The ‘Under the Spotlight' series so far…

14 July 2020

In response to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 epidemic, we all have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and to find new ways of engaging, connecting and keeping up to date with important policy developments. To help with this, and in addition to the numerous conferences Forum Europe has hosted virtually over the past few months, we have launched the ‘Under the Spotlight’ series – a strategic series of virtual EU policy events focussing on a range of key policy files and topics across different subject areas.

Working alongside thought-leaders and policymakers, each event has put a specific topic ‘under the spotlight’ – providing a platform for a detailed discussion on the policy issues involved. By bringing together key stakeholders in this way, the aim of the series is to support transparency and inclusion in the policymaking process in a format that is accessible to all.

The ‘Under the Spotlight’ series has, so far, included sessions on Delivering the Full-Fibre Gigabit Society; The Green Deal and the Recovery Plan; GDPR 2 Years on | What has been achieved? What Challenges remain?; as well as a series of sessions taking place as part of The Digital Services Act Week, looking at Competition in the Digital Economy, Platforms and User Generated Content, E-Commerce and Marketplaces and Digital Democracy.

Across all these sessions, we have reached a very wide European and global audience with nearly 2,500 delegates joining us from 68 different countries, including all the EU27, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, the USA and many more…

This truly global audience was able to hear from an impressive line-up of top-level speakers throughout the series, including:

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President, “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age”, European Commission;

Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General, DG Environment, European Commission;

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Member, European Parliament;

Terhi Lehtonen, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Finland;

Michel Van Bellinghen, Incoming Chair 2021, BEREC;

Salla Saastamoinen, Acting Director General, DG JUST, European Commission;

Andrea Jelinek, Chairwoman, European Data Protection Board;

Daniel Braun, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Věra Jourová, Vice President for Values and Transparency, European Commission;

Lucrezia Busa, Member of Didier Reynders' Cabinet, European Commission

…to only name a few!

Alongside the main panels, each of these events has featured a number of exclusive opportunities for registered audience members to engage with the speakers, and with each other. Our aim with this series is to re-create, as much as it is possible, the experience of a face-to-face conference for everyone involved, with audience members being able to:

  • Ask questions and interact with the speakers through a chat function and polls
  • Join our ‘Have your Say’ interactive sessions, immediately after each panel where audience members have the chance to take the floor, come on camera and give their thoughts on the European and global outreach
  • Take part in virtual networking where attendees can meet and network with other participants and browse partner / sponsor exhibition stands.

A ‘Have your Say’ Session taking place as part of The DSA Week

As a number of countries have now started to lift some of the restrictions that have been in place globally during the health crisis, we are looking at what our future events will look like in the months to come. We believe that virtual events are here to stay while we transition to the production hybrid events, and we will therefore announce new ‘Under the Spotlight’ sessions shortly.

In the meantime, If you have an issue that you would like to see explored as part of the ‘Under the Spotlight‘ series, please contact Anne-Lise Simon.