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10:45 – 11:15 Registration
11:20 – 11:30 Welcome
11:30 – 12:30 Innovation in regulatory approaches: the sharing economy and digital platforms

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP

Daniel Dalton MEP

Chair: Diego Zuluaga, Head of Research at EPICENTER and Financial Services Fellow at the IEA

Successful technology start-ups like Uber, Spotify and AirBnB have created a new economy that has uncovered the shortcomings of national and EU legislation. These platforms do not fit into our current competition, labour and consumer laws and are challenging our regulatory bodies to adapt, to be innovative. 

This panel will touch on the benefits and challenges of the sharing, or collaborative, economy facing workers, customers, competitors and how policymakers and regulatory bodies should best respond.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Innovation in Agriculture

Jean Philippe Azoulay, Director-General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)

Christofer Fjellner MEP

Sean Rickard, Former Chief Economist of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)

Pekka Pesonen, Secretary-General at Copa-Cogeca

Chair: Cécile Philippe, Director of the Institut économique Molinari

This panel will discuss how the precautionary principle and the ban on GMOs and certain pesticides is harming European agriculture and having unintended consequences on other areas, including climate change policy. It will consider how industry and policymakers can better embrace innovation and science to make agriculture more productive and sustainable, and food more affordable to ordinary citizens. It will also consider global trends in food production and what EU food output might look like by 2030.

14.30 – 14:45 Coffee Break
14:45 – 15:45 Innovation in harm reduction: e-cigarettes

Marc Michelsen, Senior Vice President Communications & Public Affairs at Fontem Ventures B.V.

Chris Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Chair: Gustav Blix, Director of EPICENTER

This panel will use the example of e-cigarettes to examine how innovation can play a role in harm reduction and health care policies. The invention of e-cigarettes has provided a much less harmful, and potentially more practical, alternative to regular cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes have also shown how policymakers and legislation were ill-prepared for this new product and have quickly begun to regulate it as heavily, if not more, as cigarettes.

15.45 – 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 – 17:00 Innovation in food labelling 

Roberto Brazzale, CEO Gruppo Brazzale

Branka Tome, Head of Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development

Chair: Kate Andrews, Institute of Economic Affairs

The EU’s strict regulations on food labelling through Geographical Indications (GIs), such as Champagne, Feta and Parma, are limiting producers and obstructing trade policy. Through innovative practices, these products are produced elsewhere of equal quality and taste but cannot label themselves accordingly and are thereby disadvantaged by EU regulation. Issues of food labelling show how innovation is bypassing old regulations.

17:00 – 17:15 Coffee Break
17:15 – 18:15 Innovation in new technologies: how can the EU adapt to and foster science and technology?

Diego Sanchez de la Cruz, CEO at Civismo

Chris Spillane, Reporter at Politico

Chair: Gustav Blix, Director of EPICENTER

How do we promote the innovation and accessibility of new technologies while responding to the ethical and political issues that they raise? We live in a world where technological advances like driverless cars and peer-to-peer lending are no longer a question of science but of politics. This panel will discuss the challenges of once-futuristic technologies, many of which exist outside of the law and the understanding of our regulatory bodies, are creating.

Furthermore, new technologies are rapidly developing and changing the way we interact socially, politically and economically. Policy lacks the flexibility and speed to adapt to these changes, as well as oversight when it comes to digital platforms. What are the boundaries of politics and how can the EU find its role in this fast-moving environment and ensure a thriving and innovative future for Europe?

18:15 – 19:30 Drinks Reception



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