24th - 25th March 2020

Regulatory frameworks to drive accessibility, affordability and competitiveness in the digital economy in Europe

Telecommunications & Media Forum (TMF)

We’re delighted to be back in Brussels on 24-26 March 2020 for the annual Telecommunications & Media Forum (TMF), kindly hosted by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT).

The TMF will cover the following topics:

  • Digital Services Act – what does it mean in practice?
  • Artificial Intelligence frameworks and Data Strategies – from white paper to legislation
  • Implementation of the EECC – flexibility versus harmonisation
  • Content liability, online harms and role of intermediaries
  • Digital competition – reforming and reshaping competition law; positions of dominance in the digital value chain
  • Climate Change and the Green Deal – ICT’s role as an enabler

The following hotels are located close to BIPT:


The President Hotel 4*
Boulevard Roi Albert II 44
1000 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 203 20 20
More information

Thon Hotel Brussels 4*
Avenue du Boulevard 17
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 700 7878
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Hotel des Colonies 3*
Rue des Croisades 6-10
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 205 1600
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Progress Hotel 3*
Rue du Progrès 9
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 205 1700
More information

Hotel Siru 3*
Rue des Croisades 2
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 203 3303
More information

Theater Hotel Brussels 3*
Rue Van Gaver 23
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 350 9000
More information

Welcome Hotel Brussels 3*
Quai au Bois à Brûler 23
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 219 9546
More information

Floris Hotel Arlequin Grand-Place 3*
Rue de la Fourche 17-19
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 514 1615
More information

Hotel Sablon 4*
Rue de la Paille 2
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 880 0701
More information

The Hotel 4*
Boulevard de Waterloo 38
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 504 1111
More information

Hotel Manos Stephanie 4*
Chaussée de Charleroi 28
1060 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 539 0250
More information

Hotel Izán Avenue Louise 4*
Rue Blanche 4
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 535 9500
More information

The Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace 4*
Rue Gineste 3
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 203 6200
More information

The IIC accepts no responsibility for bookings made at any of the listed hotels and recommends that you check out the hotels on the internet before booking.

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Axel Desmedt Member of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Axel Desmedt heads the Legal Department, the Human Resources Department and the Telecoms Market & Media Department at BIPT. Mr Desmedt has been a Member of the BIPT Council since 2009, managing several services. In January 2017 he was nominated once more as a Member of the Council.

Between 1997 and 2006, Mr Desmedt joined the Brussels Bar as a lawyer, working respectively for the law firms Stibbe (at the EU/WTO Department) and WilmerHale (in the Competition, Trade and Communications Departments). In that capacity his tasks included the representation of clients from the postal and telecommunications sectors. From 2006 until 2009 he worked for the International group France Telecom/Orange in the Global Roaming & International Interconnection Department, and as Deputy Director of the Permanent Representation to the EU at France Telecom/Orange, respectively.

Mr Desmedt co-founded the magazine on network industry legislation for which he holds a position on the editorial team and he is a visiting lecturer at UCL as well.

Mr Desmedt holds a Master’s degree in Law from the Free University of Brussels (1997) as well as an LLM degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA) where he specialised in international trade law.

Dan Sjöblom Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS); Chairperson, Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

Dan Sjöblom is the Director General of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) and was appointed by the Swedish Government on 1 February 2017.

He serves as Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) in 2020, having served as a vice-chair in 2019.

Prior to taking up his position, Mr Sjöblom was the Director General for the Swedish Competition Authority for eight years, between 2009 and 2017.

He is also board member of the Swedish Broadband Council.

Mr Sjöblom has served as a civil servant at the European Commission between 1996 and 2009. He holds a Master of Laws from Stockholm University.

