Internet Governance

Internet governance is a multi-faceted, multi-layer phenomenon involving multiple interactions among numerous stakeholders on many different levels. It is a rapidly evolving area and the main themes may soon be outdated. This is why MAPPING is based on the use of current themes and anticipates future developments, including, where appropriate, the use of technical means to ensure that EU law and its national transpositions are duly enforced in the relevant jurisdiction(s).

The project is looking for balance between territorial jurisdictions and “the universal heritage of mankind” in the European space. For now, different technical standards such as IPv4 and IPv6 make the creation of “parallel universes” possible and allow countries to “go their own way”.

Given the current state of fragmentation of effort at the European level, it is envisaged to make at least a partial input into a gap analysis of those aspects which need to be discussed more deeply and decided upon.

Internet governance in full respects the European Charter of fundamental human rights. Once having explored the technical possibilities and constrains, possible amendments to the basic principles of the Charter will be considered in order to address Internet-related freedoms directly. The basic elements of the MAPPING vision are: a cohesive and coherent EU policy about Internet governance, participative freedoms, ethics and security.

Towards creating awareness of and then increasing participation in a wider European debate on Internet governance, the project addresses two specific challenges: bottom-up participation within national and EU-wide debates and EU participation in international Internet governance fora.

A set of working meetings and round tables already scheduled, seek to build on the themes explored in the MAPPING work packages on privacy and IPR. The efficacy of on-line mechanisms for increasing citizen participation will be given special attention. A separate workshop will bring stakeholders together to identify diverse – and diverging – sources of EU policy on the Internet and, in close discussion with the European Commission, explore ways to make these diverse sources at once seamless and readily and speedily receptive to ground-root perceptions and opinions as expressed on-line.