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[liberationtech] NETmundial / Neelie Kroes: let's get to work

Andrea Glorioso andrea at
Wed Apr 16 10:37:39 PDT 2014

[ Apologies if you receive this message multiple times ]

Dear all,

Concerning the forthcoming Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of
Internet Governance (NETmundial) which will take place in Sao Paulo
(Brazil) on 23-24 April 2014, you might be interested to read the latest
blog post of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and
member of the High-Level Multistakeholder Committee of NETmundial,
available at
reproduced below.


NETmundial: let's get to work

Published by Neelie
Wednesday, 16/04/2014

I will soon be travelling to Sao Paulo to attend NETmundial, the
Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet
The purpose of NETmundial is to develop principles of Internet governance
and a roadmap for the future development of this ecosystem.

I have already shared<>with
all of you my thoughts on the draft "outcome document" that I and
other members of the High-Level Multi-stakeholder Committee of
NETmundial<>received on 3 April 2014. In the
meantime, the organisers of the conference
have published a new version of the outcome
document<>and are inviting everyone to
their views and comments <> – I warmly invite
all of you to do so.

I did so, too; I have sent an email to the
members<>of the High Level Multi-stakeholder
Committee, to the Chair
of the Meeting <> (Prof. Virgilio
Almeida) and to the two co-chairs of the Executive Meeting
Raul Echeberria and Demi Getschko.

Again, in a spirit of transparency, I would like to share the contents of
this message with the broader Internet community.... so please read my
letter below.

*From: KROES Neelie (CAB-KROES)*
*Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:26 PM*
*To: 'hlmc at <hlmc at>'*
*Subject: Proposals for the NETmundial outcome document*

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to see that the draft outcome document for NETmundial has been
published and that the broader public has now the possibility to intervene
in the discussion, before we all meet in Sao Paulo next week. Again, I
would like to thank all the members of the Executive Multistakeholder
Committee, as well as the Chair and the Co-Chairs of the meeting, for their
tireless work.

As a follow-up to the
I have already shared with you, I would like to make some further
observations. In the same spirit of transparency as my previous
communication, I am also posting a copy of this e-mail on my

I continue to strongly believe that the outcomes of NETmundial must be
concrete and actionable, with clear milestones and with a realistic but
ambitious timeline. Several reactions to my comments show that I am not
alone in thinking that concreteness is paramount to the success of this
important gathering; and even though positions on substance may well
differ, I believe that my assessment on the necessity of a "change of pace"
in these discussions is shared by a broad range of stakeholders.

Read in this light, it is clear me that more work is needed on the latest
draft; especially if we consider that a number of public contributions
submitted to NETmundial did include concrete and actionable suggestions.

Luckily, several passages of the draft outcome document do lend themselves
quite well to being turned into more concrete actions – and we should make
full use of this opportunity. I will focus on six specific examples:

   1. Improvements to the multi-stakeholder model
   2. Strengthening the Internet Governance Forum
   3. Tools and mechanisms for better information sharing and capacity
   4. Globalisation of IANA
   5. Globalisation of ICANN
   6. Jurisdictional issues on the Internet

*(1) Improvements to the multi-stakeholder model*

The draft outcome document refers several times to the need to *further
improve and strengthen the multi-stakeholder model*, to enable the full and
balanced participation of all stakeholders from around the globe, to have
clear and transparent processes and procedures (including mechanisms for
checks and balances and for review). I completely agree – in fact, I have
said so for a long time.

The keywords here are inclusiveness and openness, which must both be real
and meaningful, not just theoretical.

NETmundial should be the moment to properly connect the debates on Internet
governance with the discussions and concrete activities on citizens'
engagement and participatory democracy. Europe has been quite active in
this field, ranging from EU-funded projects in the ICT field, such as
DEMO-NET <>, Cross
D-CENT <>; to legal innovations such as the European
Citizens Initiative; to national initiatives such as the use of Liquid
Democracy in the Germany and the People's Assembly
Rahvakogu<>in Estonia,
to name just a few. Brazil, with the inclusive and
participatory conception and discussions on the "Marco Civil", is also an
inspiration for all of us. And it is purely for reasons of space that I
cannot mention all the efforts by many organisations and individuals across
the world.

