On 19 and 20 April 2018, the Austrian notariat held its 30th Conference of European Civil-Law Notaries in Salzburg on “The Notary and Consumer Protection in a Digital World”. The content of the first part of the programme was ambitious, dealing with the major changes facing the European Union. Prestigious speakers were invited: Franz Fischler, former European Commissioner and former Austrian Minister, writer and essayist Robert Menasse, Rainer Münz, special adviser for the European Political Strategy Centre, and Marius Kohler, CNUE President. In their exchanges, they listed current and future challenges for the old continent: the prospect of Brexit and the decline in citizens’ support for building Europe, the fight against global warming, asylum policy towards migrants, the digitalisation of economic activities, etc.
These are all changes for which the responses can no longer be national, but must be concerted at European level. But it is on the question of the digitalisation of economic activities that the notariat wishes to reflect today with a view to establishing a major digital single market as desired by the European institutions. During the second part of the programme, recent legislative proposals, the “new deal” in consumer law and the company law legislative package published on 25 April were discussed. The use of digital tools developed by notaries for the benefit of their clients was highlighted, demonstrating that notaries will be part of the solution and not part of the problem in tomorrow’s digital economy.