Data Talks – policy forums with academic and policy experts @ VUB

UPDATE: Dates for the 3rd Policy Forum on Open Data in the EU now announced:
Wednesday 29 May 2013 // 12:00 – 14:00


The Institute for European Studies, in collaboration with iMinds-SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication) and LSTS (Law, Science, Technology and Society Studies) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, is proud to announce a series of three Data Talks. In these talks, academic and policy experts will discuss current issues of Cyber-Security, Data Protection and Innovation, and Open Data in the European Union.

We warmly invite you to join us for Data Talks in April and May 2013!

Cyber-Security in the European Union

Friday 26 April 2013, 12:00 – 14:00
Institute for European Studies, Pleinlaan 5, Floor -1, 1050 Brussels

How can we achieve a resilient and secure cyberspace while fostering an open and free Internet? What are the EU’s limits in building a resilient and secure cyberspace? And how does the EU’s new cyber-security strategy affect the Internet industry? In February 2013, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published a joint Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace. Join us in this Policy Forum, as academic and policy experts debate cyber-security and its impact on the European Union, citizens and Internet companies.

Against this background, we have assembled the following panel to discuss cyber-security in the European Union.

Data Protection and Innovation

Thursday 2 May 2013, 12:00 – 14:00
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels

Is the EU’s proposed Data Protection Regulation carefully drafted to improve data protection for the citizen while permitting the development of innovative data-based business models and applications? Has the administrative burden for companies been reduced as much as possible? Will the proposal align or further detach the European and American approaches to data protection?

In this Policy Forum, academic and policy experts discuss data protection and innovation in light of the ongoing Parliamentary debate and the continued discussions in the Council. We have assembled the following panel:

Open Data in the European Union

Wednesday, 29 May 2013, 12:00 – 14:00
Institute for European Studies, Pleinlaan 5, Floor -1, 1050 Brussels

Open Data has been seen by the EU as one of the engines of economic growth, through the development of new, innovative and more structured uses of public data that has traditionally resided within the silos of various public administrations. However, one of the major challenges surrounding this principle is how it can actually be implemented at the national and sub-national levels, where legacy systems, privacy concerns and other barriers to opening up data are rife.

In this Policy Forum, academic and policy experts will focus on the principles of Open Data set out in the EU, questioning their effectiveness and feasibility. We have assembled the following panel:

  • Geert Mareels, E-Government Manager at the Flemish Government
  • Susie Ruston, Partner and Programme Manager at 21c Consultancy
  • Andrew Stott, Member of the UK Public Sector Transparency Board
  • Richard Swetenham (tbc), Adviser for Open Data at DG CNECT, European Commission

The policy forums are conducted in English and are free of charge, but due to space limitations, registration is mandatory. Please register at

For more information, please contact Trisha Meyer at


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