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Digital Assembly 2015 Riga

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DA RIGA 2015 (Digital Assembly 2015 Riga)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-09-30

The fourth edition of the Digital Assembly (DA) was held on 17 and 18 June in Riga, as an event co-organised by the European Commission Latvian Presidency and. It featured plenary sessions with keynote speeches and inspirational speeches delivered by successful entrepreneurs, 7 workshops, side events and networking opportunities

The Digital Assembly focussed on the launch of the Digital Single Market strategy; key conclusions were:
1) Digital skills - to create a strong DSM, there is a need to motivate people to engage in digital lifelong learning; to motivate businesses to train people; to strengthen digital skills partnerships in between businesses, education, government & NGOs; and to enhance digital skills teaching, learning and assessment.
2) Trust and confidence called for a swift implementation of the NIS directive, the establishment of a Cybersecurity contractual PPP and an initiative on free flow of data / ownership.
3) Creative content: it is possible to compete with free/piracy by deploying attractive services; defining territoriality by cultural affiliation not physical presence could allow consumer cross-border access to co-exist with the prevailing business models; creative content cannot be compared to mass products; users should have freedom to transform content, accompanied by revenue sharing with original creators for viral transformations.
4) Ensuring access and connectivity - need a swift review of the telecom acquis to cater for new market and commercial needs; called for further spectrum harmonisation; and called for an effective infrastructure competition.
5) The session on Building the digital economy for businesses and consumers endorsed the consumer specific measures within the DSM Strategy; which called to swiftly reduce VAT related burdens, in particular for SMEs; and which called for regulating the role of online platforms.
6) Promoting e-society, which prioritised the 'once only principle', 'user friendly / intuitive public services' and 'digital literacy' as the most important items to achieve a user-friendly public service.
7) Digitising European industries and enterprises identified the following priorities: the harmonization of rules/standards around data access, use and ownership; the need for industry driven standardization; and the need for collaboration among companies, especially SMEs.
The Digital Assembly 2015 in Riga featured plenary sessions with keynote speeches and inspirational speeches delivered by successfulentrepreneurs, 7 workshops, side events and networking opportunities.

The following workshops were organized and main outcomes were:

Opening workshop - Digital Skills for a Digital Single Market
Main outcomes:
a) Motivate people to engage in digital lifelong learning
b) Motivate businesses to train people
c) Strengthen digital skills partnerships (businesses, education, government, NGOs)
d) Fundamentally enhance digital skills teaching, learning and assessment

Workshop 1 - Building Trust and Confidence online
a) Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish
b) Legislative proposals to reform the current telecom rules
c) The NIS Directive needs to be implemented as soon as possible to ensure a sufficient level of national capacities and harmonisation of requirements across the EU. Fragmentation will hinder the growth of cross-border business.
d) Establishment of a Cybersecurity contractual PPP
e) Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and cooperation and partnerships between public and private sector should be enhanced, including in research and innovation. This is why the proposed contractual public-private partnership is a welcome step in the right direction.
f) Maximising the growth potential of the Digital Economy
g) Initiatives on data ownership, free flow of data (e.g. between cloud providers) and on a European Cloud
h) Cloud computing needs to be trustworthy and requires legal certainty:
i) Definition of the responsibility of cloud providers: infrastructure provider or responsibility for security of content stored in the cloud? This definition is vital to determine whether cloud providers should be covered by the NIS Directive. Definition of the jurisdiction whose laws apply if data in the cloud is moved across borders, e.g. with regard to data protection.
j) Regulation of the use of cloud for critical infrastructure, such as banking, health or public administration.

Workshop 2 - A Digital Single Market for creative content
Main outcomes:
a) You CAN compete with free: deploy attractive services to beat piracy.
b) Defining territoriality by cultural affiliation not physical presence could allow consumer cross-border access to co-exist with the prevailing business models.
c) You cannot compare creative content to mass products.
d) Users should have freedom to transform content; accompanied by revenue sharing with original creators for viral transformations.

Workshop 3 - A connected Digital Single Market
Main outcomes:
a) On the Telecom review: need for a flexible and fast response to the market and new commercial business models;
b) On connectivity needs: need for policy actions, e.g. Telecom framework, spectrum harmonisation, promotion of cooperation;
c) On investment needs: need to promote effective infrastructure competition.

Workshop 4 - A Digital Single Market for businesses and consumers
Main outcomes:
a) Both panels were supportive of the consumer specific measures within the DSM Strategy.
b) Nevertheless, it was stated that a harmonization of consumer rules in the EU should not lead to a loss of rights for certain consumers (not a 'race to the bottom').
c) The panellists representing the business perspective mentioned on several occasions the need to swiftly reduce VAT related burdens, as this causes significant issues for small companies.
d) Participants in the business panel called for regulating the role of platforms in the online world, as well as identifying the right definition of online platforms in order to get the best results.

Workshop 5 - Promoting e-society
Main outcomes:
a) Public services in Europe have embraced new technologies to varying degrees but more can be done to modernise public administration, achieve cross-border interoperability and facilitate easy interaction with citizens. The new eGovernment Action Plan – foreseen by
"The event was attended by 591 participants (excluding EC officials), from more than 400 distinct organisations and 40 countries. 37% were women. Out of the participants, 376 people and 231 organisations had not previously participated in DSM events organised by the EC.

The event was followed online via live web-streaming that was provided for the plenary sessions and the 7 workshops throughout the two days of the event. On the first day, 4500 people followed the event live from more than 60 countries; on the second day, around 6200 people from 55 countries.

The most successful communication tool of #DA15EU was social media, notably Twitter.
#da15eu was the most trending in Belgium & Latvia (17th afternoon, 18th). There were 8247 tweets & retweets related to the event. Participants actively engaged online and the Twitter comments were used in the plenaries and workshops' discussions. The activity on Twitter was significantly boosted by the use of live ""TweetWalls"".
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Logo of Digital Assembly 2015 in Riga