Talk:Digital society at stake – Europe and the future of the Internet – PL 01 2014

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This is the discussion site for the session Digital society at stake – Europe and the future of the Internet

Procotoll 06.06.


Session Guidelines for Digital Society at Stake: the Future of Internet in Europe

The remarks below are for your review and comments – please feel free to give us your feedback by 6 June . 1. We (Thomas Schneider and Leonid Todorov) will begin the discussion by briefly introducing the panelists, reminding of the technical peculiarity (Robert Shlegel’s interventions will be in Russian and be followed by consecutive interpretation), urging the remote audience to ask questions during the session. We will also give you a heads-up regarding your interventions and emphasize our dictatorial and antidemocratic J right to cut you short if we feel they are too extensive or irrelevant of a subject matter.

2. We will give each panelist (in the alphabetical order) 3 minutes (NOT MORE!) to articulate his/her credo, with the focus on as to why the digital society is at stake, what exactly is at stake, and which factors will affect the future of the internet’s advancement in Europe. Please make sure you are brief, straight to the point and poignant.

3. Clearly, IG issues will be brought about as the ones lying at the core of most challenges facing the internet’s development. This will enable us to focus on genuinely European values and principles, and you will have to highlight on them and enumerate those on which there has already been consensus vis-à-vis those that are perceived differently throughout the continent, and why.

- It would be good if in your brief remarks and in the general panel, ping-pong-style, discussion you identify institutional, organizational, ideological, etc. causes for such a commonality/divide, and refer to the most recent events, such as the NetMundial, the ongoing political developments in Europe, and the most recent documents in the IG area. Meantime, bear in mind the previous session may have explored the issue at length by then, so do not go into much detail and avoid repetition. Please make sure your stance reflect that of your community and be specific in supporting/dismissing each other’s arguments.

- We urge you though to try to arrive at, and articulate, commonalities. As well, as the subsequent panel 5 will examine (cyber-)security issues, we have agreed with its organizers that we will focus primarily on the way the human rights issues and economic and technical aspects ensure the internet’s development.

4. No doubt you will at some point start discussing multistakeholderism and its role in the process. Please make sure your stance reflects that of your community and be specific in articulating reasons for practicality, effectiveness, appropriateness, etc. of the use of, as well as risks and challenges (if any) to, multistakeholderism in the pan-European context. Please refrain from an excessive contrasting the “European” multistakeholderism with the US’s one in case the previous session may have explored the issue at length by then, so do not go into much detail and avoid repetition.

5. While discussing the above, your cross bearings should be on three questions:

- How, in addition to the internet’s development per se, will a European consensus help bolster a healthier IG ecosystem? How can such a “European consensus” be achieved and maintained?

- What can your community and, possibly, (any) other stakeholders do to ensure that our future digital society in Europe will continue to develop based on common European values of fundamental rights and freedoms and on shared responsibilities?

- How can EuroDig contribute to the process?

6. We are trying to make this session as interactive as possible and to involve the audience (in the room and also the remote participants) in the debate as much as possible. So please keep your interventions as short and precise as you can.

In 2 min before the end of the session, we will do a quick recap and end the session by thanking you for your contribution.


This is a summary of the current discussion:

1) I see this session as a kind of East-West exercise in finding consensus on a broad array of IG strategic issues. To this end, I believe Russia’s participation is crucial, and I have secured Robert Shlegel, a young Russian MP, who is still set to develop a PACE report on harmonization of IG strategies.

2) To (counter-) balance Robert views some may perceive of as being a bit outlandish, Robert and I discussed a possibility to have a European MP relatively well versed in the subject. As a credit to the organizers, our pick is Axel Fischer, the head of the German delegation with PACE. Actually, Robert has already taken the issue up with him and he seems to be ready to contribute.

3) To ensure a truly multistakeholder discussion, I would suggest we engage a civil society rep, and the one from the technical community. As to the former one, Markus Kummer would be an ideal pick, and I understand that ISOC Europe will favor this choice. Given my very recent experience with the Russian IGF, my vote would go to Axel Pawlik, the managing Director of RIPE NCC, which by its mandate, is effectively a truly pan-European corporation engaged in technical issues. If you believe business should be represented too, I would think of Leslie Coweley, though it may well happen she has already been “proposed” J and “engaged”, so any other ideas?

4) As to the panel itself, an important point to make is that Robert may not be in possession of a sufficient command of English, so I have already secured an interpreter. The latter will be providing simultaneous interpretation just to Robert (by means of a special portable device I will bring with me), while delivering consecutive interpretation of Robert’s interventions to English to the audience through a regular mike.

5) Par.4 means the discussants should be really laconic and agile in the course of the debate; as well, it means we will have to reduce the list of issues to a minimum, thus ensuring a truly strategic, albeit pretty focused, session.

6) That said, I would suggest we should start with a kinda tour de table by giving each discussant 3 minutes to express his stance as to where we are now and, possibly, outline major challenges we are facing. From that, we will journey through what are ways and means to secure the pan-European agenda with regard to the future of the Internet and attempt to find common grounds, and where there are none, ways to overcome potentially conflicting stances. NB: at this point, I expect a serious dispute over credibility of prospective remedies. The discussants will inevitably take on the multistakeholder model and its role in fostering a robust Internet and IG system’s evolution, which may form a central point of the debate. There should be enough time for them to discuss (challenge?) the European stakeholders’ respective roles as per the Tunis Agenda and the EU/EoC strategic documents underpinning tomorrow’s developments. The session should end with a Q&A session which should engage remote participants, and a wrap-up by Oliver and myself highlighting on a high chance (if any!) for a common, integral approach by and for the benefit of the “broad” Europe, ie from the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond…