EuroDIG 2017: Debating issues that concern the whole internet community

  • Awareness
  • 15/06/2017
  • Haris Kyritsis, Greek youth panellist

Including the voice of youth in internet governance discussions is important. Here, Haris Kyritsis, a youth panellist from Greece, reflects on his recent experiences in attending EuroDIG, the annual event of the pan-European dialogue on internet governance, and its preceding youth event.

"Last week, EuroDIG was held in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was involved in both this event and the pre-event named YouthDIG.

"At the YouthDIG, 23 people between the ages of 18 and 30 took part, from all around Europe. We discussed some of the issues that concern the internet community – and this means all people that use internet –and we created some messages as young people. These messages will be further discussed at the international Internet Governance Forum (IGF) event taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, 18-21 December 2017.

"One of the messages we developed focused on child safety online and it mentions that all stakeholders, including law enforcement, should strengthen their cooperation to ensure that children stay safe online. Additionally, parents, schools and educators should collaborate on cyberbullying awareness and prevention.

"After the two days of YouthDIG it was time for EuroDIG, with a key focus on cybersecurity. Following some online polls, the issue that appeared to be the most significant cybersecurity challenge was privacy awareness. From this we can see that many people don't know how to manage and regulate their private data online.

"I also was a member of the Workshop 12 panel with the title Digital citizenship, integration and participation. We discussed the future of digital citizenship, technical difficulties (such as the security of citizens' private data online, and the redundancy and reliability of the infrastructure in cases of natural disasters), and the moral issues at stake. I subsequently attended the Flash session on Children rights and protection on the internet in which staff from the Insafe Coordination Team presented the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project, an overview of the Safer Internet Centres (SICs) (including helplines and hotlines) that exist in all EU countries, and the progress that had been made on online safety issues in recent years.

"Attending EuroDIG was a wonderful experience and I will definitely attend next year's event in Georgia. Additionally, I encourage all those who are interested in internet governance, or those who want to expand their knowledge, to get involved in future events."

About the author of this article:

Haris Kyritsis (19) is a student at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the National Kapodistian University of Athens (NKUA). He is a graduate from the Experimental Lyceum of Anavryta, a member of the Greek Safer Internet Centre youth panel and a loyal mountain biker.

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How often do Europeans engage in discussions on public policy issues relating to the internet, namely on internet governance? And how many young Europeans are aware of the intrinsic importance of this topic or the ways in which they can actively contribute?