David A Gross (Ambassador) Partner, Wiley Rein LLP, USA

Ambassador David Gross co-chairs Wiley’s Telecom, Media & Technology Practice. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts on international telecommunications and Internet policies, having addressed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and led more U.S. delegations to major international telecommunication conferences than anyone else in modern history. Noted as bringing "innovation and vision to the rapidly changing TMT industry" by Who's Who Legal and as one of the "Top 30 Telecommunications lawyers in the world" by Euromoney, Ambassador Gross draws on more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer, global policymaker, and corporate executive to assist US companies seeking to enter or expand international businesses. He also advises non-US companies, and industry organizations seeking to invest in, monitor, and understand the US and international markets, as well as national governments. Ambassador Gross advises companies and others on international and domestic telecoms, Internet, and high-tech strategy focusing on both specific markets and international organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), as well as many regional organisations.

David Wheeldon Group Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Sky

David Wheeldon leads Sky’s policy positioning and advocacy, as well as government relations and industry engagement across Sky’s European markets and the EU institutions. Mr Wheeldon has been at Sky for over a decade and has held various roles in public affairs and policy as well as overseeing sustainability and responsible business.

Prior to joining Sky Mr Wheeldon held a similar position at the London Stock Exchange Group where he was responsible for the Group’s UK, EU and global public policy covering listed companies, equities trading and the capital markets. In the early 2000’s, Mr Wheeldon was a Partner in a leading London based communications advisory firm where he provided political advice to major international businesses.

Mr Wheeldon began his career in university administration before becoming a political speech writer and strategist for several UK Members of Parliament. He has degree in Politics and Economics from the University of York.

Isabelle Vereecken Head of Secretariat, European Data Protection Board (EDPB)

Isabelle Vereecken is the head of the EDPB Secretariat. The Secretariat deals with a range of tasks, from ensuring respect of the legal framework, drafting legal documents, providing IT solutions to ensuring transparent communications, handling media relations as well as organizing meetings.

Prior to join the EDPS, she was a legal advisor at the Belgian Data Protection Authority for 10 years. In this position, she was in charge of international data transfers matters and she regularly contributed to the work of the Article 29 Working Party. In addition, she followed closely the negotiation of the General data protection regulation (GDPR), being detached at the European Commission working on the proposal and after by acting as an expert to support the Belgian government during the negotiation.

Ms Vereecken started her career as a researcher and worked at the CRID (Computer and Law Research Centre – University of Namur) for 4 years on data protection, intellectual property rights and e-commerce issues.

Ms Vereecken has a masters degree in law from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and a postgraduate degree in ICT law from the University of Namur.

Jack Hamande Member of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Jack Hamande joined the Institute in September 2013 as Chairman of the Council until January 2017, when he was nominated as a Member of the Council.

Mr Hamande acquired a great deal of experience in management, previously working for the Walt Disney Group, AT&T, Verizon Business, Cisco and Proximus. His managerial responsibilities increased and broadened over the years, especially as regards strategy, regulation, engineering and business development. In 2009 he changed the course of his career by joining the Belgian federal public sector as Director General for Organisation and Personnel Development at the FPS Personnel & Organisation. There he initiated several programmes applying to the whole of the federal public service in areas such as efficiency, customer orientation, leadership development, performance management, culture, diversity and well-being at work.

Mr Hamande holds a Masters degree in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences (ULB) and a degree in management.

Limor Shmerling Magazanik Managing Director, Israel Tech Policy Institute; Senior Fellow, Future of Privacy Forum

Limor Shmerling Magazanik is a leader of policy in technology driven sectors, promoting responsible innovation and sustaining ethics while undergoing digital transformation. She is the Managing Director of the Israel Tech Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum. In this role, Ms Shmerling Magazanik engages policymakers, regulators, academics, and business leaders in multi stakeholder international groups for discussion and policy development, in areas such as Cyber Security, Privacy and Data Protection, Digital Health, Smart Cities, Smart Mobility, Internet Content issues, AI and Open Data.

Ms Shmerling Magazanik joined ITPI after a decade with the Israel Privacy Protection Authority, serving as Director of Strategic Alliances and as Director of Enforcement and Regulation. She led policy initiatives and promoted compliance with data protection, privacy, cybersecurity and digital identity regulation. She also took part in national projects on Biometric and ID data, Credit Data, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security and Open Data.

