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Brussels, 13 May 2011

Neelie Kroes discusses Internet governance with US Administration

Neelie Kroes (European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda) and Lawrence Strickling (Assistant Secretary - US Department of Commerce) met in Brussels on May 12th to discuss a wide range of topics dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of the multistakeholder private sector-led model of Internet governance which both the EU and the US have stoutly defended over many years.

In their constructive discussion, they agreed that reforms are necessary inter alia to reinforce the transparency and accountability of the internal corporate governance of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), to enhance ICANN's responsiveness to governments raising public policy concerns in the Governmental Advisory Council (GAC) and to improve the way decisions affecting country-code Top Level Domains are made. In addition, they discussed the upcoming award of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract.

Ms Kroes and Mr Strickling agreed to work closely together in the run-up to the next ICANN meeting (19-24 June in Singapore) to stress the need for the ICANN Board to adequately respond to GAC advice when considering the expansion of generic top level domains (gTLDs) and to make a priority of speedily implementing all recommendations prepared by the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (which finished its work at the end of December 2010).

The US Government is inviting views from the global stakeholder community as to how the IANA functions contract can be used to improve global domain name management. Vice President Kroes offered to host an open forum in Brussels later this year to discuss these issues with all interested stakeholders.

In the meantime, the EU and the US will be reaching out to other nations to exchange views and forge consensus.

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