Agreeing on the Messages for Focus Area 1 – FA 01 2022

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21 June 2022 | 17:30 - 18:00 CEST | FabLab / Fibonacci | Video recording | Transcript
Consolidated programme 2022 overview / Day 1

Messages from Trieste

Messages are compiled from each Focus Area and form the main output of the annual EuroDIG. The messages are presented to the global Internet Governance Forum that is convened by the United Nations with a view to contributing to global, other regional and national debates on Internet governance. Find the messages from 2021 as a reference here.

To agree in consent on the Messages we foresee 30 min at the end of each day for each Focus Area.

Reporters from the Geneva Internet Platform will be assigned to take notes and to formulate the messages for each Focus Area that:

  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in rough consensus with the audience

These Messages are finalised after the event by the Org Teams on our Commenting Platform.

We strongly suggest all session organisers and Focal Points to participate in the process of agreeing on the messages, because this delivers the outcome of their work. Session organisers are free to make a summary in addition.

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>> He is here.

>> Ahh.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Sorry, I will take over because I have heard you mentioning me. I didn’t want to jump in. I thought you were talking about someone else. But I’m in the room. And if you want me to go ahead with reading the messages I’m ready.

>> You can start.

>> What did you prepare?

>> MARCO LOTTI: Yes. There have been three messages that came out from focus area 1. If your colleagues can display, I can read them on the screen or you can read them out loud in the presentation that I have sent earlier today in the powerpoint.

So I will wait exactly. So everyone can see them. Apologies for the delay. I was told to join the main room. It turns out it was not the right room. It is my pleasure to be with you. I have been one of the Rapporteurs for this EuroDIG. This task is not easy. This task of reporting is not easy and condensing messages from every day. This year is challenging because we tried to squeeze the whole sessions in to three messages and grouped within each focus area.

So let me run these messages by you and see whether there is rough Consensus. As it has been explained probably by also my colleagues, the idea is that we have a rough Consensus on the content of the messages now. No need to go if you pass me to drafting with commas and polishing the messages. The idea is to have a factual agreement on the factual and factualities and the content that’s in the message. You will have the chance to go back to the commenting platform provided by EuroDIG at the end if you want to add further comments.

Without further ado let’s jump to the first message. I’m going to read it out loud. There needs to be a discussion on potential impacts on EU overregulation on digital technologies. Not only would it harm Small and Medium Enterprises in their growth but it would also lead to more sluggish global digital development.

Specifically when it comes to regulating the Internet infrastructure we should pay attention to avoid collateral damages to the services and operators in terms of economic costs and availability and not to fragment the global critical infrastructure of the Internet. Any regulatory initiatives aimed at creating sovereignty in a particular field, NIS directive or DNS4EU must be well examined to be sure they do not harm Human Rights online and are in line with the Democratic multi-stakeholder principles. It is a long message. It is a dense message.

I have tried to read it also as slowly as possible because the concepts need to rest a little bit. I see that in the chat being online my first attention is caught by the chat section. There are no objections. There are no precise comments. I see hands being raised.

>> So can you put it back?

>> Yes.

>> So I’m the first one. So I’m not sure – I mean maybe this comes from the first workshop of this morning.

>> No, it doesn’t come from our workshop.

>> The first one, the one with Google novist and (inaudible). But yeah. This is totally true to me.

Okay. First of all, I think there also needs to be discussion on the impact of underregulation. If you look at the European market at 20 years, I come from a European SME. We have suffered the effect of underregulation. And do whatever they wanted. Stifle competition and take over market. So maybe if we need to have a discussion, we need to compare the fact of overregulation and underregulation together.

In terms of harming Small and Medium Enterprises, I’m representing a Small and Medium Enterprise from Germany. And I say the opposite. So I think we need to examine the substance of the digital regulation. But I mean this kind of blank statement that all regulations have SMEs and is sluggish, this is what Google says but it is not the rest.

And yeah. In saying for later, okay, regulating, we regulate the infrastructure and we should pay attention to avoid damages and fragmentation. It depends on what you mean. Do you want to discuss it?

>> It is just a proposal. Instead of all regulation, the right measure of regulation then it is fine more me.

>> As we want. Just regulation. In spite we discuss –

>> I think here it goes about the measure. How much. It is not content. There is some –

>> Yeah. Maybe we can –

>> MARCO LOTTI: If I can quickly jump in on this. I was not the Rapporteur for this session. And I was in the room for this discussion. And I remember two out of the four panelists discussing only overregulation. I fully understand the comment that has been made. And in this regard maybe to reflect it in the comment, maybe instead of just mentioning overregulation and when it says it will not harm, we can add a sentence striking a balance or assessing or balancing between overregulation and underregulation when developing new regulations, something along these lines but that makes more sense.

