GIGAEurope brings together private operators who build, operate and invest in the gigabit communications networks that enable Europe’s digital connectivity.
We support a strong and harmonised European Digital Single Market, with a clear focus on enabling regulatory and market conditions that allow for sustainable investment and innovation in Gigabit infrastructure and the Internet of Things.
GIGAEurope aims to highlight the importance of EU policies, supporting sustainable investment and competition. We believe that European policies should be based on long-term objectives, with regulatory intervention strictly limited to situations where the market fails to provide efficient outcomes.
Working with vertical players and policy makers, we aim to reduce market fragmentation and establish a level playing field across the whole digital ecosystem.
GIGAEurope’s members provide reliable and secure gigabit-speed connections to customers across Europe, offering world-class products and services, including converged fixed and mobile communications, while carefully protecting their data and privacy.
In total, our members serve around 40 million fixed broadband customers and 130 million mobile customers spanning across Europe.
GIGAEurope is open to associate members from the connectivity and content sectors, in addition to industries and organisations from the wider digital economy.
Manuel Kohnstamm is Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Liberty Global, a position he has held since March 2012. In his current position, Manuel is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on the Company’s Executive Management Committee.
Based in Amsterdam and Brussels, he is responsible for regulatory strategy, public policy and government affairs throughout the Liberty Global group. Manuel joined United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), which later merged into Liberty Global Europe, in September 1999.
Manuel graduated in Political Science and holds a Doctorandus Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in International relations from the Clingendael Diplomat School in The Hague, and successfully completed the Cable Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston (MA).
Joakim Reiter is Group External Affairs Director of Vodafone Group, where he has been an Executive Committee member since August 2017.
Before joining Vodafone in April 2017, Joakim was the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years in the foreign service of Sweden, including as Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to the World Trade Organization and at the Permanent Representation to the European Union. He also served as an EU negotiator with DG TRADE at the European Commission.
A Swedish national, Joakim holds a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Political Science from Lund University. He is currently an advisory board member of the World Trade Institute.
Irina Varlan, the Managing Director of GIGAEurope, is an experienced corporate executive who has worked in multinational companies for more than 20 years. Prior to joining GIGAEurope, she was General Counsel, Public Policy and Regulatory Director of UPC Romania, Liberty Global. Before she joined Liberty Global in 2012, Irina held a number of senior management positions in leading international telecommunications companies, including DHT Television, Telekom Romania and the American company Metromedia International. A graduate of the Bucharest Faculty of Law, Irina is also a legal practitioner, an attorney-at-law member of the Bucharest Bar, having worked in the private legal practice at the associated law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Romania.