In its Communication on Internet Policy and
12 February 2014, the European Commission suggested that the *further
development of multistakeholder guidelines and the sharing of best
practices* would be a good manner to move forward. Accordingly, *I suggest
that the outcomes of NETmundial should include*:

   - a clear commitment to the *bottom-up and cooperative* development of a
   "concept paper" to be discussed at the 9th Internet Governance Forum
   (Istanbul, Turkey, *2-5 September 2014*);
   - this concept paper should identify initial recommendations on how the
   above mentioned engagement and participatory tools and initiatives could be
   used in Internet governance debates; it should also propose an initial
   outline of principles-based guidelines to safeguard accountability,
   transparency, inclusiveness and independence for multi-stakeholder
   - the discussions in Istanbul and all other appropriate fora should
   lead, by the *beginning of 2015*, to a proposal for two "case studies",
   to examine how we could turn the high-level principles into concrete,
   operational practices of existing Internet governance organisations and
   - further discussions and practical experimentation on these cases
   studies could then result in a *concrete reference paper* to be
   presented and discussed at the 10th Internet Governance Forum, towards
   the *end of 2015* – and of course, to be further refined as need be.

*(2) Strengthening the Internet Governance Forum*

I referred multiple times to the *Internet Governance Forum* or IGF. The
draft outcome document of NETmundial clearly mentions the need for
strengthening and improving this most important and unique example of
global and multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue.

I agree that such improvements should include an extension of the IGF
mandate beyond its usual 5-years cycle, without prejudice to any possible
adaptation of such mandate as the global community will see fit; I also
agree that ensuring stable and predictable funding for the IGF is
absolutely essential.

I reiterate my invitation for everyone, but especially those organisations
which have greatly benefited from the Internet, to become a donor to the
IGF – like the EU, some of its Member States and others from the public and
private sector. I believe that NETmundial should also make a clear
reference, and if possible provide some practical examples, on how
innovative forms of crowd-funding could contribute to this joint effort.

The other improvements mentioned in the draft outcome document, namely the
need to implement creative ways of providing outcomes / recommendations and
the analysis of policy options, and to promote inter-sessional dialogues
between the yearly gatherings of the IGF, are also essential and, in my
view, closely linked to the need to better connect to existing experiences,
expertise and practical tools for inclusive engagement, that I highlighted

On this basis, *I propose that the NETmundial outcome document should ask
the Multistakeholder Advisory Group to present to the global community a
clear and realistic assessment of how and when, in their view, these
recommendations could be concretely implemented*, at the 9th Internet
Governance Forum in *September 2014*. Members of the MAG serve in their
personal capacity, but are expected to have extensive linkages with their
respective stakeholder groups; I am therefore certain that such assessment
would be well informed and inclusive of all opinions.

But to be even more concrete: let us not forget that, as the draft outcome
document mentions, we already have a very clear set of recommendations to
refer to, i.e. the *Report of the Working Group on Improvements to the
Internet Governance
of 2012. Some of these recommendations have been acted upon; some
are still lingering; but more in general, I sense that we are missing a
sense of the "global picture". Therefore, I would strongly *recommend that
one of the concrete outputs of NETmundial should be an assessment – even if
an initial one – of where we stand in terms of implementation for each
recommendation of the WGIGF*, or at the very least a clear commitment that
such assessment will be presented at the latest at 9th Internet Governance
Forum in *September 2014*; and that this "state of play" will be duly
updated and be open to public input, possibly using participatory tools as
I highlighted above.

 *(3) Tools and mechanisms for better information sharing and capacity

As you can certainly see, I strongly believe in the *use of appropriate ICT
tools* for better and more inclusive dialogues.

The NETmundial draft outcome document clearly mentions the need for
communication and coordination within the Internet governance ecosystem,
including via tools to perform on-going monitoring, analysis, and
information-sharing function. I have already highlighted in my previous
comments how the European Commission is investing in the *Global Internet
Policy Observatory
as a way to experiment with the automated collection, analysis,
organisation and visualisation of information on Internet governance
discussions and decisions. The European Commission is currently finalising
a feasibility assessment of the technological and organisational options
for the GIPO, and we will share our conclusions by *mid-2014*, with a view
to launch the technological development of GIPO by the *end of 2014*.

In the meantime many other organisations, public and private, are either
already working or are planning to invest in Internet policy observatories
and similar initiatives. We should strive to avoid duplication of efforts.

Let me be crystal clear: I do not see any need for a winner-takes-all
beauty contest between observatories. Quite the contrary. But we should
strive to learn from each other's understanding of the problems and
proposed solutions. Ideally, we should also move towards a federation of
Internet policy observatories.

