Procedure : 2015/2526(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0130/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 09/02/2015 - 13
CRE 09/02/2015 - 13

Votes :

PV 11/02/2015 - 9.19

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0099/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the renewal of the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (2015/2526(RSP))

Evžen Tošenovský, Ashley Fox, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the renewal of the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (2015/2526(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 June 2005 on the information society(1),

–       having regard to its resolution of 14 January 2008 on the second Internet Governance Forum(2),

–       having regard to the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) adopted in Geneva on 12 December 2003,

–       having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards a Global Partnership in the Information Society: Translating the Geneva Principles into Actions’ (COM(2004)0480),

–       having regard to the Tunis Commitment and Agenda for the Information Society, adopted on 18 November 2005,

–       having regard to the Commission communication following the WSIS in 2006 (COM(2006)0181),

–       having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2010 on Internet governance: the next steps(3),

–       having regard to the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement presented on 24 April 2014,

–       having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Internet Policy and Governance - Europe’s role in shaping the future of Internet Governance’ (COM(2014)0072),

–       having regard to the joint statement by the EU delegation to the Internet Governance Forum held from 2 to 5 September 2014 in Istanbul,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the purpose of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is to carry out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) with regard to convening forums for democratic, transparent and multistakeholder policy dialogue;

B.     whereas the main role and function of the IGF is to discuss a wide range of issues related to internet governance and, where appropriate, to make recommendations to the international community;

C.     whereas on 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly decided to extend the mandate of the IGF for a further five years;

D.     whereas the discussion and decision on renewing the mandate of the IGF further will take place in 2015 in the UN General Assembly;

E.     whereas Parliament sent an ad hoc delegation to the WSIS in 2005 and has done so for every annual meeting of the IGF since then;

F.     whereas the ad hoc delegations Parliament has sent have played a pivotal role regarding the promotion of European values and the interaction with civil society organisations and representatives of national parliaments present at these events, in cooperation with the Member States and the Commission;

G.     whereas the internet constitutes a fundamental pillar of the Digital Single Market, and fosters innovation, growth, trade, democracy, cultural diversity and human rights;

H.     whereas the top priorities for the European Union during the ninth IGF held in September 2014 with the overarching theme ‘Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance’ were: expanded internet access globally; maintenance of the internet as a global, open and common resource; non-discriminatory access to knowledge; greater accountability and transparency in the ‘multistakeholder’ internet governance model; rejection of the idea of a state-controlled internet; and recognition that our fundamental freedoms and human rights are not negotiable and must be protected online;

I.      whereas in March 2014 the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intention to transfer the internet supervision functions of the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to the global multistakeholder community before the expiry of the current contract between NTIA and ICANN in September 2015; whereas a balanced solution for this transition has to be found in time and should result in a system that cannot be subject to capture and manipulation and continues to ensure a stable internet;

J.      whereas in April 2014 the NETmundial - Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the future of Internet Governance elaborated a set of principles for internet governance and a roadmap for future development of the internet ecosystem to which virtually all stakeholders subscribed;

K.     whereas growth related to the internet economy is forecast at almost 11 % in the EU, with a contribution to GDP expected to rise from 3.8 % in 2010 to 5.7 % in 2016;

L.     whereas an open internet in which all rights and freedoms that people have offline also apply online facilitates social and democratic progress worldwide;

M.    whereas on 27 November 2014 the EU transport, telecommunications and energy (TTE) ministers approved the Council conclusions underlining the importance of a coordinated European position on internet governance and of support for strengthening the IGF as a multistakeholder platform;

1.      Calls on the UN General Assembly to renew the mandate of the IGF, strengthen its resources, and maintain the multistakeholder model of internet governance;

2.      Considers that, although the IGF will not adopt formal conclusions, the European Union’s responsibility is to support this process and to take inspiration from its exchanges, as it gives a positive and concrete context to the shaping of the internet’s future on the basis of a multistakeholder approach;

3.      Calls on the Member States and the EU institutions concerned to keep the IGF high on their agendas and to continue to support the IGF and its secretariat; welcomes initiatives such as those of the Tides Foundation’s ‘Friends of the IGF Fund’ and the ‘IGF Support Association’ for raising additional funds;

4.      Stresses that Parliament should continue to participate in future IGF meetings in order to effectively contribute to the debate on internet governance, together with the Member States and the Commission;

5.      Calls on the Member States and the Commission to increase their efforts to support the multistakeholder model for the governance of the internet;

6.      Calls on the Member States, the Commission and all relevant stakeholders to further strengthen the sustainability of the multistakeholder model by making actors and processes at national, regional and international level more inclusive, transparent and accountable;

7.      Emphasises the importance of completing the globalisation of the internet’s core functions and organisations; welcomes the commitment made by the US government in March 2014 for the transfer of stewardship over the IANA functions; emphasises the importance of the full accountability of ICANN;

8.      Stresses the existence of a firm deadline for completion of the negotiations on enhanced internet governance, which will provide a long-term solution for the stability and security of the internet, since September 2015 will see the expiry of the current agreement between ICANN and the US Government on the supervision of the IANA function;

9.      Emphasises that lessons can already be learnt from the fruitful exchanges held in the context of the IGF up to now, and that those lessons can be put in motion, notably on the regulatory aspects of electronic communications and on data security and privacy issues; underlines the need to secure an open and independent internet as a global common resource, as well as non-discriminatory access to knowledge in the future, on the basis of the initiatives and needs of the stakeholders, together with freedom of expression;

10.    Stresses that it is crucial to continue efforts to ensure legal protection of the open internet and the concept of net neutrality, as an indispensable precondition for safeguarding freedom of information and expression, to boost growth and jobs by developing innovation and business opportunities related to the internet, and to promote and safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity;

11.    Stresses that fundamental freedoms and human rights are not negotiable and must be protected online; regrets that some states attempt to curb the global connectivity of their citizens by censorship and other restrictions, and rejects the idea of a state-controlled internet;

12.    Stresses the economic and social importance of online rights for privacy and of users’ control of their personal data; considers such rights to be fundamental for an open and neutral internet and for a level playing field for businesses on the web;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Member States and the national parliaments.


OJ C 133 E, 8.6.2006, p. 140.


OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 80.


OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 33.

Last updated: 5 February 2015Legal notice