>> Since I was one of the panelists I know that I personally spoke about both sides.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Excellent.

>> Yeah, if I can have a quick question because I thought this event, the European dialogue is very important for discussion. So wondering why the message itself has little substance. And just says there must be discussion. What’s the outcome we want to achieve. If this is a simulation we are all participating to facilitate further discussion without any specific outcome or potential action I don’t see the point to meet once a year and say discuss it next time. Just from the practice point of view.

>> If I may, I mean three out of four were discussing overregulation. Two out of four does not seem fully representative to discuss, whether we choose the word overregulation or underregulation. It is very in the air to say okay, what is medium size regulation. Sorry. But that vague notion is not working. If you stick to only regulation, okay. There still needs to be a discussion on potential impact that should have been already discussed. What are the action potential impacts that were discussed and now put forward.

>> Yeah. Now in my role as Moderator here, it is about draft Consensus and it means you raise to the bottom. So if you do not have rough Consensus on something, we have to go down, just water it down until we have rough Consensus. This is to answer your question.

>> Thank you for the work. So it is not this isn’t new. But we think that we have to take in account all the workshops that has been done. So in total we had four workshops. And I think that we need to try to send messages that take in to account all these voices that we heard. I follow all of that. And I can say that this high Consensus that the regulation is better than no regulation. That’s for sure.

And this doesn’t appear on the – from the message. Second, I think if you also take in the observation what – was a very strong and important message, that the regulation, the burden of regulation is more on the bigger companies, and that’s to be less on the smaller and medium size companies.

So if we interpret the efforts of the European Union in creating regulation, in this sense, I think that this has to be welcomed. Because the desert that we are currently or the European companies in this field is due to the lack of regulation for 20 years. And there is no doubt of that. So then there is as a further – in this scale at the third point I will put the fact that there is a potential risk of overregulation. But this risk of potential overregulation needs to be monitored. And need to be an accurate counter. And has been said very correctly in the – the regulation is made more different degrees of (inaudible). Some documents are more better than others and others are subordinate. We stick to the fundamentals.

I think the fundamentals are taking in to account the Human Rights. If you go down, it could be at a certain point, could be the risk of overregulation. But it’s far away profitable to the situation that we have seen yesterday. That’s no doubt. And this I don’t think that the – in any of the four panels somebody put in a question to this part. I think we need to change the wording because it doesn’t correspond exactly with the majority of what I heard this morning.

>> The wording needs to be changed.

>> MARCO LOTTI: If I understood correctly, I took very good note of the comments that you made now. If I understood correctly the wording needs to be changed, which regards the first point of this message which is overregulation and underregulation which should be solved. When it comes to the second part the potential risks could be collateral damage, it is quite general. Avoid fragmentation issues. Those do not seem to be so controversial. I have understood correctly that – your comments are precisely regarding the first two sentences. There needs to be a discussion until it would also lead to more sluggish digital development and the second part of the message seems to be roughly agreed upon or would you – you would have other comments on the rest of it also?

>> Personally I can live with the second part. Maybe I can point out that creating sovereignty doesn’t take a chance either sovereignty exists or not. Apart from this it is not mostly – initiative must be in line with Human Rights. If we want to state it, that’s fine. It doesn’t add much.

>> Sorry. Just to be precise, I think the second part is fine if we start from clear admittance that we welcome regulation.

>> We should start with a clear sentence.

>> If not we are criticizing – we are training since 20 years.

>> Especially European industry.

>> Even European citizens.

>> Yeah.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Very well understood. I took good note of that. After this discussion moment I will reword the first part of the message. And again as I said these messages will be posted on EuroDIG commenting. At the end of the conference you will have further time and space to add additional comments.

So are we ready to move to message No. 2?

Digital sovereignty should not be understood as building a fortress around Europe but as enhancing connectivity in a way that keeps individuals and rights at the center of concerns. European policymakers need to devise digital policies that first improve European digital infrastructure which is currently overly dependent on foreign technology. And by second by building bridges through strategic partnerships with key players like the U.S. and China. However Europe needs to be cautious about increasing frictions among EU, China and the U.S. models of digital regulations, especially in terms of how technology would impact fundamental rights and European values.

As for the first message, I don’t see any strong reactions in the chat. So I rely on my colleagues on the ground to see if there are hands that are being raised. Yes, I see one.

>> This is fine. I think that there are missing some important concepts that I have heard during the discussion. The first is that Europe is very highly concerned about this role as finding solutions that keep account always of Human Rights. It is sad, but probably we need to underline a little bit more.

