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Is Europe fit for the digital age?

About this event

07 April 2022 from 17:00 until 18:30

Is Europe fit for the Digital Age?


Thursday 7 April 2022, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Amphi Erignac, 13 rue de l’université

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The European Commission has set key objectives for the digital transformation of Europe by 2030. As part of the ‘Digital Decade’ strategy, the EU has stated its ambition is to be “digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world.” The experience of the pandemic has shown both the upsides of technology – in terms of connectedness, home-working and e-government – and the downsides, in terms of misinformation, disinformation and increasing cyber-attacks. The Ukraine war further highlights the extent to which the digital world is now a contested space, begging further questions about how Europe and the US should work together in the digital realm. This panel discussion will look at Europe’s path towards digital sovereignty and the challenges it faces to strengthen overall resilience of today’s European digital societies. 

A discussion with Gilles Babinet, advisor on digital issues at Institut Montaigne and entrepreneur, Florence G'sell, professor of law and holder of the Chair Digital, Governance and Sovereignty at Sciences Po, and Casper Klynge, Vice President for European Government Affairs at Microsoft. It will be chaired by Arancha Gonzalez, Dean of PSIA.

>This event is organized by the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po-PSIA), with the support of Microsoft, as part of an event series on Digital Diplomacy and Digital Sovereignty.



Gilles Babinet,
Advisor, Institut Montaigne; Enrepreneur

Gilles Babinet is a digital entrepreneur. He co-chaired multiple working groups for Institut Montaigne, such as French Youth: Online and Exposed (April 2020) and Big Data & Internet of Things: Making France a Champion for the Digital Revolution (Big data et objets connectés : Faire de la France un champion de la révolution numérique) (April 2015). He was also part of the task force for Digital and Higher Education: Connect yourselves! (Enseignement supérieur et numérique : connectez-vous !) (June 2017) and is the author of the study For a Digital New Deal (February 2013).

Gilles Babinet has set up numerous companies in diverse domains like consultancy (Absolut), construction (Escalada Industrie), mobile music (Musiwave) and co-creation (Eyeka). He was the first to chair the National Council on digital technology between April 2011 and April 2012. He is now its Co-president. He was named "Digital Champion" for the European Commission in June 2012 and was therefore the French representative to the European Commission on the issues of education and inclusion linked to digital technology.

Florence G'sell
Chairholder, Chair Digital, Governance and Sovereignty, Sciences Po

Florence G’sell is full professor of private law at the University of Lorraine, associate researcher at IHEJ, and director of the Chair Digital, Governance and Sovereignty at Sciences Po. She began her professional life in the insurance industry before opting for an academic career. Since the beginning, her research has focused on issues of private law from a comparative perspective. Her most recent publications deal with the various issues raised by the digital transition. 

Casper Klynge, 
Vice President, European Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation

Casper oversees Microsoft’s government affairs and public policy work across the European continent. He leads a team of government affairs professionals tasked with strengthening relations with European Union institutions, NATO, European governments, and other key stakeholders ensuring Microsoft is a constructive partner in supporting policy makers to achieve their goals.

Outside of his work for Microsoft, Casper is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and serves on the Executive Board of Digital Europe, and on the Advisory Boards of Bluetown and Think Tank Europe. A 2009 Marshall Memorial Fellow, Casper was a career diplomat and most recently served as Denmark’s (and the world’s) first Ambassador to the global tech industry. In 2018, he was named among the World’s 100 most influential people in digital government.

About this event

07 April 2022 from 17:00 until 18:30