In 2018 Ms Shmerling Magazanik was chosen by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s top 50 women in tech

Ms Shmerling Magazanik is an adjunct lecturer at the IDC Herzlia School of Law; holds LL.B., MA and LL.M. degrees from Tel Aviv University; Is a research advisor at the Jerusalem Institute Milken Innovation Center and is a certified privacy professional.

Manuel Kohnstamm Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Liberty Global

Manuel Kohnstamm is Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Liberty Global. He is responsible for developing and implementing Liberty Global’s regulatory strategy, public policy, government affairs and corporate communications. Mr Kohnstamm is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on Liberty Global’s Executive Leadership Team and the Regulatory Committee.

Mr Kohnstamm joined the Europe operations of Liberty Global’s predecessor in September 1999 and held several positions in corporate affairs, public policy, and communications. He was appointed to his current position in January 2012. From 1992 until he joined Liberty Global, Mr Kohnstamm worked at Time Warner Inc., most recently as Vice President of Public Affairs in Brussels for its subsidiaries Time Inc., Warner Bros., and Turner Broadcasting. Prior to joining Time Warner, Mr Kohnstamm worked with the consulting group European Research Associates in Brussels where he conducted macro-economic and policy studies on the telecommunications and defense industries.

Mr Kohnstamm is a member of VodafoneZiggo’s Supervisory Board as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Liberty Global’s subsidiary Telenet Group Holding NV, a Liberty Global subsidiary and a Belgian public limited liability company.

Mr Kohnstamm is Co-chair of GIGAEurope, an industry association bringing together independent private telecoms companies. In addition, Mr Kohnstamm is a trustee of the non-profit organisation Street Child, a charitable organisation focused on improving the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world.

Mr Kohnstamm graduated in Political Science and holds a Doctorandus Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in International relations from the Clingendael Diplomat School in The Hague, and successfully completed the Cable Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston (MA).

Michel Van Bellinghen Chairman of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Michel Van Bellinghen became Chairman of the BIPT Council in January 2017, having been a Member of the Council twice (from 2003-2009 and then again in 2013).

Mr Van Bellinghen began his career as a researcher at the UCL university in 1990, then became an assistant under the supervision of Professor Françoise Tulkens, at the UCL Laws Centre for Criminal Law. He went on to become an assistant advisor at the Ministry of Justice in 1992, joining BIPT in 1997. From 1999 to 2003 he held the position of expert at the private office of Rik Daems, who was the Federal Telecommunications Minister at the time, and afterwards took up the function of Assistant Head of the Private Office. After his first tenure as Member of the BIPT Council (2003- 2009) he supervised the legal department until being elected as a Member again in 2013.

Mr Van Bellinghen has written several scientific publications. He has a Master of Laws from UCL.

Mikael Bäck Mikael Bäck, Vice President and Corporate Officer, Group Function Technology, Ericsson

Mikael Bäck is Corporate Officer for Ericsson Group. As a member of the Group Function Technology Leadership Team, he oversees business priorities and strategies for partnerships, customers, with focus on Europe and the APAC region. He also leads the company’s activities in The World Economic Forum in the areas of 4G and 5G.

Prior to his current role, Mr Bäck served as Vice President Global Strategy and Portfolio Development for Ericsson.

Mr Bäck joined Ericsson in 1990 and has since worked in multiple managerial positions in sales, product management, business development and strategy. He has also worked out of Ericsson’s Japan office and for several years led the company’s 3G business.

Paul F Nemitz Principal Advisor, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, European Commission

Paul F Nemitz is the Principal Advisor in the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers. He was appointed by the European Commission on 12 April 2017, following a 6 year appointment as Director for Fundamental Rights and Citizen’s Rights in the same Directorate General.

As Director, Mr Nemitz led the reform of Data Protection legislation in the EU, the negotiations of the EU – US Privacy Shield and the negotiations with major US Internet Companies of the EU Code of Conduct against incitement to violence and hate speech on the Internet.

Before joining the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, Mr Nemitz held posts in the Legal Service of the European Commission, the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Development Cooperation and in the Directorates General for Trade, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

He has represented the European Commission in numerous cases before the European Court of Justice and has published widely on EU law.

