Earlier this week, Sofia hosted two planning meetings for the upcoming Regional Forum on Internet Governance and EuroDIG 2015, both of which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from the 3rd to the 5th of June 2015.
The Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) is taking the role of an institutional partner of "Unicart" Bulgaria in the planning and hosting of the two events, which are of regional, European and international significance.
EuroDIG is an open platform in which the stakeholders themselves (governments, research institutions, academia, media, business and civil society) suggest the topics in the field of the Internet that should be the focus of discussion, and arrange them according to their importance and relevance.
Each year EuroDIG is hosted by a different European country, with the aim of stimulating national debates as an integral part of the European dialogue on the topic. This year’s forum in Sofia will be preceded by a regional meeting of Southeastern European countries on the Internet governance issues.
The potential participants in the event and all stakeholders had the chance to submit topics for discussion on the EuroDIG website from the start of November to the end of December 2014. 72 such proposals were submitted. The number of suggestions submitted by each stakeholder is as follows: 18 topics by representatives of the civil society, 15 by the technical community, 11 by government institutions, 10 by academia, 7 by the business, 6 by international organizations and et cetera. The distribution of submitted topics by region is in favor of the countries of Western Europe, which submitted 42 proposals, followed by 26 proposals from Southeast Europe and 4 proposals from Southern Europe. Most of the suggested topics correspond to one of the following general themes: Innovation and Economic Development, Human Rights, Accessibility (Equality/ Digital divide), Participation in Internet Governance policy making, Security et cetera.
Representatives from the national organizer host , the international organizational team, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union, experts from the MTITC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Communications Regulation Commission , the European and Bulgarian Internet community representatives, and the international sponsors all participated in the event.
The submitted topic proposals were used to identify the most pressing issues and topics in need of discussion, which were separated in several panels that will form the agenda of both the EuroDIG and the SEE round table events. Particular attention was paid to topics that address specific problems in the field of Internet governance in the countries of Southeast Europe. According to representatives of the Council of Europe, the Governmental Advisory Committee and international organization team placing emphasis on the regional aspect of the issues is essential to the success of the forum. In this regard, participants of the roundtable are expected to outline the problems of the region that need to be brought to the attention of the international community during EuroDIG 2015.
The main topics that will be included in the panel discussions are: “Participation in the Internet governance policy making”, “Net neutrality”, “Internet governance” “Security process”, “The digital single market”, “Freedom of expression in the digital age”.
The overarching themes of the two upcoming events were agreed upon by the participants, and are as follows:
For the Regional Forum on Internet governance – “Multistakeholder Internet governance: from the global debates to the South Eastern European realities”; For the EuroDIG 2015 forum – “Shaping the Internet together!”
The technological capabilities of social media allowed participants from the civil society, European experts and interested parties to take part in the discussion remotely via the Internet. This made it possible for them to share their views on what the most important issues and topics of Internet governance are.
The representatives of various international organizations who attended the events praised the work that was achieved during the two planning meetings and noted the contribution of the Ministry representatives in facilitating the expert level of the discussions.
For more information on both events please visit: