Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission
Speech by Vice-President Ansip at EuroDIG 2016 conference on internet governance
Ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased to join you today to discuss internet governance in Europe.
As the world becomes ever more interconnected and globalised, there is little that the internet has not touched or transformed.
How this global resource is governed in the future will affect how we use it, and how it evolves.
The internet is a common good: for the benefit of all humanity and of everybody who uses it, on an equal footing and not subject to the control of governments.
It should be a single non-fragmented resource space where people enjoy the same rights as they do offline, and have the same degree of protection.
Everyone who is involved - or who has an interest - should have their say in how the internet is governed. Governments, companies, organisations or individuals.
It is why the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance is one that we champion and should defend.
Europe needs a strong presence, and voice, in international discussions to make sure that we do so.
This year's EuroDIG is an occasion to help us to develop a common European approach as input for the global Internet Governance Forum that will take place in Mexico in December.
The internet's strength comes from how it is openly and reliably distributed.
The world needs it to be stable, secure and robust. It needs to be accountable and subject to the rule of law.
A good test of that model's success will be this year's transition of the IANA function from its supervision by the U.S. government to a global multistakeholder model.
The European Commission is committed to a successful and timely conclusion of this transition, with no unjustified delays.
Ladies and gentlemen
The role of the internet and its governance have never been so high on the political agenda.
Good governance is vital for keeping the internet operating properly.
Without it, the DSM cannot provide Europe's people and businesses with the full opportunities that they deserve from the digital age.
It is essential for the continued development of the digital economy, especially as numbers of internet users around the world continue to rise dramatically.
The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014.
And as discussed at the G7 Ministerial Meeting in May, our aim is to bring additional 1.5 billion people online by 2020.
Our DSM strategy aims:
- to make sure that all Europeans - people, industry, businesses – get the best from the online world;
- to open up digital opportunities, to make Europe a world digital leader;
- to remove barriers, to increase access, to get everyone connected – across society, and all sectors of the economy.
Building the DSM will take time and will not be easy.
There is one aspect which is essential for its success and on which everything else depends: an open internet which is robust, reliable and secure.
And it goes way beyond Europe.
The internet should remain a dynamic source of growth in the digital economy – for everyone to benefit.
Together, let us make sure that it does. Thank you.