15th April 2020
Policy Action Group call
10th June 2020, Brussels
Members' and Policy Action Group meeting
22nd September 2020, Berlin
Policy Action Group meeting
4th November 2020, Barcelona
Members' and Policy Action Group meeting
2nd December 2020
Policy Action Group call
21st January 2020, Berlin
EJF Roundtable on Digitalization, Ombudsmen and Health Care
On January 21st, the European Justice Forum (EJF) brought together different stakeholders to discuss the effects of digitalization in the process of dispute resolution in the health care sector. EJF presented a comprehensive process of dispute resolution ranging from detection/capturing to out-of-court settlement until in-court settlement and political challenges. The discussion with Ombudsmen, eHealth Startups and Business experts focused in a second step on core elements of learning culture and opportunities for process improvements in the out-of-court settlement through digitalization. As eHealth companies have learning from data and user friendliness in their "DNA" this allows mutual learning from and for modern dispute resolution mechanism as the ombudsmen. Besides the remaining challenges of high fragmentation in the health sector, the exchange built on the approach of learning from best practice. Examples of digitalization in private/administrative dispute resolution from different EU Member States had been presented, showing e.g. easy consumer access on websites for disputes, transparency of sectorial data, electronic consumer advice, automated and guided procedures as well as new learning opportunities for business. As further activity it was agreed to link into different associations in Berlin to further spread the opportunities of digitalization for fair and effective alternative dispute resolution including early prevention through data sharing.
The roundtable was kindly hosted by Johnson & Johnson at their Representative Office in Berlin.
13th November 2019, London
Members Meeting (for members, legal and expert network)
Agenda: Current status of research on Collective Redress, ADR and Ombudsman, Ethical Business Regulation, cross-border co-/self-regulation; expert presentation and discussions on implementation of sectorial ombudsman, developments on collective redress in different EU Member State jurisdictions.
24th September 2019, Brussels
Policy Action Group meeting (for members, legal and expert network)
Agenda: update on the Directive on Representative Actions, discussion on Product Liability.
EJF Members Meeting
19th of June 2019, Paris
The first Members’ meeting of 2019 was kindly hosted by August Debouzy in Paris and gathered more than 25 experts of EU politics and law. The meeting was the occasion to discuss the outcomes of the European elections in May 2019 and the changes of the political landscape at EU level.
Members got an update on the latest developments regarding the Directive on Representative Actions and current debates within the Council. Experts who are part of EJF’s legal network provided valuable insights regarding policy developments on collective redress in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy. In addition, the activities of EJF in the German health sector were highlighted. EJF is seeking to foster an open culture and better practices for dispute resolution in Germany through early detection of mistakes and improvement of feedback in the health sector, directly supporting EJF’s goals of fostering out-of-court settlements. Finally, law experts presented an overview on the state-of-play of product safety in France, opening up a broader discussion regarding the future of product liability legislation and how it could potentially be impacted by new technologies coming from an increased digitalization of our society.
The next Members’ meeting will be held on the 13th of November in London.
Can we regulate for innovation and can we innovate in regulation? What are the next steps for Better Regulation? The value of Ethical Business Regulation
13th of June 2019, Brussels
On last 13th of June, EJF had the pleasure of co-hosting the conference "Can we regulate for innovation and can we innovate in regulation?", alongside Fipra, MedTech Europe, ABHI and Business at OECD. The conference brought valuable insights thanks to high-level speakers who shared their knowledge and a number of good practices in front of a full room.
One of the main takeaways of the event was the acknowledgment that today’s world is not only characterized by globalization (through new platforms and increased trade), greater connectivity (IoT) and digitalization (big data, machine learning). But also by changing social values. These changes mean that the “new normal” is described by more volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In these times of profound disruption, we need to invest more and urgently in new governance. The goal is to improve our ways of regulating and of implementing laws. Having a more opened and learning culture will play a crucial part in this process.
Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice-President of the European Commission, gave his last address as Commissioner before taking on his new position as Member of the European Parliament. Commissioner Ansip shared his view on "Digitalization as a new challenge in regulation" and reminded of being cautious before adopting new regulation in order to preserve the ecosystem of innovation. This applies especially for small firms and startups which could be particularly impacted by new legislations.
Prof. Christopher Hodges, from the Oxford University, also gave a keynote speech on Ethical Business Regulation, where he explained that businesses must approach business practices with a new mindset. For example, he mentioned the formerly new practices pushed forward by airlines in creating a new culture of sharing information. Without overlooking their failures and findings that can be drown from them. Similarly, regulators need to adopt a new mindset to create a trusted space to exchange, deliberate and discuss for policymaking.
Ruth Steinholtz, founder of AretéWork, reminded the audience that innovation does not come without failure. She also emphasized that each organization has its own set of values, with its own priorities. It is thus important to have leaders fully committed to thoughtfully identified ethical values within their companies, to set a strong and positive example. Employees must also be involved and engaged to become ambassadors of their companies’ values. Ultimately, she explained that better business practices is about being responsible before being compliant.
Some ways forward to achieve better regulation:
- In general, emphasis should be first on root cause analysis and trying other means of avoiding mistakes, rather than rushing immediately into regulation;
- This means that regulation must be driven by better information based on observation and analysis;
- Implementation of regulations must be smarter to avoid re-opening an entire piece of legislation when only a few adjustments need to be made;
- Regulations comprising too many details are limiting the scope of freedom for innovation: more thoughts should be given to principles and harmonization of regulation.
- More flexibility can be achieved also via co-regulation or self-regulation;
- Companies must be able to set their own values and be faithful to them: this will increase trust between them, regulators and consumers.