That the role of Europe is – we have a moral responsibility in the world to – but this means that not be acted in a colonial way. But it is a tool that is made available for everyone in the world for creating a better environment. That’s not part – that’s hard to put this. But this is the principle. Europe has a moral duty to do so compared to the rest of the world. And doesn’t want to do this alone. But wants to do with the rest of the world.

And I would not like only to the giants in U.S. and China but I think we have a moral responsibility also with the countries, Developing Countries. But look at us as a source of inspiration and I think that’s important to put this concept in. Because – main occasion today.

>> If I may, I believe that for – it is quite a – the whole point is to make an impact. Right? To make a positive impact but I do believe that the word friction denotes and might be understood as sort of native – in Brussels they are well aware what this situation is to the U.S. and China. The problem is not only U.S. and China and their own. It is other models that would be – that could potentially not be compatible with the European model. Those are not only China and U.S. By pointing this out, excluding other potential emerging in the future, I believe the last sentence should drift away from the U.S., China approach and strive to give a general message in to despite these kind of alternative models, there needs to be a general acknowledgement that when regulating technology needs to consider how this – specific regulation or this specific regulation aiming at regulating technology impacts in general. Not just U.S. and China. I have a problem with the wording. It is true.

>> You may also think of the EuroDIG not only as the EU dig, as the EuroDIG. We stop with a number of countries, including UK, for example, who is quite active in finding some new way of regulation between the EU and other countries. So we need to see the addressees of these messages not only Brussels, but Brussels they don’t need it. So the message just to make sure are aimed at messages to in particular those who are not Brussels, including Brussels but not only. Therefore, we just –

>> Probably this concept could be mentioned in the first place. I like the individuals should not be understood as losing their fortress. But this means that we need to create bridges with all the others that recognize around the model of Human Rights based model.

We have to say the truth. In China like U.S. the model is not Human Rights based.

>> Sure. Yes.

>> Quick word, because we usually neglect Africa, because this project will be double. There is a different side. Only focusing on these two dimensions, I believe we are limiting ourselves to what we can potentially be. But this message we are not going to solve the problem. Stimulate discussion in the right direction we need to be precise.

>> Also Latin America.

>> Yes.

>> MARCO LOTTI: I’m thinking about possible wording. And I will suggest a few after this session. But I was thinking if a way of a possible one combining the first remark with the last one would be mainly editing the last sentence. So probably the last part of the message would turn the message in a positive outlook, not in a negative one as we said. Despite these frictions as the comment said. The situation is different. And including a part that says that Europe is promoting a values based approach on Human Rights, which I wouldn’t personally phrase it, it was not mentioned colonial or moral duty because those kind of words would shy away. But I want you to understand what I’m hinting at.

So it is basically rephrasing the last part of the message which with a positive outlook that despite difference and different models the European Union is pushing for its own, which is values based and anchored in the core values of human. Would that capture more or less what we have said?

>> Yes. I’m wondering what we do with strategic partnerships with key players, like the U.S. and China. This really looks like for EU. I don’t see Algeria, really thinking about partnerships in a digital manner, the U.S. So we just have to – these strategic partnerships I’m not comfortable with. But we know strategic partnerships, we know things like the UK, Singapore agreement. And we know in Japan, Japan/U.S. agreement or we know the Digital Trade Council between the EU. I am not sure we are talking about this. It goes much beyond about what we are thinking.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Okay. With that –

>> This is about –

>> MARCO LOTTI: Would it be too bland to replace strategic partnership with something along the lines with maintaining dialogue and relations? I see what you mean. There are initiatives of bilateral and multilateral dialogues. We are not talking about key partnerships and strategic partnerships per se. So just for the interest of time, I would cross this out and I would suggest a couple of wordings. And then you can comment on the EuroDIG platform. But I understood your point.

>> Currently phrasing say building bridges proves, there are two different activities. We need to build bridges. And Algeria could come and do the account. And we have also to take in to account a strategic partnership likely, vision of future of the Internet. So if you split the concepts, I think that’s – that this could help.

So different narrative.

>> MARCO LOTTI: I understood. I’ll – as I said I will suggest different wording and work on it after we close this session.

Can we move to the last message, message No. 3 which is shorter? Yeah. Okay.

The European vision of digital sovereignty should not prioritize the creation of an EU wide single – should prioritize, sorry, the Europe vision of digital sovereignty, should prioritize the creation of EU wide single market with uniform rules across Member States so as to remove existing barriers for businesses and foster economic growth. To ensure full application and compliance with existing European Human Rights framework, especially in the case of surveillance technologies, European Union’s moratorium on the transfer and sale of cyber technologies is needed.

>> Are we in the EU DIG or EuroDIG?

>> Sorry, is this a summary of the session that we just had here also? This one? The –

>> Mentioning in the last session of the morning.

