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25th April 2017

Inaugural Meeting of the IIC Brussels Chapter

Chapter event

On 25 April 2017, the International Institute of Communication (IIC) held the Inauguration of its Brussels Chapter at an event on Smart Cars, hosted by Squire Patton Boggs in Brussels.

The event, entitled ‘Connected Thinking: What is a Smart Car’ has gathered great interest from various industry players. The former IIC President, Fabio Colasanti opened the event by launching the IIC’s Brussels Chapter chaired by Francesco Liberatore, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs. “Smart Cars” is a new term comprising both connected and autonomous driving vehicles.

The rise of the Smart Car marks a new phenomenon of convergence between traditionally separate industries players, where companies who would previously be in a supplier-customer relationship find themselves competing for the provision of the same product or service. In perfect synch with the spirit of the IIC, it was great to have a well-balanced and impartial debate on this topic with views from the automotive, satellite, telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, in the presence of the European Commission. Some of the points emerging from the debate – which was held under Chatham House Rule – are summarised below.

An issue raised by all the speakers was that long term European investment into Smart Cars and associated technology is an essential element. Various investment schemes are already in place in Europe, giving an important push to improve connectivity, road safety and achieve environmental benefits. A related issue is how to cooperate within this converging ecosystem to promote investment, whilst at the same time protecting competition. Other potential legal and regulatory roadblocks of common relevance for all stakeholders include concerns for cybersecurity, data protection, and liability among others. Speakers at the event explored the ways these different issues are intertwined in this ecosystem.

Zooming in on the communications related aspects of Smart Cars, certain speakers proposed that the transmission of real time data with respectable latency is critical. Other speakers indicated that no single network provider will be able to meet the growing demand of connectivity alone and suggested that a hybrid network would be more pertinent to provide a highly scalable and secure network that will not traverse the public internet. Finally, all speakers shared the view that having a common language and understanding on Smart Cars on a cross-border basis is indispensable. Avoiding excessive regulation will also be vital so as not to hamper innovation and to unveil the full potential of a deployment of connected and autonomous driving in Europe.

The IIC Brussel Chapter Inaugural event is the first of a series of events organized in the course of 2017 by the IIC on Smart Cars. The next event will be held in early July 2017 and will be looking into the regulatory landscape in the EU on Smart Cars from a legal and policy perspective.


Eddy Hartog Head of Unit for Smart Mobility and Living, DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology

Eddy Hartog has Dutch nationality and was born and raised in Utrecht (the Netherlands). Mr Hartog obtained a degree in political economics at the Erasmus University (Rotterdam) and subsequently a post-graduate degree at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium). He has worked in the European Commission since 1989, first in Trade policy, then in Regional policy and in Maritime policy and lately in Information Society and Media policy. Mr Hartog is a Head of Unit since 2003. His present responsibility (since July 2016) is Head of Unit for Smart Mobility and Living in DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology. He is married and has two daughters.

Francesco Liberatore Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP; Former Chair, IIC Brussels Chapter

Francesco Liberatore advises clients on all aspects of the application of communications and competition law.

On the behavioural side, Mr Liberatore’s practice includes bringing and defending all types of regulatory and competition disputes before Ofcom, the Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission, as well as managing internal investigations, dawn raids, and counselling on compliance issues and various commercial agreements. On the transactional side, Mr Liberatore handles UK and EU merger control due diligence and filings, as well as coordinating multijurisdictional merger control strategies. He also advises private equity investors, banks, and other financial investors on arbitrage opportunities.

Mr Liberatore’s litigation experience includes representing clients in matters before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the High Court of Justice and the European Courts.

He has authored several legal publications, including the UK Chapter of the International Telecommunications Law handbook (Juris Publishing).

Mr Liberatore has been listed as a leading practitioner in Chambers UK, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 UK and Who’s Who Legal. He is a guest lecturer at King’s College London and a member of Justice.

Joel Schroeder Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Connected Car Program, Inmarsat

Mr Joel Schroeder is a member of ESOA’s Network & Services Policy Group. He serves as Vice President, Strategy & Business Development for Inmarsat’s Connected Car Program based in Washington, DC. Mr. Schroeder leads a cross-functional team responsible for building Inmarsat’s Connected Car business, driving long-term growth through the development of new partnerships and technologies. He previously led Strategic Development initiatives for Inmarsat’s Enterprise business.

Prior to joining Inmarsat in 2009, Mr Schroeder spent more than 15 years doing business and market development in the telecommunications industry in North America, the European Union, and many emerging markets. During this time, he has lived in London, Moscow, Washington, and Accra, Ghana. He holds an M.A. in International Communication from the American University in Washington, DC.

Inmarsat currently holds the Chairmanship of ESOA, the EMEA Satellite Operators Association and operates a global satellite network that delivers mobile voice, broadband and M2M data solutions everywhere.

Joop Hazenberg Senior Manager European Advocacy, GSMA

Joop Hazenberg is Senior Manager European Advocacy at the GSMA. In his work Mr Hazenberg focuses on cooperation between telecoms and ‘vertical’ industries of sectors like automotive, health and banking. Most of his time goes into being secretariat of the European Automotive-Telecoms Alliance, that aims to (pre)deploy connected and automated driving in Europe. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

Nicola Frank Head of European Affairs, European Broadcasting Union

Nicola Frank joined the European Broadcasting Union in 1998. In January 2009 she became Head of European Affairs, in charge of the EBU Brussels office.

Ms Frank started her career in the European Commission in 1990 where she was responsible for an information and communication programme towards the Mediterranean and the Near and Middle East. In 1996 she joined Media and Entertainment International, the international federation of media and entertainment trade unions, as Deputy General Secretary.

Ms Frank was born in 1963. She took an M.A. in Islamic Studies, Modern History and French Literature.

Steffen Nolte (Dr) Head of Economic and Legal Policy, EU Corporate Representation Brussels, Daimler AG

Dr. Steffen Nolte is Head of Economic and Legal Policy in the Corporate Representation of Daimler AG to the European Union dealing with EU Governmental Affairs. He has been with Daimler Group Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, since 1999. A lawyer by profession, Dr. Nolte has practiced as in-house counsel in the fields of antitrust, antifraud, capital markets law and compliance as well as corporate governance. Prior to his current governmental affairs assignment Dt. Nolte was Head of Compliance for the worldwide distribution of buses and coaches of the Daimler Bus Division. Further prior assignments were executive Assistant to the CEO of Daimler and Governmental Affairs in the field of Competition Policy for the Federation of German Industries, BDI, the top lobbying federation of all Industry Associations in Germany. Next to his expertise in governmental affairs and implementing group wide and local compliance structures for internationally active companies Dr. Nolte is author of various legal publications on sales, distribution and supply agreements, including e-commerce and commercial agents.

Event details
25th April 2017
Brussels, Belgium

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