- Working groups
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2014 opens today in Istanbul, Turkey. This year the participation of European players is expected to be even more significant, which underlines the increasing importance of the debate both in Europe and across the globe. ETNO, the association representing Europe’s biggest telecom operators, has a strong presence, with many member companies participating into workshops and conferences. This year’s overarching theme is: "Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance" (access the full programme at http://igf2014.intgovforum.org/). The meeting will be also attended by a delegation from the European Commission, led by Vice-President Neelie Kroes, and a delegation of Members of the European Parliament.
ETNO Chairman Luigi Gambardella said: “This is the 9th IGF to take place and it is encouraging to see that European participation, and particularly that of European industry, is on the rise. ETNO has been a supporter of the IGF since its creation and is contributing to work around how to further strengthen the IGF, a need recognised by the NETmundial multistakeholder statement of April this year. Internet governance now attracts significant attention globally and ETNO looks forward to actively engaging in the debates in Istanbul”.
The IGF has become a well-established forum for multistakeholder debate around diverse issues affecting the continued development of the Internet and has served as an important laboratory for the discussion and dissemination of best practices and capacity-building initiatives related to interconnectivity and inclusiveness. This year’s IGF will have a particular focus on Net Neutrality, as this issue has been left open following the NETmundial meeting in Sao Paulo.
Luigi Gambardella added: “There are matters, such as net neutrality, on which the debate is not mature yet, even if we look at Europe only. For this reason we support the development of a fact-based and level-headed discussion on how to ensure that the Internet thrives as an open and innovative platform to the benefit of all. Such debate should be as constructive and inclusive as possible”.
The IGF will be an important opportunity to share views and perspectives from across the globe and to try to reach a common understanding on the various complex Internet Governance debates.