entry into force. In the second part of the study we conclude that the Directive has played an important role for the development of postal markets within the EU, e.g. in ensuring universal service provision and as a driver for high delivery quality of international postal items. For the future, however, we see a need for adjustments, among others regarding the scope of universal postal service. We recommend to introduce more flexibility that allow Member States to better adapt the universal service requirements to national developments of postal markets, and to put emphasis on ensuring reliable delivery services.

The study's analyses and findings feed into the European Commission's review process to develop proposals on whether and how to amend the EU Postal Services Directive in the light of the rapidly changing EU postal market.


EU Workshop on National Initiatives on Digitising Industries

The Potential for Recovery and Resilience Plans to Support the Digital Transformation

WIK presented strategic insights on national digitisation initiatives in a workshop hosted by the Directorate-General CONNECT of the EU Commission. After 3 years of monitoring the progress of the Member States’ Digitising European Industry initiatives WIK provided preliminary results of good practices and key take-aways. The project is carried out in cooperation with VVA Brussels.

In order to support the member states in their recovery and resilience plans, the most important enablers of successful digitisation initiatives and their relevance in the aftermath of the COVID-19 were presented and discussed in the workshop. Key learnings are for example the importance of knowledge transfer and networking initiatives like Clusters and Digital Innovation Hubs. Qualification measures for reskilling and upskilling workforce have also shown positive effects on the digitisation level of member states. Moreover it is crucial that these initiatives are embedded in a consistent overall national strategy.

130 participants from Member States’ ministries responsible for digitisation, deployment of digital innovation hubs, and of recovery & resilience plans as well as other relevant stakeholders joined the online workshop.


Online Access Act and the pandemic put German municipalities under stress

New report on smart cities and smart regions in Germany

A growing number of German cities and regions recognize the importance of smart applications for improving sustainability of cities and communities and better conditions for all stakeholders, such as citizens, businesses, and tourists. A recent report by WIK-Consult for Stadt.Land.Digital, an initiative by the Germen Ministry of Economics and Energy, analyses studies and guidelines on smart cities topics published in July-December 2020. The report particularly focusses on advances in mobility, e-government applications and responses to the corona pandemic. In order to further promote digitisation in Germen communities, many studies recommend more interoperation and good interfaces, and that municipalities adopt integrated digitisation strategies. This requires collaborative thinking and action, rather than simply implementing individual solutions at local level. The report is available in German language only.


The growing market for Consumer IoT

More and more connected products for private households

The WIK market report provides a brief overview on supply and demand in the most relevant areas smart home, entertainment, Internet of medical things, GPS trackers and wearables.


WIK Newsletter No. 121, December 2020

The new WIK Newsletter (only in German language) is available for download. Next to articles about current projects at WIK it starts off with a contribution about „Noch Änderungsbedarf am TKModG?“.


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