>> MARCO LOTTI: The moratorium was mentioned in the opening session.

>> It is not forbidden to the European Union. It was felt. We should close this is not just as Peter Koch rightly pointed out the EU is not Europe. If we want to stick with the EU, spoke largely about the EU, then we spoke about the EU, but should be phrased as such that in particular for – insofar the EU is concerned as the big elephant in the room.

>> Isn’t this too generic? Was it so generic? (Off microphone). Cyber technologies in EU – saying to everyone, any country in the world, was it more on secretary. Producing, like asking for, barring any commerce of technologies or –

>> I consider this as an example. I think what the lady of Access Now was saying that we need to be in this complex framework that is built now. We have more ways to take care and be sure that the application will be compliant with Human Rights. She mentioned various examples. So I think this is one of the examples. And what – what has to be in a general document is that we need to be careful not to fall in these traps as this can be considered as an example.

>> Yeah.

>> Yeah.

>> Yes. But as such, I think the second part which is not clear, which is an example and then goes too far. Because cyber technologies would mean don’t sell any Guresh or more equipment but also fix –

>> I think the point is not sell equipment to Third World Countries.

>> In a way every of these technologies before exported not moratorium but an impact assessment.

>> Yeah.

>> Same thing.

>> We have to say that –

(Talking at the same time).

>> Consider measures to be compiled with Human Rights framework. And you mention as an example. It is not the only one. There were many others also.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Okay. This is well noted. But the first point, whether we are talking about European more broadly or a specific EU market has not been answered. And I think the decision is not up to me. So is there a rough Consensus in the room along the lines also – European vision versus EU wide single market wording? European being, of course, broader. EU wide single market wording being narrower.

>> Basically yes.

>> Single market can be within the EU. Because the larger Europe has no tools for creating a single market. Okay. Council of Europe can never do that. But what we have in common is the vision. The vision of sovereignty based on Human Rights. If we create the market to prove this is possible this would be beneficial for that event. Larger Europe and also beyond Europe. So I think the concept is right, but we need to be better precise in the wording.

>> Yes. I think it is also uniform, rules replaces harmonized rules because then you can take in to account also UK, Switzerland and Turkey.

>> That’s Member States. That part is focusing on EU. What I think that is important is we say that success, will succeed in creating this will produce a beneficiary for all beyond the EU community.


>> Personally I would be more happy not to have a clear EU focus, even as an example. Because we are still using the EuroDIG. And we didn’t – we didn’t have a special session of the EU – on the EU but we had an overall session. Correct. But it is not only the single market. It is the only market in general. I mean the – the economic growth in Europe is also fine.

>> Council of Europe is not the tools for making it.

>> I agree. I agree. So the single market should cover for my view. For EuroDIG we should not talk about how to improve the single market. It is about economic exchange within Europe.

>> We can talk about single market between the – this is a model for – then we replicate it. And it is based on something that we have in common with the other countries of Europe that’s Human Rights based.

>> I think what you are missing then a word that says the European (inaudible) prioritize the creation of EU wide single market, because what I understand now you are trying to take the example of the Europeans in the market and place it European wide. Prioritize the creation and beyond.

(Talking at the same time).

>> That’s the misunderstanding that is – actually aims to replicate it or tries to take it as an example.

>> Yes.

>> So basically something that assembles or something like EU wide single market like.

>> Should use the opportunity to –

>> Because the creation of EU wide single market already exists.

>> Yeah.

>> Use the opportunity of the creation of EU wide single market?

>> So the message should be happy there is EU single market and follow its lead.

>> No. It is be happy that you are no longer in the EU, but you can follow the one that is being assembled at the European stage.

>> But then the question is Europe like the Council of Europe Member States, a hundred meters from the borders.

>> In a practical sense it would be difficult. The idea remains that we need to strive towards it.

>> The gamble of about to the Council of Europe, will this model work. The Chinese think it would not work. And – endeavor for us to make it work. If it works, then this could change the paradigm, including for the UK.

>> Just in Denmark we have priority creation of such as an EU wide, prioritize initiatives such as the EU wide single market, then everything is fine.

>> MARCO LOTTI: I took good note of that. I will include it in the message. I do not see any other objections nor in the chat nor from what I can see on the small screen, small view of the participants in the room. I don’t see any hands. Again I will include all these comments and reflect them in the second draft of the messages. And you will have a chance to comment on them after the end of the conference, as of tomorrow until the end of the week together with the full reports from each session.

Thank you very much. I hope to see you in situ tomorrow. And if not, have a good evening, and good discussion tomorrow.

>> Thank you. I know it is extremely hard to do that job. Eternally grateful for you having started with this. Basically good.

>> Thank you.

>> MARCO LOTTI: Thank you. Bye.