2021 ELI Annual Conference Day One: Data Economy and Use of Digital Assets as Security in the Spotlight


The opening of the 2021 ELI Annual Conference on 6 September was followed by lively discussions on the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy and the Access to Digital Assets: Use of Digital Assets as Security projects.

The final results of the flagship ALI-ELI project on the Principles for a Data Economy: Data Rights and Transactions, which were unanimously approved by the ELI Council recently and are currently being voted upon by the ELI Membership, were presented to and discussed with participants. Steven O Weise (Co-Chair; partner in the law firm Proskauer Rose LLP), Lord John Thomas (Co-Chair; former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales), Malte Beyer-Katzenberger (Team Leader – EU Policies, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission), Neil Cohen (Project Co-Reporter; Jeffrey D Forchelli Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School), Christian Twigg-Flesner (Professor at Warwick University) and Christiane Wendehorst (Project Co-Reporter; Professor of Law at the University of Vienna) explained the Principles and their impact, in particular in connection with the Commission’s soon to be presented Data Act, which ELI has recently contributed to in the form of a response to a public consultation.

This was followed by a webinar on Access to Digital Assets: Use of Digital Assets as Security. The webinar chair Sjef Van Erp (Project Co-Reporter; Emeritus Professor of Civil Law and European Private Law at Maastricht University) was joined by Project Team members Phoebus Athanassiou (Senior Lead Legal Counsel at the European Central Bank; Associate Professor at the Institute of Law & Finance at Goethe University) and Teemu Juutilainen (Associate Professor of Private Law at the University of Turku), who presented the definition of digital assets and three rules elaborated upon in the final report, which is expected to be approved by the ELI Council soon. Carlo Di Nicola (Senior Legal Officer at UNIDROIT) and Louise Gullifer (Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at the University of Cambridge) presented the UNIDROIT project on digital assets and touched upon links and differences between ELI’s and UNIDROIT’s work. Tilman Lueder (Head of the Securities Markets Unit in Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, European Commission) then shared his perspective on digital assets in the context of financial markets.

Both webinars also featured lively Q&A sessions with ELI Members and Friends.

The recordings of the webinars are available below.