The difficult gestation of the European Forum on Internet governance

Considering that « the Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the public », the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) created the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2005 in order to allow « a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the policy to be followed » for international management and development of the Internet. Simultaneously, WSIS « encourage[d] the development of multi-stakeholder processes at the national, regional and international levels » for effectively contributing to its work. Whereas a large majority of countries call the ICANN model into question, the three IGFs which were held since the WSIS decision – the last one having been held at Hyderabad in December 2008 – failed to progress in making concrete proposals for ensuring an efficient multilateral governance of the Net. In addition, the official European delegation – from both the Parliament and the Council – was absent from Hyderabad following the Mumbai terrorist attacks. This absence weakened the position of the other European stakeholders attending the IGF meeting, and highlighted the imperative necessity for creating the European Forum on Internet Governance (EIGF). The article mentions the outcomes of the three global meetings, and proposes relevant ideas for putting in place this Forum and the main themes to be discussed there, which are representative of the European values and visions.