What is new this year and how could we build the EuroDIG 2023 programme?
The meeting started with the presentation of a matrix where a number of sub-racks and topics were identified under the 3 already agreed Focus Areas: risk, resilience, hope.
This matrix was based on the results of the Call for Issues and had included all proposals that were submitted. Whilst it is understood that not all proposals will be brought forward and become (part of) a session, participants where asked if significant topics – that are most relevant for the European agenda – are still missing.
It was suggested to make child protection more visible in the matrix of proposals on the basis of the two proposals that have been submitted on this topic (#28 #39). It was argued that this topic comes very timely for the legislators in Europe and is therefore of high relevance.
Another new topic suggested was the civil society oversight of law enforcement agencies’ work. This is novel angle for the issue of criminal justice in cyberspace.
In general, the Focus Area on hope was not yet sufficiently populated with topics and a proposal in the chat was made to let youth participants shaping this particular Focus Area:
“It could be a good idea to let youth participants shape ‘Hope’ focus areas for each sub-topics (as an extra assignment during YOUthDIG for example). Thus, they’ll be included into the main forum processes from the very beginning and they will also be able to provide their vision, since we consider youth as hope”.
NRI engagement, parliamentarian involvement and a discussion on the global IG processes and how the relate to each other were highlighted as important elements of this year’s programme.
The proposed round table between European and African union was considered a very good new element. For this round table we could invite the EC Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, who happens to be a Finnish citizen.
Introduction of the proposed programme structure and the Focus Areas
The slightly changed structure where the main programme begins already on the afternoon of day zero and ends in the afternoon of day 2 found broad support. Also, the idea to open EuroDIG with the presentation of the youth messages was endorsed.
The Finish Internet Forum will take place on day zero and the programme that is currently under discussion will at least partly (if not fully) be held in English.
Participants then discussed how we can achieve interactive and high-quality sessions. Agreement was that moderation is key and that the moderator must cut off speaker that are going over time. EuroDIG can only unfold its potential if a dialogue with the audience is possible.
Technical tools were suggested for instance such as a traffic light changing from green to a disturbingly blinking red light when a speaker goes over time.
It was suggested to call a session per se not a panel but a round table in order to set expectations right (round table or workshop were suggested as alternatives).
It was mentioned that a briefing on technical issues was lacking, and although we had held such an Internet 101 session in the first days, we did not continue it due to dwindling interest. At this meeting, 10-minute briefing sessions were proposed, not only for technical issues, but also for updates on legislation and to explain other current contexts. Such briefings could be provided by experts during the conference or online before the conference.
To ensure a good connection between sessions and to avoid the same people talking about the same topic in different sessions, it was suggested to start with one large org team per sub-track and then divide the org teams into self-defined sub-topics. This helps organisers to get out of their comfort zone and must be accompanied by regular calls.
Suggestions on how to deliver EuroDIG Messages after the event
A matrix was introduced as a new, additional format of presenting the Messages. Participants agreed that the paper version of the messages should be kept, but that we should also look for other ways of presenting the results. Such a matrix allows access to the results at a high level, vertically by focus area (risk, resilience, hope) or more detailed by topic and horizontally.
It was also discussed to what extent the organising team should already prepare proposals for messages that can then be agreed upon during the meeting, or whether questions to be answered during the meeting should already be asked in advance. While message preparation was not supported, asking questions was accompanied by the idea of using tools like Mentimeter to render an opinion in a word cloud. These tools are not new at EuroDIG but have not yet been used for drafting the messages.
The work of the GIP reporter as a neutral instance was considered indispensable but maybe they can become involved earlier in the work of the Org Teams. Furthermore, it was suggested to think about a Messages drafting team that is not in charge of drafting the Messages but supports the process withing the Org Teams and during the conference.
Another idea was to ask national IGF’s to cross check if and to which extend the messages relate to the national level.
Other topics discussed
Youth participation was mentioned several times and the YOUthDIG Coordinator gave an update on the preparation. The YOUthDIG Organising Team, which is composed of former YouthDIG fellows, is already working and the call for applications is still open until 10 February. Up to date we received already 74 applications, many of them from the south of Europe, which makes it difficult in terms of travel costs. We might be forced, due to a limited budget, to give preference to participants that are located close to the region where we meet.
It was stressed that youth shall be part of every EuroDIG session.
On the European stakeholder consultation on the Global Digital Compact an update was provided and stakeholder were invited once more to submit comments on the EuroDIG commenting platform. The deadline is 28 Feb 2023 for input on the European process and 31 March for the submitting the survey to the UN office.
Coordinators of other NRIs confirmed that there is only little reply on the national level as well.
Very briefly we touched on the topics participation and preparation for the global IGF, the Intersessional work, EuroDIG Extra. Whilst the intersessional work at the moment only focuses on the GDC, EuroDIG Extra was promoted as a format that can be organised any time in an ad-hoc manner upon request by the community.
Next steps / envisaged timeline
All participants who registered for this meeting will be invited to send us further comments that come to their mind until 7 Feb 2023. Then the results will be translated into a draft programme, which will be out for comments from 13 – 28 Feb 2023 (tentative dates can slightly vary).
The consolidated programme shall be ready by mid-March the latest. Org Teams will be invited in March and should be fully operable after Easter.
Names for high-level keynote speaker can be sent to the secretariat immediately.