Message from Meissen:
Enhanced Cooperation (EC³) is Moving Forward
European Summmer School on Internet Governance ends with International Symposium
21 fellows from 18 developed and developing countries participated in the first European Summer School on Internet Governance (EURO-SSIG) in Meissen/Germany, July 31 – August 7, 2007. The Summer School offered a 40 hours academic course with lectures covering history and theories of the governance of the Internet as well as technical, economic, socio-political and legal implications of Internet Governance.
Faculty members included academic professors like Bill Drake (Graduate Institute for International Studies Geneva), Jonathan Zittrain (Oxford Internet Institute), Jeanette Hofmann (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin), Avri Doria (Lulea Technology University) and David Souter (London School of Economics), Internet practitioners from DENIC, Afilias, IETF and ICANN and diplomats like GAC-Members Bertrand de la Chapelle (France), Michael Niebel (European Commission) and Olga Cavalli (Argentina). The faculty was chaired by Professor Wolfgang Kleinwächter from the University of Aarhus.
The summer school was supported by DENIC, UNESCO and the Diplo Foundation.
At the end of the Summer School fellows and faculty members plus a number of additional experts (41 participants from 26 countries) discussed during a one day symposium under the title: “Enhanced Cooperation in Internet Governance: Towards a New Cooperation Model (NewCoMo)?” issues related to the process of enhanced cooperation, as described in the “Tunis Agenda for the Information Society” (2005).
The symposium was not aimed to reach any final conclusions or to make recommendations. However the discussion of the various dimensions of the process of enhanced cooperation enabled the chair of the symposium to make the following six observations:
1. the process of enhanced cooperation, as described in the Tunis Agenda, is an innovative multistakeholder process which leads into the unchartered territory of the borderless cyberspace and needs further clarifications;
the process of enhanced cooperation includes components of enhanced communication, improved coordination and informal and formal cooperative arrangements among involved and interested governmental and non-governmental stakeholders (“enhanced communication, coordination and cooperation” or EC³) ;
the process of enhanced cooperation has already started in a bottom up policy development process by involved and interested stakeholders via forming joint committees on relevant issues, exchanging liaisons among bodies dealing with specific subjects and broadening and deepening the understanding of multistakeholder governance (MSG) in the process of managing critical Internet resources;
little progress has been reached so far to develop the intergovernmental component of the process of enhanced cooperation, in particular with regard to the aim “to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet”, as described by Paragraph 69 of the Tunis Agenda;
there is a risk that conflicting political and economic national interests with regard to critical Internet resources could lead to a process of “enhanced confrontation” with negative consequences for the security and stability of the Internet, development of innovation and market opportunities and the protection of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression, the right to informational self-determination and the right of privacy;
there is a need to create more public awareness on Internet Governance, inter alia by mapping the relevant issues, improving regional and national Internet Governance discussions, developing best practice models on the basis of principles like multistakeholderism, inclusiveness, trust, transparency and openness by taking into consideration the specific needs of developing countries.
A second European Summer School on Internet Governance is scheduled for July,14 – 20, 2008 in Meissen.
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