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5 June 2018 | 09:30-10:15 | GARDEN HALL
Consolidated programme 2018

Welcome session 2018


Provided by: Caption First, Inc. P.O Box 3066. Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-877-825-5234, +001-719-481-9835, www.captionfirst.com

This text is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.

>> Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Your Excellencies, on behalf of the Government of Georgia I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the West for joining us today in Tbilisi, Georgia, for EuroDIG 2018. Minister of economy of sustainable development today (inaudible).

by Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Vice Prime Minister, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

>> Excellencies, it is my great pleasure to be here in Georgia. In a small and -- located at the historical important culture connecting cultures and the economies of the best and least and celebrating one of three most important days in its past, the 100th anniversary of becoming the Third Republic of Georgia. We are a key platform of digitalizing and the bridging the gap between the West and the strategic partner of the United States and associate member of the European Union. Integration of the country was a main priority for us during the last several years, which brings together the Government officials, experts and business representatives to discuss the strategies for our digital nature. The dialogue incorporation with the Internet community on public policy for the international. Also the rights to the -- access to the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights of Freedom of Expression and opinion as well as other fundamental Human Rights that state their responsibility to ensure that the Internet access is broadly available and the strength may not unreasonably restrict an individual's access to the Internet.

As a matter of fact we are living in a constantly evolving digital world and information and where the Internet has an impact on the areas of our lives. From working and learning to -- access to the Internet is entrenched in the Constitution of Georgia which brings an essential role in conducting the Democratic process. The Internet is recognized as one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st Century for accessing the information and facilitating the active citizen participation in building a Democrative society. Social and political development. Contributes to the progress of the humankind as a whole.

Here what I would like to highlight is that Georgia stands in line with the leading European countries freedom of the net and has purpose of country with the free Internet space. The increased demand for the Internet usage -- the world as well as in Georgia. These issues include the concerns regarding the user's private lives and privacy, censorship and self-censorship, protection of copyright infringement and protection of children from the harmful effects and connected to the Freedom of Expression of the internet.

The Government of Georgia has a strong focus of using innovative techniques and technologies. In recent years we took important steps to accelerate the information technology. Some of them I would like to mention up here. Reforms of previous years there is an environment for investment such as abolishing licensing for the number of resources as well as for providing the digital terrestrial broadcasting. To the large scale -- 31 channels at the national level, four national broadcasting and the base was laid for a sustainable development of the electronic media and diversity. Bridging the digital divide is one of the main challenges worldwide and for Georgia as well.

The government of Georgia has undertaken lots of measures for supporting the development of the board and infrastructure. For the time being 99.0% of Georgia's population has access to the -- mobile services and 99.9% to the services and 7% of the Georgia economies has access to the free Internet services. Due to changes, Georgia mobile operators were given the opportunity to start providing the mobile services.

Switching to the digital broadcasting of digital dividend to develop the modern broad and services. Additional frequencies is 700 megahertz will be available for the wireless broadband services. Completion of frequency coordination procedures. Digital divide, the Government of Georgia already started with the broadband for all initiative. Public and private sectors are involved in this project. And it is worth mentioning the private sector plays an equal role and the public sector does. The Government pays considerable attention to the population having access to high speed Internet. But Internet access for the visually impaired people is still one of the main concerns. Georgia has about 25,000 individuals blind and with low eyesight. For this society access is limited to where the people can use the Internet and special devices for typing, et cetera, in order to maximize the connectivity level of population.

In 2016 we established the information access centre for the visually impaired people. The Persons with Disabilities were given the opportunity to use the benefits of the ICT. Notably one of the bigger challenges for the Government of Georgia is strengthening the function of country, formation of the information exchange hub in the region where its high capacity fiber background. Linking Georgia to the neighboring as well as to the -- overcoming the existing digital divide between the regions and Sustainable Development Goals.

We are -- I would like to emphasize the -- here what I would like to emphasize the Georgia access in the e-governance development. I am proud to say that we have advanced to a point where Georgia comes in to full harmonization with the European dialogue single market standards. E-governance have created support for the function with the friends of interoperability, thus enabling the various state and private organizations to exchange the data with each other in a secure and expected way to contribute with increasing the number of e-services available for the public and private entities. Our goal is simple here, we try to save our citizens better and make everyone in this country enjoy the advantage of pulling things through the online Forum rather than the -- when we are talking about the e-governance and ICT-based solution, in general we should be extremely focused on the cybersecurity. We have a lot in this direction, too. Thanks to the government's successful report Georgia currently stands eighth in the world and second -- according to the IT cybersecurity level index.

It also should be noted that the high level of the cybersecurity is without sacrificing a single principle of the Internet Governance and Human Rights in the cyberspace. Recently as the Government of Georgia has conducted the successful reforms to develop knowledge base and innovation driven economy. The Government's vision is to transform the country in to regional hub of the information technologies with the high scale workforce. The Government of Georgia initiated training programmes in information technology and the digital literacy for IT specialists. With the support of the European Commission, the group has commenced rendering technical assistance to the Ministry for elaboration and development strategy of Georgia. Its clear objectives are to bridging the digital divide across urban and rural areas and address the last mile programmes where using the multi-stakeholder approach in this process.

I would like to mention that the International Telecommunication Union has satisfied the request of Georgia and transferred the country from the ITU area office for the CIS countries to the ITU regional office for development. This was a -- this was in close cooperation with the ITU and the European countries.

Here bearing in mind the available support rendered to Georgia and in this process I would like to thank the IT and European countries and express the cooperation in the framework of the ITU regional activities, projects and initiatives for Europe for the support. As you might know since 2015 the Georgia national dialogue on Internet Governance has been held successfully. This is another proof that the Government of Georgia is open for discussion with all interested parties. The general IGF gained international recognition and I think that one of the places where we have the opportunity to bring together unity in Georgia.

Finally, I would like to note that the ongoing process of development in Georgia is based on the main principles of democracy, justice, respecting the current law and Human Rights, protection of the property rights, freedom of the business sector, freedom of the courts and the media from the Government's influence. Everyone has the right to education and health care. For this purpose the Government of Georgia is implementing the four pillar reform agenda that meets the challenges of the building and country to the rapid growth of the national economy and the well-being of the population. The plan includes the educational system reform, the economic reform and special arrangement and public administration reform. The goals of the reform truly meet the interest of our citizens and comprehensive national approach that this world has already helped the country's success which is recognized by the international community. And for the first time in the history Georgia became the Chairman of the development Government partnership, consisting of the 75 countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I strongly believe that the goal of the current dialogue on the Internet Governance will also encourage a positive relationship between the stakeholders and the dialogue will provide a real opportunity to strengthen and deepen the European connectedness that will bolster the digital economic growth. I wish you an interesting discussion and productive workday. I believe that your visit will be -- will leave you with the enjoyable impression about our country. Welcome to Georgia. Thank you very much.



>> Thank you, Minister. Since the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and society Mrs. Mariya Gabriel is not able to join us today. I am pleased to offer a video message specifically prepared for the welcome session of today's event.


Keynote video message
by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel for European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)
Source for the Commissioners video message: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019/gabriel/announcements/keynote-video-message-commissioner-mariya-gabriel-european-dialogue-internet-governance-eurodig_en

Dear Prime Minister Kvirikashvili,
Dear Minister Kumsishvili,
Dear Ministers,
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen

I am honoured to address the 11th European Dialogue on Internet Governance with its vibrant community of digital innovators and policy makers.

My only regret is that I cannot be there in person. I had planned to attend, but as you most probably know, I am at the moment finalising one of the major achievements of the next Multiannual Financial Framework which is the ground-breaking new Digital Europe Programme that will be adopted tomorrow by the College of Commissioners.

Nevertheless, I want to take this occasion to thank personally, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for the warm invitation that was extended to me. As well, I would like to thank Mr. Dimitri Kumsishvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Georgian Government for their warm welcome to the European Internet Governance community.

EuroDIG is one of the most successful and most relevant regional initiatives on Internet Governance.

And, we can feel proud; Europe plays a leading role in shaping the research and the policy agendas for Internet innovation and will continue to do so.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are now at a crossroad: Europe can embrace the digital technological revolution brought by the disruptive development of Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, immersive technologies, and others, or endure it.

The choice is ours.

And certainly, my choice is to look at the future with optimism and determination.

Europe has important cultural and societal values that will help us take full advantage of the digital transformation, while addressing the tensions and challenges it creates. Freedom of speech, freedom to conduct a business, inclusiveness, distribution of resources and power – these are European values that are mirrored by principles such as openness, accessibility and decentralization that have been at the core of the Internet since the beginning.

But we should not be naïve. We are also facing important issues that need to be fixed. Recent polls show that the trust on the Internet is decreasing. Users are not only concerned about the use of their personal data and cybersecurity, but also about the reliability of the Internet as a source of information.

Nowadays, one out of two European users limits their online activities including banking services or e-commerce due to security or privacy issues. Moreover, users express concerns over the pre-dominance of a few market players and the potential risk in terms of abuse of market power, control of content or the control of vast amounts of personal data.

This is why we need, now more than ever, to anchor our policies and our actions in our common European values. This will allow us to build our digital society on solid ground and to re-establish trust in the Internet.

On the 25th May, the General Data Protection Regulation officially became applicable. The GDPR is a major achievement. It is the most advanced piece of legislation on data protection in the world. Once again, Europe is a pioneer and we truly hope other countries will follow our example.

Contrary to what I sometimes hear, the GDPR will not contribute to the fragmentation of the Internet. On the contrary, it will enhance trust and entice more people to connect and increase their use of the Internet.

One particular case that is attracting a lot of attention at the moment is the way the WHOIS directories for generic top-level domains are evolving in order to ensure compliance with GDPR.

The position of the European Commission is very clear: the WHOIS system should ensure full compliance with GDPR, while preserving the public interest functions of WHOIS, which range from law enforcement to cybersecurity and intellectual property rights protection.

It is now the responsibility of ICANN to develop and implement a complete WHOIS model, also addressing access to WHOIS data for legitimate purposes. I see this as a core task of ICANN in the interest of maintaining the security and stability of the Internet.

The European Commission has already provided constructive input and we remain fully committed to supporting ICANN and the community in finding a solution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to share my thoughts with you about what I see as the key building blocks of the Internet of tomorrow.

The way I envision it, it will be a human centric Internet or an internet of humans. It will have to be trustworthy, resilient, sustainable and inclusive.

First, trust is a precondition to unlock the full potential of the Internet.

To ensure trust we need first to design an Internet that empowers users with choice and control on the use of their data. We now have the legal framework, but to make the GDPR a reality, we need the technologies to allow individuals to be fully in charge of their personal data. In the future Internet, people should have full transparency on the use of their data and be able to choose to contribute to social good by sharing their data in areas as diverse as health, democracy, environment, or mobility. This is essential to unleash the power of data both economically and socially.

We also need to implement mechanisms for guaranteeing and checking the authenticity of the information on the Internet. As announced in the Communication on tackling online disinformation, we will accelerate the deployment of new technologies to tackle disinformation: reputation tools, blockchain-based mechanisms to ensure the integrity and the traceability of content, AI-based content filtering, cognitive search algorithms to assess the accuracy and the quality of data sources.

As the Internet becomes increasingly autonomous, we need to maintain human control. Artificial Intelligence will help humans and inform their decisions but humans will continue taking the important decisions (for example medical decisions). The increasing level of autonomy of applications and devices has to be matched by increased openness, transparency and predictability of the algorithms and decision-making process.

Secondly, on resilience, it is clear that we need to do much more to ensure the security of our networks, of our data and our applications. This is why Europe seeks leadership in encryption and in secure communication technologies, for instance based on quantum. For that, we need to be able to test these technologies and deploy them at scale to secure key Internet applications and the underlying Internet infrastructure. This is an area where our proposed European cybersecurity competence centre will play a central role.

Decentralisation of the Internet will also be essential to increase resilience, as well as user control. Distributed ledger technologies and blockchain-based architectures have the potential to increase trust, transparency and traceability of transactions on the Internet. This is why we have set up the European Blockchain Partnership, which will be a vehicle for cooperation amongst Member States on blockchain. It will prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications.

Thirdly, on the sustainability of the Internet, we need to make a special effort to develop green architectures and technologies to minimise electricity consumption and to reduce the carbon footprint of the Internet while the amount of data stored, transmitted and computed on the Internet increases.

Last but not least, a human-centric Internet should reflect the openness, diversity and the inclusion that are at the core of European values.

The Internet should allow all citizens to interact and to take part in the online society. This is why we aim at an Internet that is “language transparent”, where devices and machines are able to fully understand various languages and interact with humans. Europeans, irrespective of their age and physical condition should be able to interact seamlessly with each other and their online environment with the help of adapted interfaces and AI agents.

Of course to allow all Europeans enjoy the benefits of advanced Internet services and technologies, it will be essential to upskill citizens of all ages, and to adapt our education systems to the requirements of a digital economy.

To implement this vision based on trust, human control, resilience, openness, diversity and inclusion, an intense effort in research and innovation will be needed, including at European level. This is a discussion we will have in the coming months with the Member States. I am confident they will support our high level of ambition for digital in the next European budget.

In this vision, Internet governance fora will be more crucial than ever, especially in their role of raising awareness among users. Informed users are, in fact, empowered users; users that are capable of discerning fake news from real facts; that are in control of their personal data and their online identity; users that build their own digital landscape and are ultimately at the core of this future Internet, an internet of humans.

I hope that we will continue to work together to achieve this.

Thank you very much for your attention.

I wish you rich and fruitful discussions



>> Now I am pleased to invite Secretary-General of EuroDIG Mrs. Sandra Hoferichter.


by Sandra Hoferichter, Secretary-General of EuroDIG

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm welcome also from my side to this 11th European dialogue on Internet Governance. I would like to thank Dimitry Kumisishvili to inviting us to Georgia and especially his team who prepared this event in advance and inviting us to Georgia to the very east of Europe. After we have been in Switzerland 2009 and Belgrade in 2011, we are the third one of Member States to demonstrate that this Forum is a dialogue and not one among Member States only. For some of us the dialogue started our day two days ago, allowing 40 young people prepared -- for the participation and we will have a chance to listen to the messages later these days.

During the past two days they learned that entrepreneurship is the driving of this country and the Government is setting a solid ground for startups to develop by offering space and easy access to resources. We visited the laboratories at the tech park and had an exchange with them about their strategies, how to build our digital future. I hope we can continue with young entrepreneurs that are still underrepresented in the multi-stakeholder fora. The IGF movement started 30 years ago and for 13 you become a teenager. That's an exciting age. You are just about to find your identity. You are full of hope, and sometimes doubt about the future.

Many times teenagers are rebels. The IGF movement and multi-stakeholder model with a mild eye of parents and help it to become a responsible adult that is able to make a change in the future. Our host did a remarkable job in promoting here in Georgia and beyond. The number of 850 online registrations took us by surprise. And we had to close the registration earlier in order to stay within our capacities.

I do apologize if this prevented anyone from getting involved and I hope those people can participate via online channels or in one of our next meetings. I hope we can grow our community with this meeting by bringing in new people and bringing them to a country next year where the multi-stakeholder is in the citizen's DNA. Besides this I have a king and -- you will find out tonight who takes the flag from Georgia. I wish you two exciting days of exchange in this charming venue. You might have recognized that this venue is under construction. And so is EuroDIG and it should be you building it. Thank you very much.



>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much. Now we will take a short break and we will come back again here. Thank you.


>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Actually please don't leave the room because this is a technical break for the open mic session we have to bring the open mic because this is the moment where we give our voice to the community. And I would like to invite you, please don't leave the room. I would like to invite you to let us know your view on our overarching theme.


This text is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.