Brussels, 6 June 2005
Commission outlines EU negotiation principles for the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis
Preparations for the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (16-18 November 2005) have entered a crucial phase. This summit should reach an international consensus on two key unresolved issues from the first phase: Internet governance and financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries. The European Commission has now adopted a communication outlining the EU’s priorities for the Tunis meeting. To promote an Information Society for all, respectful of human rights and of freedom of expression and cultural and linguistic diversity, the EU wishes to preserve and strengthen the sound foundations laid during the first summit in Geneva.
Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding stated: “The Internet is arguably the most powerful tool we possess for safeguarding freedom of expression and other human rights. This makes international co-operation in managing Internet resources, and arrangements for funding this co-operation, a vital concern for policy makers and Internet users worldwide.” The first phase of WSIS has created global momentum for active policies to develop the Information Society, to be reinforced and complemented during the Tunis Summit in November. The new Commission communication, to be put to EU Telecommunications Ministers on 27 June, sets out an EU line for remaining negotiations in the run-up to the Tunis meeting in November.
EU principles for second WSIS phase
WSIS is a formal UN Summit at the level of heads of State and Government. The EU is represented at the WSIS by the EU Presidency and the European Commission, with Members of the European Parliament included in the EU delegation. The process is divided into two phases (Geneva, 10-12 Dec. 2003; Tunis, 16-18 Nov. 2005):