Head of Open Government Institute, Veronica Cretu, participated during March 13-14, 2014, in the Council of Europe Graz high level meeting on “Shaping the Digital Environment Ensuring our Rights on the Internet”.

As a follow-up to the Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015, over 150 participants from 37 countries, representing governments, international organisations, civil society and industry, came together to discuss the impact of the Internet on human rights, rule of law, and democracy. Many people now depend on the Internet for everyday activities and this increases their expectations that the Internet should be a space in which their core values are protected and respected.

Human rights standards serving as global baselines for Internet governance Council of Europe Standards, in particular Convention 108 on data protection and the Budapest Convention against Cybercrime are the only international legally binding instruments in their field. Both have an increasingly global reach and can serve as global baselines for Internet governance.

The support of different stakeholder groups promotes and reinforces their significance and value in protecting and respecting human rights and the rule of law online. Better cooperation between states and other stakeholders will make these instruments evermore globally relevant. This also includes the need to keep Convention 108 in line with new challenges in order to safeguard the level of data protection by carefully evaluating if a modernisation is necessary.

Furthermore, the close cooperation between the Council of Europe and other relevant international organisations in this field (notably the European Union and UNESCO) are central for an effective Internet Governance. Read the full summary and conclusions Graz Conference Summary and Proposals Final of the meeting!  

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