Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Work session 6 - Making it in the Digital Single Market: Overcoming challenges and impact of internet 'gatekeepers'?


The work session was organised around the transformation of the services sector and the shift of a large part of our economy into a digital economy. It focused on how connecting everyday products and citizens/consumers to the internet is deeply transforming and opening the way to highly disruptive business models, also in traditional sectors. We discussed both challenges to established players and opportunities to transform business landscape in Europe.
The work session was also an occasion to showcase European success stories in the digital transformation, present recommendations for actions by the EU and discuss actions to be taken by the businesses themselves.

Some key questions about the digital single market were discussed:

  • How does the digital challenge business models in various sectors in EU?
  • What are the key trends in various sectors?
  • How can the digital single market in EU help to scale up business and create growth?
  • What are they barriers and key strengths in EU (regulatory, economic, cultural, and societal)?
  • How to facilitate the transition of traditional sectors to the digital world?
  • Where to draw a line between public and private actions for the DSM?
  • What should be the priority areas for action by the EU in the next five years?
  • What place for self-regulation?


Click to show the agenda

Moderator of the whole session: Ann Mettler, executive director and co-founder, the Lisbon Council


Local grocery stores competing with Amazon and startups: is Europe ready?

Consumers have now instant access to thousands of items that can satisfy their needs. As e-commerce grows, consumers become increasingly comfortable with Internet shopping. Huge online marketplaces like eBay , Amazon and Alibaba have already changed the face of retailing. Now disruption is reaching even small groceries, at least in the US.

Trends in the different sector?

What are the latest trends you can observe in : Retail, Finance, Travel, Telecom, Postal/Logistic and Publishing? How to facilitate the transition of traditional sectors to the digital economy? How can the digital single market in EU help to scale up business and create growth?

Disruption in traditional services: how can established banks engage with fintech startups?

The #dad14dsm workshop will discuss how traditional services are being transformed by technologies. What happened in digital products (music) is now happening with traditional services (e.g. taxis). Established players face unprecedented challenges from new startups.

How to create a level-playing field between new and established players in the Digital Single Market?

The emergence of digital services in traditional services is having a disruptive effect. Services such as AirBNB and Uber are disrupting the tourism and transport sector by piloting innovative business models, introducing efficiencies and productivity gains.

Welcome to the discussion

In view of the Digital Action Day workshop on Digital Single Market, we open this space to prepare the debate and focus the scope of the discussion with the widest range of participants. Alain Heureux will be moderating this forum and posing questions on a weekly basis.