Internet Governance Forum

Information Society

Internet Governance Forum - 4th meeting
15-18 November 2009, Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt)

The Internet is a space of freedom, but must also be a space of responsability. This was one of the key messages delivered by the Council of Europe at the opening session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Representing the incoming Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, Moritz Leuenberger, Minister for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication of Switzerland, said that "freedom should only be restricted where this is necessary to protect the freedom of others". He underlined that the Council of Europe is doing this by developing international conventions and non-binding recommendations and standards.

He supported a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance and pointed out that facilitating access to the Internet must be a fundamental priority.  In  his stament he pointed to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the birth of the World Wide Web a few years later as milestones on the path to greater freedom in the world.

Jozsef Györkös, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of Slovenia, representing the current Slovenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, said the Council of Europe fully supports the IGF process, "in particular as a space that promotes transparency and participation" and as a means to promote the core values of the Council of Europe: human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

He stressed that the Council of Europe supports an approach to Internet governance based on rights, multistakeholder dialogue and its  public service dimension.  He pointed out that the Council has already responded to some of the challenges created by the Internet through conventions such as those on cybercrime, data protection, terrorism and the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse - or a new convention on counterfeit medical products, which is expected to be opened for signature in 2010. (more ...)

IGF: ''Only 20% of the world is online''

One of the largest gatherings of experts, involved in shaping the future of the internet, is underway in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el Sheikh. The Council of Europe makes its presence felt at the Internet Governance Forum with calls for greater respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law online.

The man credited with creating the worldwide web, Tim Berners-Lee, launched a new foundation at IGF aiming to further democratise the web. (more...)

Workshop: The Global Path for ensuring online child protection and safety
Workshop: Medicines on the net – risks and benefits
Workshop: The challenges of becoming literate to foster participatory cultures
Workshop: The privacy and security implications of cloud computing
Workshop: Code of good practice on participation, access to information and transparency in Internet governance, Version 1.0
Workshop: Developing comprehensive cybercrime legislation

European Dialogue on Internet Dialogue (EuroDIG)

The Council of Europe provides the secretariat of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) in cooperation with European Union institutions and other organisations.

EuroDIG is a platform for discussing and shaping a European perspective to Internet governance. In its last edition, participating stakeholders concluded that the protection of human rights, ensuring universal access to the Internet as a public service and promoting media literacy should be key priorities for Internet governance in Europe.

2010 EuroDIG
2009 EuroDIG
2008 EuroDIG

Wild Web Woods: safe surfing on the Internet
The game 'Wild Web Woods' has been developed to help children learn the rules of internet safety in a fun format, using familiar fairy tales to guide children through a maze of potential dangers to the fabulous 'E-city.' The game, mainly for children between 7 and 10, has been created in the spirit of the Council’s 'Building a Europe for and with children' programme. (more...)
Game (24 language versions)

Reference sites
Internet Governance Forum
Media and Information Society Division
Information Society and Internet Governance
Purpose of the Forum
To support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
About the Forum
Council of Europe's contribution
Draft code of good practice
Information sheets
''The Internet for the Next Generation''
''Democratising the world wide web''
IGF: ''Only 20% of the world is online''
Videos with experts
Jozsef Györkös
Moritz Leuenberger
''The Internet for the Next Generation''
''Democratising the world wide web''
IGF: ''Only 20% of the world is online''
Podcast E-democracy
Podcast E-voting
Podcast Internet accessibility
Videokit 'cybercrime'
triangle bleu Vidéokit 'Web governance'
The Council of Europe at the Forum
Related files
Data protection
Exploitation of children
Counterfeit medicines
The Internet literacy handbook (2006)

Publications website

Updated: July 2010