This mailing list is no longer active and has been transitioned to Members of the I-coordination mailing list have been moved to the new mailing list. To learn more, visit

[I-coordination] Europe at a tipping point?

Dr. Ben Fuller ben at
Sat Dec 14 21:11:32 CET 2013


I have worked with our government (Namibia) on many policy initiatives over the years, and in a sense what is quoted below is correct. Stakeholders, interested and affected parties, and others are invited to the table for discussions, but at the end of the day it is government that makes the policy. Here in Namibia a policy is a formal document approved by our cabinet and forwarded to Parliament for acceptance.Similar procedures should happen in other countries and governments. In other words government listens then takes the process from there. The key is the how well a government listens to the concerns of stakeholders, interested and affected parties and the general public and then incorporates same into its policy documents. From policy can and should come legislation to make policy recommendations concrete. Some governments will be better than others at doing this.

This raises a concern about the relevance of the Internet governance initiatives. One could argue that the national focus makes Internet governance activities irrelevant because the real action will occur at national levels where real policies and laws are created. But I think this argument is short sighted. The different I-governance initiatives can be significant by developing practices and policy advice that governments should follow. This both supports governments (many of which do not have a lot of understanding about the Internet, nor the capacity to find out), and supports the various stakeholders to lobby for better policies and laws at the national level.   

This type of process is common in many areas of international concern (HIV and AIDS, children's rights, poverty reduction, economic development, etc.) where national governments must step up with effective and acceptable policies and legislation. Perhaps all this talk and meetings will get us to a similar place.


On Dec 13, 2013, at 10:19 PM, sivasubramanian muthusamy <6.internet at> wrote:

> Quote: ... the native Internet communities as nothing more than people to be invited to conduct consultations that still leave decision making power in the hands of governments. After praising the state-created and state-led Brazilian Internet Governance Steering Committee, it says that if such a model were used in Europe it could provide “non-binding advisory opinions” End of Quote.
> The leaked document said "nonbinding advisory opinions" This bothers me as a mind-set of 'This far and no further'. I have heard a similar point of view expressed in India, that can be roughly translated as 'other stakeholders can be seated around the table, they can talk we will listen, but we (the Government) make the policy. That is our role'
> If Europe is inclined to nurture the  multi stakeholder model, this mind set needs to be altered. The document needs to move away from "multinational" to "multi stakeholder", away from limitations expressed by the use of words such as "nonbinding" and "advisory" towards words such as "participative" and "inclusive"

Dr. Ben Fuller
+264-61-224470  (O)    +264-88-63-68-05 (F)
ben at   
skype: drbenfuller

More information about the I-coordination mailing list