Defining a progressive approach: responsible innovation and pro-innovation rules

Inclusion, sustainability, social justice, innovation, global competitiveness and governance are central to the Von der Leyen’s Commission and present a set of interlocked and systemic challenges that need to be addressed. As the EU institutions are working to make Europe more green, digital and self-reliant, tackling these issues demand a different approach to regulation.

This is particularly true when it comes to regulating the digital space, where the rapid advances in digitalisation calls for a more progressive approach to regulation, and where responsible innovation can thrive. Digitalisation has changed business models and spurred new forms of communication. Digital technology changes culture, society and the ways in which businesses operate. To that extent, we need to shift the focus towards the new opportunities offered by digital technologies, as opposed to the potential risks that come with every innovation.

This leads to new and fundamental questions around market and societal regulation, where the core question remains on how to regulate the digital space. Here is an increasing necessity for an EU cross-border – even global – architecture.

Looking at increasing mass harm and disputes, we need to turn the view towards the inside, that is, the regulation itself. Do we need a different approach to regulation and regulatory delivery? Are there other ways than deterrence, i.e. a different approach from traditional rule-based enforcement? Even more concrete, is the focus and model of problem solving – mainly via courts – adequate as a first step?

Perhaps a model where consumers are better guided (like ombudsmen) or an assurance model could gain more traction. Moreover, we should shift our attention to open culture, engagement, learning/feedback loops, guidance as well as easy access via web-platforms, process automation and prevention. There is also a need for more education of important stakeholders.

Finally, bringing the external and internal dimension of digitalisation and regulation together, the core question remains on how can digitalisation improve access and delivery of justice? The goal should be to solve problems quicker in a flexible and adaptive manner, not only by making regulation more effective and efficient, but also by creating trust and capturing disputes early on. More than sharing best practices and implementing a matrix of legal rules, a deeply rooted ethical values will be required in the sense of finding common ground and sharing the same values.

Our aim is to contribute fresh thinking on how regulators can better reconcile their mission with the Von der Leyen vision in their day-to-day work, and on how novel tools and methods can achieve society’s regulatory goals more effectively and at lower costs.

Should you be interested in joining our conference, you can do so via the link here.