I therefore suggest that the draft outcome document of NETmundial
should *include
a clear commitment to have a broad, inclusive and operational roundtable
among all "observatory initiatives"* during the 9th Internet Governance
Forum in *September 2014*; ideally, this roundtable should lead to the
development of an initial "*collaboration roadmap*" by *mid-2015* and
identify mechanisms, including via existing meetings and dialogues, to
foster cooperation and communication among these various initiatives.

 *(4) Globalisation of IANA*

You already know how important I believe it is to keep the momentum towards
a real and effective globalisation of core Internet functions and
decisions, including IANA.

ICANN has recently shared a draft "scoping paper" and a roadmap that will
certainly be helpful in the discussions on the globalisation of IANA. *I
believe that the NETmundial outcome document should explicitly recognise
this draft proposal by ICANN as an important contribution and explicitly
call all stakeholders to express their views on it*.

*I also believe that in order for this discussion to be truly meaningful,
the NETmundial outcome document should clearly flag that*:

   - the engagement of the broader public should make full use of *all**
   existing meetings and fora*, including the global Internet Governance
   Forum and the regional ones, as appropriate; ICANN should also reach out to
   organisations across the world which are willing and capable to foster
   dialogue among citizens, besides and beyond those who are able to attend
   the meetings of ICANN or other Internet technical organisations;

   - with due consideration to the criteria which the US Government has
   presented in its announcement of 14 March
   *there should be no artificial limitation in the scope of the discussion*.
   For example, a consideration of *various organisational options*, as
   well as of the *opportunity* and the *most appropriate ways to separate
   policy, operational and oversight activities* should not be
   "off-limits", if we want the debate on the future of IANA to be seen as
   truly legitimate at the global level.

 *(5) Globalisation of ICANN*

The CEO of ICANN has recently
declared<>that a
public dialogue on how to strengthen ICANN’s accountability will
soon be launched. In my view, this dialogue cannot be separated from the
broader issue of how to make ICANN a truly global organization serving the
public interest, as the draft outcome document mentions. I understand that
this dialogue will look at strengthening existing accountability mechanisms
like the Affirmation of Commitments, and ICANN’s redress mechanisms, as
well as exploring new accountability mechanisms where necessary.

I am looking forward to further information and details and I expect that
ICANN will also provide a clear timeline on the concrete implementation of
its globalisation efforts. Accordingly, I *recommend that the NETmundial
outcome document clearly invites ICANN to share its concrete proposals* at
the 50th ICANN meeting (London, UK, *22-26 June 2014*).

 *(6) Jurisdictional issues on the Internet*

It is natural, when talking about globalisation, to reflect not only on the
amazing opportunities brought about by the Internet, but also on the
challenges which this inherently cross-border medium raises with respect to
the application of laws. The European Commission
launching an in-depth review of the risks, at international level, of
conflicts of laws and jurisdictions arising on the Internet and to assess
all mechanisms, processes and tools available and necessary to solve such

The NETmundial draft outcome document clearly identifies jurisdictional
issues and how they relate to Internet governance as "material for further
discussion". While I understand and agree that a full debate on this broad
topic during NETmundial would be neither desirable nor productive, *we
should have a stronger commitment to a phase-by-phase examination of this
issue*, with a view to produce "good practice" guidelines as appropriate.

Accordingly, *I suggest that the outcomes of NETmundial should include *an
invitation to interested parties to:

   - develop a "scoping paper" by *July 2014*;
   - facilitate on-line and off-line engagement opportunities, as
   appropriate, in the run-up to the 9th Internet Governance Forum
   (Istanbul, Turkey, *2-5 September 2014*);
   - following these discussions, aim to produce a first draft of "problem
   statements" and possible recommendations by the *first half of 2015*.

Dear colleagues, I thank you for your patience in reading my observations
and proposals, which I trust will be useful in further refining the outcome
document of NETmundial.

Kind regards,

Neelie Kroes



Andrea Glorioso (Mr)
European Commission - DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology
Unit D1 (International relations) + Task Force on Internet Policy
Avenue de Beaulieu 25 (4/64) / B-1049 / Brussels / Belgium
T: +32-2-29-97682 M: +32-460-797-682 E: Andrea.Glorioso at
Twitter: @andreaglorioso

The views expressed above are purely those of the writer and may not in any
circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European
Les opinions exprimées ci-dessus n'engagent que leur auteur et ne sauraient
en aucun cas être assimilées à une position officielle de la Commission

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