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The School on Digital Constitutionalism – Third Edition

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The third edition of the School on Digital Constitutionalism has welcomed a fantastic group of speakers and participants. In three days, the School convened scholars, regulators, and practitioners exploring the evolving landscape of digital governance, with a particular focus on the legal frameworks shaping online platforms at the intersection between market and democracy. Organized by the University of Florence, Bocconi University, the European University Institute and Católica Global School of Law, the program featured a diverse array of speakers and topics, offering insights into pressing issues of platform regulation. The School opened with an introduction by Andrea Simoncini (University of Florence) setting the stage for discussions on digital constitutionalism and platform regulation. The keynote address was then delivered by Hans W. Micklitz (European University Institute) who delved into the complexities of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the obligations it imposes on platforms regarding due diligence and compliance, considering the new framework of risk regulation.

Later in the day, a high-level panel, the School address the the challenges of disinformation, media regulation, and platform policy. The panel included Elda Brogi (European University Institute), Cornelia Kutterer (Considerati), and Giovanni De Gregorio (Católica Global School of Law). The panelists engaged in a multifaceted discussion on the regulatory responses needed to address these issues effectively, moving from the European strategy to address disinformation to business practices and GenAI.

The second day commenced with Maria Isa Stasi (Article 19), shedding light on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in reshaping digital markets, particularly underlining the connection of competition with other critical areas of the European digital policy on platform regulation.

Following a coffee break, Marco Bassini (Tilburg University) explored the evolving role of online platforms in the public sphere, questioning the boundaries between public and private governance in the digital realm. He address the approaches to freedom of expression and online platforms in the USA and Europe.

In the afternoon, a workshop on Digital Constitutionalism, led by Erik Longo and Giovanni De Gregorio provided a platform for in-depth discussions on the perspectives and approaches to digital constitutionalism. Participants examined emerging issues such as rights, accountability, and institutional design across local, global and societal areas. Then, the School hosted a dinner in Florence with the participants.

The third day of the School was opened by João Pedro Quintais (University of Amsterdam) who dealt with the intricacies of copyright content moderation and the regulatory challenges posed by GenAI technologies. Particularly, he stressed the challenges in approaching copyright law in a complex system at the intersection between copyright and platform regulation while taking into account the evolution of AI technologies.

This was followed by the lecture of Margot Kaminsky (University of Colorado), who explored the construction of AI-generated speech and its implications for legal and ethical frameworks. She proposed different approaches to deal with the intersection between AI and speech providing multiple perspectives and possibilities about the opportunities and risks of AI-generated speech.

In the afternoon, Francesco Sciacchitano (AGCOM) provided insights into the practical mechanisms for implementing and enforcing the DSA. The session approached the regulatory strategies, compliance mechanisms, and the role of regulatory agencies in ensuring effective enforcement.

The School on Digital Constitutionalism provided some approaches to navigate the complex terrain of platform regulation. The fourth edition of the School is already progressing and more detailed will be disseminated from September 2024. Special thanks go to Giuseppe Muto (Bocconi University) and Federica Camisa (University of Florence) for their support in the organisation of the School.

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