IRPC at EuroDIG16: Confronting the Digital Divide Session with two workshops

The IRPC will be hosting two workshops under the category of Access and Literacy at this year’s EuroDIG in Brussels 9-10 June.

The Session CONFRONTING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE is comprised of two workshops looking at internet access and human rights for minorities and refugees.

WORKSHOP 2 takes place on Thursday 9 June at 14.30 and is entitled Internet Access and/as Human Rights for Minorities.

WORKSHOP 10 takes place on Friday 10 June at 14.30 and is entitled Refugees, human rights and Internet access.

EuroDIG 2014: Pockets of inspiration amid the protocol and formality

By Catherine Easton

The 7th European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) took place in Berlin in June 2014. The event’s overarching aim is to provide an open arena for inclusive dialogue between European stakeholders in order to develop best practice and raise awareness. So, how far did it go towards achieving its remit?

The German Federal Foreign Office provided the venue which, while impressive, may not have been the most conducive environment for relaxed, informal discussions. The divide between the conventional schedule and the energy of grassroots activism was very quickly demonstrated in glaringly stark terms through a dignified, powerful show of support for Snowden during the Federal Foreign Minister’s welcome address. The very next session in this “inclusive dialogue” was an open plenary with a sweepingly non-diverse membership of men in suits. This “manel” attracted a large amount of criticism both in the audience and on Twitter, and, again, showed a basic gap between the multistakeholderism repeatedly referred to by the panel and the reality of the power balance in a high-profile event.


In this plenary we consider the overlaps, and disconnects, between three sorts of aspirations for the internet, and internet policy-making; (state) security, internet governance principles, and human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For some these concerns are irreconcilable. For others they must be reconciled for internet-dependent communications to be resilient, accessible for more than a wealthy and educated minority, and to function in democratic rather than oppressive ways.

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