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Meeting Report

On Tuesday, 20 February 2024, the RIPE NCC held its annual European Roundtable Meeting gathering around 45 participants, including representatives of the EU institutions, governments and national regulators.

The meeting started with welcoming remarks from the RIPE NCC, which emphasised the critical importance of discussing Internet governance at this point in time due to the several milestones in the field taking place this year. This was followed by a keynote address from Ernst Noorman, Ambassador at-Large for Cyber Affairs of The Netherlands, who stressed the need to protect the Internet’s core functions and operations. As Chair of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), the Netherlands actively advances principles such as human rights, including freedom of expression, and a multistakeholder approach to Internet governance. It also supports joint efforts to bolster cybersecurity, enhance collaboration with Internet technical communities and ensure that regulations avoid fragmenting the technical operations of the Internet and its governance processes.

The meeting continued with an open dialogue on current and future challenges in Internet governance. Speakers shared views and recommendations on how to best prepare their positions and ensure alignment on Internet governance matters. All agreed that the upcoming 18 months will be crucial in redefining the landscape, especially in light of the negotiations on the Global Digital Compact (GDC), the announcement of the NetMundial+10 and the subsequent review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+20 process. Speakers considered the role the RIPE NCC and other technical organisations can play in supporting governments to make informed public policy decisions. The panellists also touched on the necessity to invest more in technical capacity-building.

The RIPE NCC’s CEO and Managing Director, Hans Petter Holen, then presented some key priorities for the organisation, showcasing best practices and ongoing efforts in domains such as information security risk management, data protection and compliance reporting.

The final panel focused on assessing the impact of economic sanctions on connectivity and the various Internet layers, including their implications for the RIPE NCC’s operations and services across its service region. Discussions also revolved around the technical, legal and compliance challenges. Participants agreed on the need to improve information-sharing and enhance cooperation, notably between EU member states, the European Commission and relevant stakeholders such as the Internet technical community, to better inform both the development and implementation phases of sanctions. A key priority for the RIPE NCC is to ensure that sanctions do not inadvertently harm the Internet’s core technical operations and that specific exemptions for Internet number resources are consistently applied in a harmonised way across the various EU sanction regimes to safeguard connectivity and access for End Users.

RIPE NCC Roundtable Meetings offer public sector officials and Internet technical experts the opportunity to exchange thoughts and experiences on governance matters relevant to the RIPE community, thus aiming to enhance cooperation and help define a common way forward in supporting the open, stable and resilient global Internet.

Please note that all presentations displayed during the roundtable are available in the agenda here.