External Publication

Liability: When Things Go Wrong in an Increasingly Interconnected and Autonomous World: A European View

In the following article, Scott Marcus first considers the sources of potential defects and what might be done to redress them. He then goes on to consider what constitutes a product defect as well as the associated liability in light of recent (and potential future) EU Directives.

By: Date: June 6, 2019 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

The Internet of Things (IoT) potentially offers society not only economic advantage but also gains in product quality and safety. At the same time, IoT (in conjunction with related technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to which we collectively refer as IoT/AI/ML) may open new potential product safety and liability exposures.

What problems might be anticipated? Are potential exposures dealt with adequately by existing legal and policy measures, or do they call for some re-thinking of existing law and regulation? The European Union (EU) has adopted a common approach to two key groups of policy instruments in order to facilitate trade of goods and services throughout the EU: (1) product safety regulation, which establishes standards to which goods must conform; and (2) liability regulation, which enables consumers to recover their costs if they are harmed or injured due to a malfunctioning product (or potentially a defective service). Both are important, but our focus here is on liability.

A few key questions emerge:

Who is responsible? The merchant? The manufacturer? The programmer? Or the service or device itself? Value chains in this interconnected universe are complex. The use of machine learning poses particularly daunting challenges.

How is the user to achieve redress? The burden of proof must be neither too high (making it impractical  or injured parties to receive compensation) nor too low (which risks needlessly impeding innovation).

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Upcoming Event

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The European AI policy: writing the first lines of the code

At this closed-door event, an open discussion with Margrethe Vestager will contribute to her work on artificial intelligence. The aim of these discussions is to set out a policy and regulatory approach in the form of a white paper, including the human and ethical implications of AI.

Speakers: Margrethe Vestager and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Policy Contribution

Market versus policy Europeanisation: has an imbalance grown over time?

This Policy Contribution tests the hypothesis that an imbalance has grown in Europe over the last few decades because markets have integrated to a greater extent than European-level policymaking, potentially creating difficulties for the democratic process in managing the economy. This hypothesis has been put forward by several authors but not so far tested empirically.

By: Francesco Papadia and Leonardo Cadamuro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 9, 2020
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Opinion

Could the U.S. economy be experiencing a hidden tech-driven productivity revolution?

In the last decade, most advanced economies have grown more slowly than before. Slower growth has frequently been seen as a legacy of financial crises, especially that of 2007–2009.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: January 6, 2020
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Opinion

The Green Deal is not just one of many EU projects, it is the new defining mission

The EU has already invested so much of its political capital into the green transition that a failure to deliver would severely damage its legitimacy.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate Date: January 3, 2020
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Blog Post

AI and the Productivity Paradox

In this blog post, I review the main explanations for this paradox and I briefly discuss relevant policy options in order to increase the contribution of AI on productivity

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: December 24, 2019
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Podcast

Podcast

The Sound of Margrethe Vestager

Will AI exacerbate the gap between big companies and small ones? Do ordinary Europeans gain anything from having European tech giants? This week, Nicholas Barrett and Guntram Wolff went to the Berlaymont to interview Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 19, 2019
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Past Event

Past Event

EU-Asia trade and investment connectivity

The Asia Europe Economic Forum (AEEF) was established in 2006 as a high level forum for in-depth research-based exchanges on global issues between Asian and European policy makers and experts. This year, the AEEF will be hosted by Bertelsmann Stiftung on 28-29 November, 2019 in Berlin, Germany, and it will focus on “EU-Asia trade and investment connectivity”.

Speakers: Aart de Geus, Guntram B. Wolff, He Fan, Alessia Amighini, John Beirne, Nicolaus Heinen, Jae-Young Lee, Cora Jungbluth, Alicia García-Herrero, Xin Yuan, Andreas Esche, Ken Wu, Sébastien Jean and Amb. Karsten Warnecke Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bertelsmann Representative Office, Unter den Linden 1, 10117 Berlin Date: November 28, 2019
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Working Paper

The state of China-European Union economic relations

More can be done to capture the untapped trade and investment opportunities that exist between China and the EU. China’s size and dynamism, and its recent shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-led growth model, mean that these opportunities are likely to grow with time.

By: Uri Dadush, Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Tianlang Gao Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 20, 2019
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Past Event

Past Event

A European approach to Artificial Intelligence?

Closed-door brainstorming event to discuss the European Commission's AI strategy

Speakers: Diane Coyle, Marietje Schaake, Juan Carlos De Martin, Guntram B. Wolff and Margrethe Vestager Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: November 19, 2019
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Opinion

Politics, not policy will help Lagarde save the eurozone

Her success at helm of Europe’s central bank will depend on her ability to mend fences with hawkish policymakers.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 4, 2019
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Blog Post

Talking about Europe: La Stampa 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project at Bruegel seeks to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. In this third blogpost, we carry out the exercise on 9.9 million articles from an Italian daily newspaper, La Stampa. The trend increase in the frequency of European related articles, previously found looking at the French and German press, is confirmed in the case of Italy.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 22, 2019
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Blog Post

Thomas Piketty's New Book: Impressive Research, Problematic Solutions

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century blended history, statistics, and theory. Capital and Ideology his new magnum opus, is long enough (1,200 pages) to lump together several books: a quantitative history of inequality through time and space, from medieval Europe and ancient India to present-day societies; a largely noneconomic theory of social stratification; an investigation into the social roots of current populism; and a political manifesto for the European left.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 3, 2019
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