2018 CERRE Annual Review


This report highlights the achievements, impact and activities of the Centre on Regulation in Europe for January to December 2018.




“The times they are a-changin’” wrote Bob Dylan in 1964. More than ever, the iconic words of the American poet and singer are valid. The rising inequality, speedy digitisation of all parts of economic, social and public life, and increased awareness of climate change threats, to name just a few, are affecting in unprecedented ways our lives and our societies. Fear of the future is becoming the prevalent concern for many citizens.

In Europe and around the world, this is reinforcing a deep distrust in traditional political forces. It also provides growing appeal to groups directly opposing the European values of democracy and solidarity. Not surprisingly in this context, the European project is experiencing a profound crisis.

I am convinced that, to overcome disenchantment and frustration, appropriate policy responses will require new governance principles, new roles, new types of cooperation and new responsibilities for all private and public actors. Resilient and robust regulation will doubtless be part of the policy kit to be reinvented to fix suffering democracies and societies. By its very nature, such regulation puts consumers’ interests and citizens’ rights at the forefront. And empowering citizens in their daily life is a necessary condition to help them regain trust in Europe’s institutions.

It is CERRE’s mission to actively contribute to this process. Our think tank promotes regulation that stimulates citizens’ engagement in the energy transition, helps them to safely harvest the fruit of the digital economy and allows them to benefit from the smart mobility revolution.

In doing so, we are prepared to reconsider traditional regulatory provisions, without bias or fear. We design new, principle-based approaches and we promote “regulatory sandbox” mechanisms that allow regulation to keep up with the fast pace of innovation and new
business models.

Thanks to its unique structure, its top-level academic resources, its diversified membership and its independence, CERRE has become the ideal place to explore these new approaches to regulation, and to generate ideas and solutions. It is thrilling for me to witness CERRE’s
ever-increasing recognition as a leading and pivotal think tank for the regulation of digital and network industries. 
CERRE is a growing reference point for high-quality research. It is a unique forum, where industry, regulators, member states and EU policy makers, civil society and academia come together to openly exchange very different perspectives. It is a well of novel ideas that help decision makers take better decisions for the common good.

2018 was a pivotal year for CERRE. We have reached an important landmark with more than 50 member organisations, corporations, regulatory authorities and academic centres, closely involved in our work. To meet our members’ expectations, we have also strengthened our
capability to operate efficiently. This includes significant progress in our communications activities, to increase the impact of our work.

2019 will be a very special year for Europe with parliamentary elections, the appointment of a new European Commission and, hopefully, the end, one way or another, of the Brexit process. To contribute to the EU’s future work and guide the newly elected institutions, CERRE will share with them in the course of the summer its White Paper 2019-2024. This document will present our think tank’s regulatory priorities and ambitions for a stronger European Union which is determined to regain citizens’ trust.

My final word will be for the dynamic team of talented academics and professionals I am tremendously proud to be leading. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to every member of the CERRE staff and to our members whose confidence and engagement make our achievements possible.

CERRE, Bruno Liebhaberg