Stakeholders welcome the European Parliament’s Resolution in support of the Internet Governance Forum

By EDRi · February 11, 2015

We the undersigned, representing civil society and the Internet industry community in Europe:

The need for renewal of the Internet Governance Forum’s mandate

  • Welcome the European Parliament’s call for a renewal of the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and for the strengthening of its resources.
  • Strongly support the call for the General Assembly of the UN to renew the mandate of the IGF.
  • Underscore that the IGF must be a genuinely representative multi-stakeholder global forum for open discussions on Internet governance. The IGF has been a catalyst for the creation of regional and national IGFs that have positively enriched the discussions and increased the level of inclusiveness.
  • Commend the European Parliament, and the EU institutions more broadly, for its active support and participation in the IGF.

The value of the open and global Internet

  • Commend the Resolution for underscoring the Internet’s crucial role in our economy and society.
  • Welcome the understanding of the Internet’s potential for supporting democracy, cultural diversity and romotion of human rights such as freedom of expression.
  • Support the resolution’s call to maintain the open and independent Internet and the need to secure non-discriminatory access to knowledge in the future.
  • Applaud the European Parliament for stressing “that it is crucial … to ensure legal protection of net neutrality, which is an indispensable precondition for safeguarding freedom of information and expression, boosting growth and jobs by developing innovation and business opportunities related to the internet and promoting and safeguarding cultural and linguistic diversity.”

The importance of a democratically accountable multi-stakeholder governance model

  • Welcome call for a genuinely multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and the call to further strengthen the model by making processes at national, regional and international levels more inclusive, transparent and accountable.
  • We discourage any attempts to “centralise” Internet governance by moving decision-making from multi-stakeholder fora to inter-governmental organisations.
  • We support an active participation and engagement by the multi-stakeholder community in the WSIS+10 review process.
  • We warn that the future of the IGF must not become a bargaining chip for seeking a more intergovernmental model for Internet governance.
  • We stress the importance of fundamental freedoms and human rights such as freedom of expression, access to information and privacy. We agree with the Resolution’s rejections of attempts to curb the global connectivity of individuals by censorship and other restrictions and the rejection of the idea of a state-controlled internet and mass surveillance of the internet.

Support for the IANA transition

  • Agree with the importance of the successful completion of the IANA stewardship transition from the U.S. government to the global multi-stakeholder community. While this transition must be timely it must be clarified that no “firm deadline” exists.
  • Welcome new measures for enhanced accountability and transparency of ICANN.

James Waterworth
Vice President
CCIA Europe

Joe McNamee
Executive Director
European Digital Rights

Matthew Shears
Center for Democracy and Technology

Raegan MacDonald
European Policy Manager

Peter Van Roste
General Manager

Read the joint statement as PDF here: