Patrick Penninckx – Keynote 02 2023
19 June 2023 | 17:00 EEST | Main auditorium | |
Consolidated programme 2023 overview / Patrick Penninckx, Keynote
Patrick Penninckx has spent the last 30 years at the Council of Europe, focusing on transformation processes in the organisation, developing partnerships with other international organisations and national partners.
Currently heading the Information Society Department under the Directorate General Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Patrick coordinates standard-setting and co-operation activities in the fields of media, Internet governance, data protection and cybercrime. He is also responsible for projects related to public-private partnerships and cooperation with business partners.
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>> PATRICK PENNINCKX: Thank you.
I’m not sorry to be speaking online to you, but in presence. Thank you so much.
With all those YOUthDIGers here, I wonder where the others are, are you all diggers? Can the old diggers speak up a little bit.
Are you EuroDIGers? Hey! Anyway, congratulations to the representatives of YOUthDIG, very well done. Congratulations.
In fact, I’m in a double role here today, they told me to be brief, because they know I can speak for a long time. They told me be brief and especially also do your double task, which is one, speak about the Council of Europe, and also introduce and moderate the online and in-person panel that we’ll be having with the cooperation between African and European parliamentarians, basically we’re already reaching out to the world not only within Europe but also ensuring that what we do has it interaction with other parts of the world. If you’re preparing in a way for the IGF we also need to ensure that the messages that we get clear and get across, also are related back to other parts and as the Secretary-General of the ITU already mentioned, a good part of the world’s population is still deprived of any Internet connection. I think it is also incredibly important to not only look at what is, but also look at what comes and that’s also the role I believe of the YOUthDIG because in many respects it is also the vision that we want to create –
>> Recording stopped.
>> PATRICK PENNINCKX: Okay.
So with this, I can cut it really short! I would say! (Chuckle).
It will start again I guess or not, I guess, anyway.
So the first thing is, I would like to give a few messages from the side of the Council of Europe: Council of Europe in some ways was also at the cradle always, of course, when there is a successful event, everyone wants to claim parenthood, but the first EuroDIG took part in the Council of Europe and was one of the –
>> Recording in progress.
>> PATRICK PENNINCKX: How can I say, a mind baby of some of the people in this room, and created this first EuroDIG in a response to what was happening at the worldwide level and to ensure that at the European level it would be some kind of a coordination.
Why was it in the Council of Europe? The Council of Europe then and now stands for a number of value, and I think that the development of the Internet and the Internet governance has to be seen in the context of those values, and in the context of Human Rights, the rule of law, and democracy, how to preserve those, and also when there is a future development of the Internet, when there are virtual realities, the question of the whole metaverse that is there to come and how we’re going to be behaving in such a virtual reality, I think are those issues that need to be tackled, and need to be looked at.
Those are the challenges of the future.
We need to be able to decide what type of society we want to create, what is the role of the digital technologies within that society.
I think that’s crucial.
My generation probably grew up outside of that digital world. The generation that those YOUthDIGers represent, they grew up in a connected reality, and that connected reality has it same challenges as the offline world and probably intensifies some of the challenges that are being posed by that new reality, Council of Europe tries to respond to that, a number of my colleagues are also in the room because we are – actually since from before the creation of the Internet, Council of Europe was already looking at how we should preserve the automated processes, processing of individual data. That was the first data protection Convention back in 1980. We then discovered and started to work on what are the misuses of the Internet and the global interconnectivity with the cybercrime Convention. Right now we’re also focusing our work on the future of artificial intelligence, what does artificial intelligence bring to us, what are the hopes, what are the aspirations, what are the expectations, what are maybe the visions that we may have about this, but also what are the back slides? What are the darker sides of what’s being developed and I think within that context we definitely need to look at how do we see our societies, how do we see our societies not only today but also tomorrow and how do we want to live as humans, as humans of the common planet, as common as humans of the common Europe which is also increasingly being fragmented.
So that work fits within the global context, and what we’re doing, that also is what we try to do as Council of Europe, it is not limited to a specific geographical scope. We try to look at the connections that are there between other parts of the world and when we develop instruments such as the cybercrime Convention, then we also develop hem in the context of the global environment. The same goes for artificial intelligence, but I would also invite you, because I read and understood your messages quite clearly, but I would also invite you to think a little bit beyond that, that is to go and I think – I hope that this EuroDIG will also try to do that, that is to go beyond the spectrum of what we can see, and see through the spectrum to what the future developments may be, and how we will need to position ourselves with regards to that.
Then, of course, in the context of Europe, indeed, fragmentation is also taking place, geographical fragmentation is taking place, I welcome our Friends from Ukraine here that made it to the EuroDIG. Thank you for that. I know that many of you are going through hardships, have traveled a long way, even longer than Thomas with his two-hour delay last night, but have come from very far in order to be here.
To be with us, and to share their experiences. This is a new trick, a new difficulty that we will need to be facing in maybe a more fragmented world and how the Internet, how the digital space, digital environment is increasingly going to be used as part of warfare, as part of increased polarization of our societies, and we need to be able to stand against that.