Mr Nemitz is a visiting Professor of Law at the College of Europe in Bruges; Member of the Board of the Verein Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie e.V., Berlin; Trustee of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York; Member of the Board of the Association for Accountability and Internet Democracy, AAID, Paris; Member of the Scientific Council of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Brussels. He is also a member of the Tönissteiner Kreis e.V., Berlin, the Commission for Media and Internet policy of the SPD, Berlin; the German Association for European Law and the Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration, Heidelberg.

Mr Nemitz studied Law at Hamburg University. He passed the state examinations for the judiciary and for a short time was a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law and the Law of the Sea at Hamburg University.

He obtained a Master of Comparative Law from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he was a Fulbright grantee. He also passed the first and second cycle of the Strasbourg Faculty for Comparative Law.

Peter Alexiadis Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Brussels; Visiting Professor, King’s College, London; Trustee, International Institute of Communications

Peter Alexiadis is the Partner-in-Charge of the Brussels office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Mr Alexiadis is widely recognised as a leading practitioner in both Telecommunications Regulation and Competition Law by international peer review publications for over two decades, including being listed as "2014-2015 Brussels Media Lawyer of the Year" by the publication Best Lawyers' International, as a “Thought Leader” by Who’s Who Legal in 2017 and 2018 in both Competition Law and TMT practice areas, and among The American Lawyer's "Star Laterals of the Year" for 2003 when he joined Gibson Dunn.

Mr Alexiadis has been a project leader in a number of landmark projects for the European Commission on the EU electronic communications regulatory framework, while having also served as external counsel to DG Competition's Communications Unit in the period 1999-2002. His competition practice has a particular focus on merger control, the abuse of dominance and antitrust litigation before the European Commission, National Competition Authorities and the European Courts. His telecommunications regulatory practice embraces both public sector bodies around the world and a range of private sector market actors.

Mr Alexiadis holds legal qualifications from the Universities of London, Thessaloniki and Sydney. He is a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London, in the LLM course "Competition Law & Regulated Network Sectors".

Serge Abiteboul (Professor) Member of the Board, Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques, des postes et de la distribution de la presse (Arcep), France

Professor Serge Abiteboul is Director of Research in computer sciences at the École Normale Supérieure de Paris and at Inria (the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics), Professor Abiteboul has a PhD from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate (thèse d'État) from the Université de Paris-Sud. His work on data, information and knowledge management - notably on the internet - and his theories on databases earned him membership in the Academy of Sciences in 2008, and in the Academy of Europe in 2011.

He is also a lecturer at the École Polytechnique and guest lecturer at Stanford and Oxford University. In 2011, he was appointed to the Collège de France Research Chair in computer and digital sciences. In 2013, he joined the French Digital Council, chaired by Benoît Thieulin, and that same year became President of the Scientific Advisory Board on the Information Society in France. He has been the chairman of the Fondation Blaise Pascal Strategic Council since 2017.

The author of numerous publications on data and algorithms, as well as a novelist, Professor Abiteboul is the editor and founder of Blog binaire. He was the curator of the Terra Data exhibition at the Cité des sciences in 2017 and 2018.

Yih-Choung Teh Group Director of Strategy and Research, Ofcom, UK

Yih-Choung Teh is Group Director, Strategy and Research at Ofcom. One area of current focus is the increasing shift to online communications and the associated challenges. He has previously been a Director in Ofcom’s Competition Group, working on issues including Ofcom’s strategy to encourage investment in telecoms infrastructure, and overseeing Ofcom’s broadcasting and media competition programme.

Before joining Ofcom, Mr Teh worked for a strategy consultancy in the telecoms sector, providing policy and strategy advice to public and private sector clients globally. Prior to this he held an academic research post in the University of Oxford.

Event details
24th - 25th March 2020
Brussels, Belgium
Privacy, Safety, Security, Governance, Competition Policy, Infrastructure and Spectrum, Innovation and Content, Investment
Bld du Roi Albert II 35
1030 Bruxelles

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