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GIGAEurope brings together private operators who build, operate and invest in the gigabit communications networks that enable Europe’s digital connectivity.


Discover the EURACTIV-GIGAEurope Digital Debate Event Highlights

Trust in the Digital Decade Europe, 21 June 2021
With keynote speaker Margrethe Vestager

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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.

relive our EU presidency event

This event was organised on 26 May 2021, with the support of the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU. The programme featured a keynote speech by Hugo Santos Mendes, Deputy Minister for Communications, Portugal.

Panel speakers represented the European Commission and the connectivity industry:

  • Rita Wezenbeek, Director Connectivity, DG CONNECT, European Commission
  • Erzsebet Fitori, Group Head of EU Affairs and Relations, Vodafone Group
  • Robert Kolthek, Vice President Regulation, Liberty Global


GIGAEurope, together with Telecom Advisory Services, released a study which demonstrates the impact of 10Gbps internet speed on the economy, jobs and innovation.

The report demonstrates how 10Gbps connectivity supports a new generation of digital services to consumers, businesses and governments. 10Gbps supports the runway of existing electronic communications networks, providers’ innovation roadmap and the role of private investment and public policy in realising the socio-economic benefits resulting from a 10Gbps scenario.


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.

Our members collectively provide connectivity services to over 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

Manuel Kohnstamm


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

Joakim Reiter


Joakim Reiter is Chief Corporate Affairs 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

Irina Varlan

Managing Director

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.

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