HLIG - 21 November 2012 Meeting Report 1. Chairing-attendance
The HLIG meeting was chaired by Linda Corugedo-Steneberg (LCS), Director for Cooperation in DG CONNECT and was attended by 25 HLIG Members (AT, BE, CZ, DK, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, IE, IT, LU, LT, HU, MT, NL, PT, SE, SI, SK, RO, UK, CH, IS, NO).
2. ICANN issues a. Nigel Hickson (ICANN) reporting and GAC Intersessional meeting
Nigel Hickson, now with ICANN based in Brussels, formerly with the UK Government, gave an update on ICANN developments and Member States.
Mr Hickson stressed that ICAAN is a "transparent organisation" and a priority for the new CEO Mr Fadi Chehadé is the internationalisation of the organisation, mentioning regional reinforcement outside the USA and that of the Brussels office in particular. He gave an update on the new gTLD procedure, mentioning that 242 early warnings had been filed including many warnings for generic names. UK raised the issue of co-existence of ABC and BBC, as apparently the BBC has been denied a domain name in order to avoid confusion. According to Mr Hickson, a pragmatic approach should be adopted. The application of dot eu in Greek was an on-going issue and EL confirmed that progress was made in the appeal panel.
On WCIT, he stressed that a turning point was signaled by ETNO proposal and later by the Russian proposal which is a challenge to the Multi-stake holder model. He praised the proposed Council Decision, mentioning the importance of EU coordination as EU is working very hard. UK mentioned the rapprochement ICANN-ITU in Baku and Mr Hickson agreed that it was an opportunity of engaging with ITU, even though they do not have to agree on everything. He also mentioned that ITU would welcome ICANN as a sector member.
During Mr Hickson's presence, the HLIG discussed the possibility to organise an inter-sessional GAC meeting in February 2013, in order to better prepare for the Beijing meeting in April 2013, and GAC secretariat.
The chair (LCS) mentioned that the topics of particular relevance for the inter-sessional meeting were the new gTLD process (and the planned "GAC Advice" to be issued in April), the GAC Secretariat and also the global ambition for ICANN. In the case that an intersessional meeting is held in Brussels, LCS mentioned that the Commission would be pleased to provide premises but further help was needed. Complementarily to the GAC inter-sessional meeting a "European stakeholders meeting" could be organised back-to-back with the GAC meeting. N. Hickson mentioned ICANN's willingness to support the organisation of such a meeting on the condition that there is a formal request by the GAC chair. The overall feeling among HLIG delegates was favourable to organise such a meeting in Europe and that ICANN could provide travel support.
Although the formal launch of the inter-sessional meeting is the responsibility of the GAC Chair, the Commission (A. Glorioso) mentioned according to the statutes, a third of GAC members can request the launch of such a meeting.
Mr Hickson left at this point and the group continued discussions in camera.
b. Reporting - Toronto meeting, October 2012
The Commission (L.-E. Forsberg) mentioned that a significant part of the discussions of the GAC focused on the new gTLD process, in particular on the issuance of Early Warnings. The Commission was sending a letter to the ICANN Board, copy to all GAC Members and all new gTLD applicants mentioning that it is up to applicants to do their due diligence and identify whether their application is somehow related to the EU acquis.
Another important point of discussion included the state of play and next steps of the GAC Secretariat. LCS sent a letter of congratulations to the GAC Chair for her re-election, including a number of suggestions to improve the working methods of the GAC.
DK confirmed candidature of Mr Jørgen Abild Andersen, Director-General for Telecom of the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth the launch of the 2nd Accountability and Transparency Review. Commission and several delegates expressed their support to Mr Abild Andersen.
Finally, the Commission mentioned analysing Board's reaction to the Prague Communiqué (June 2012) to assess whether all the GAC advice has been taken on-board and, if not, recommend the triggering of the relevant By-Laws provisions.
3. Reporting - IGF 2012 meeting, Baku, November 2012
LCS mentioned that Baku was successful and this was the view shared by the Group. What is important now is to implement some actions for internet governance and for the IGF itself. IGF financing was discussed. Industry participation would be desirable in order to do so the IGF has to become more interesting for them. Ensuring the appointment of a Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for Internet can give them a reference person. LCS will debrief industry at a European Internet Foundation breakfast at the beginning of December encouraging Member States to do the same. FI mentioned that the continuation of their contribution to IGF. For next year's IGF the Commission will do a demarche with the Indonesians via our delegation in Jakarta to look at the logistics of the event and avoid the difficulties we experienced in Baku. On enhanced cooperation CH indicated that the proposal in the UN stems from the fact that several countries do not support that the process take place in the IGF framework. The UK indicated its preference for a proposal that would provide for a mapping of on-going initiatives in Internet Governance before further steps are taken.
FR indicated that it was too early to discuss the possibility of hosting the IGF 2014, the issue should be considered after WCIT.
4. ITU Issues: a. Final preparations for WCIT, World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012, Dubai, December 2012
The Commission (W. Dee) reported on the discussions in the Council and the Informal Heads of Delegation meeting. The priority now is on close cooperation with Capitals, given the mandate that was agreed. IE confirmed that they will also have a delegation, so all 27 Member States will be present at WCIT.
The Group confirmed the line opposing any increase in the current scope of the ITRs to cover such issues as Internet content and traffic management. The Internet has developed because it had the
freedom to innovate and grow organically according to needs. Furthermore, there are aspects of the ITRs that relate directly to issues covered by the EU acquis, in particular the Framework for electronic communications. Thus, the EU will ensure that any proposed changes to the ITRs that may be agreed in Dubai do not conflict with applicable legislation in the EU or restrict the EU as to the future development of the EU acquis.
EU coordination was appreciated by Members. Furthermore, PL delegate and Com ITU charman announced CEPT coordination via the messaging system.
b. Preparation of upcoming World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF), May 2013
LCS mentioned that the World Telecommunications/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) will be held on 14 - 16 May 2013, in Geneva, on Internet-related public policy issues. Already in the 2nd preparatory meeting, there is a clear shift from Government participation towards a more inclusive approach taking into account the multi-stakeholder model.
The UK has been the most active Member State in the preparatory Expert Group, providing written comments and actively participating in the debate, and has submitted 3 opinions on IPv6 capacity building, IXP, and diversity and freedom of expression.
The Commission will seek to shape EU consensus, via the Group without adopting a more formal approach. PO mentioned a CEPT coordination meeting on WTPF on 14-15 January 2013.
5. Reporting on RIPE 65, Amsterdam, September 2012
SE reported on the Roundtable Meeting for Governments and Regulators held in Amsterdam on 27 September 2012 during RIPE 65. The issues discussed at the meeting were WCIT, the use of RPKI to verify IP addresses and the IPv4 run-out.
The RIPE community has expressed the willingness to have closer contacts with the Group. Under this perspective RIPE experts will be invited in one of HLIG meetings next year on issues that Members will indicate.
M. Niebel briefly presented DG CONNECT's Task Force on Internet Policy Development, which is aiming to develop a strategic thinking not limited to Internet Governance, but encompass policy, research and regulatory aspects.
Finally the following dates were agreed for HLIG meeting dates in 2013