Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Bulgaria
Ladies and Gentlemen, Honored guests, Let me welcome you on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and express our gratitude for your willingness to take part in today's 8th edition of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance EuroDig 2015 in Sofia.
As an open platform for informal discussions the European Dialogue on Internet Governance has a valuable positive impact on the development of public policies in the field of Internet governance. To host such a significant event represents not only a challenge and responsibility for us, but it is also an occasion worthy of satisfaction, as it represents one of the important steps in the search for working solutions in the implementation of significant transformations in Internet governance by introducing the multistakeholder model.
Creating a structure of sustainable Internet governance as a global resource poses a number of significant challenges that can only be overcome by reaching a consensus. The global community has to deal with these problems through the adoption of domestic and international agreements to achieve stability and reduce the potential damages that may result from the nature of a globally connected world. Every aspect of the Internet needs to be carefully examined - accessibility and security, social and legal norms, the relationship between public and private sectors, freedom of expression and the protection of human rights.
The way forward will require the determined efforts of many stakeholders and institutions that have an interest in the critical nature of Internet governance in order to provide a safe, innovative and sustainable ecosystem.
How does multistakeholder governance relate to important governance principles like: representation, participation, accountability, responsibility, transparency, and efficiency? This dialogue should take place both at a global and national level. The ICT sector policy is defined as horizontal in the Republic of Bulgaria since the effects and impact of its implementation affect all socio-economic sectors by utilizing the opportunities and advantages offered by information technologies and the Internet. The Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications is the governmental institution that is in charge relevant policy development and coordinates the process of their implementation. Bulgaria has outlined its priorities in this area, which are in line with the EU priorities and objectives for the construction of a Digital Single Market. Since these priorities require widespread use of the Internet for their implementation the country is actively working on facing its widespread use. The Internet is a powerful tool for achieving economic growth and a foundation for the application of innovative practices and encouraging research. This is precisely why Bulgaria values this global resource very highly and it is working actively on all aspects of the Internet, including its governance. The leading issues in this area have been discussed extensively by all stakeholders – executive authorities on behalf of the MTITC, businesses, NGOs and academia. A good example of this beneficial cooperation is the country's application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the registration of a National Top-level Domain in Cyrillic. Surveys and extensive public consultations with all stakeholders were carried out before the decision to apply was made. The positive response to the application of ICANN was immediately followed by a launch of a procedure for selecting a candidate to create and administrate the Bulgarian Top Level Domain Registry in Cyrillic.
When it comes to the topic of Internet governance, especially the issues of human rights and protection of children from harmful content, Bulgaria is actively participating in all international forums and working bodies of the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, ICANN, GAC, CSTD, ITU, IGF, WSIS (the World Summit on the Information Society) etc.
We are following closely the ongoing transformational process to an international approach with the participation of all stakeholders when it comes to Internet governance and we are bringing our contribution to the elaboration of opinions and a national position on matters related to the European Commission, ITU, WSIS and other forums. Taking into account this crucial period in the development and management of the Internet as a global resource, Bulgaria is ready to participate actively in the process of discussing and finding relevant solutions for its improvement and development. A sign of this commitment is the hosting of EuroDIG 2015 in Sofia. Allow me in conclusion to wish you a productive and successful dialogue and let’s “Shaping Internet together”!