Digital sovereignty – from users’ empowerment to technological leadership – PL 02 2020

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11 June 2020 | 17:00-18:00 | Studio The Hague
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 1

Proposals: #42, #67, #129, #158, #168, #178 (#133)

Session teaser

The session will discuss how the different facets of Digital Sovereignty, at the individual level and at the macro-level, can be reconciled to shape Europe’ technological leadership.

Session description

Digital sovereignty can be defined as the ability to ensure citizens’ control over their digital lives, in particular through the control of their personal data. It also refers to the capacity to reinforce the digital “capacities” of a country, in terms of its networks, cyber-security capabilities, and control of advanced technologies like A.I. The session will discuss the different aspects of digital sovereignty and how they can be reconciled to support the digital transformation of Europe and its technological leadership without compromising on democracy, openness and fundamental rights.


Moderated panel discussion

Main questions to be addressed during the sessions:

1) In times of digital transformation of all sectors of economy and society and in a context of global race to technological leadership, what is the current positioning of Europe vis-à-vis the other big global players?

2) With its advanced regulatory framework, is Europe doing better than other regions of the world in protecting end-users’ digital sovereignty, in terms for example of controlling their personal data, managing their digital identity, or exercising their digital “self-determination”?

3) How can we ensure that tech companies and states promote and facilitate the end-user digital “self-determination”? How can we push for open data to be used for the common good, rather than going towards complete “privatisation” of data and platform lock-in?

4) Is it possible to build on strong end-users’ digital sovereignty to develop a competitive technology ecosystem and achieve digital sovereignty, understood as the control of key infrastructures and technologies, at the level of a country or at European level?

5) How can we ensure that the European digital companies can successfully compete with non-European key players while respecting the European system of values and norms, taking into account that many big tech companies are subject to a different legal framework?

6) How can we address digital sovereignty in terms of infrastructures, technologies, but also strong and autonomous European research and innovation ecosystem? What is the role of different stakeholders and what role for cooperation between public and private actors?

7) Can digital sovereignty co-exist with the global nature of the internet and in general of technology developments? Can sovereignty co-exist with global cooperation?

Further reading

ENISA (2017), "Principles and Opportunities for a Renewed EU Cybersecurity Strategy. ENISA's Contribution to the Strategy Review"

Posch, Reinhard (2017), "Digital Sovereignty and IT-Security for a Prosperous Society", in Informatics in the Future. Proceedings of the 11th European Computer Science Summit (ECSS 2015), Vienna, October 2015, ed. by Hannes Werthner, Frank van Harmelen


Focal Point

  • Valentina Scialpi

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Vittorio Bertola
  • Andrew Campling
  • Lucien Castex
  • Sofia Badari
  • Debora Cerro Fernandez
  • Riccardo Nanni
  • Livia Walpen
  • Giacomo Mazzone

Key Participants


Olivier Bringer, Head of Unit, Next Generation Internet, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.


Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • 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


A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.

Video record

Will be provided here after the event.


Will be provided here after the event.