On the occasion of the inaugural meeting of the EU-US Cyber Dialogue on 5 December 2014, EU and US representatives met in Brussels to discuss several foreign policy-related cyber issues:
The participants welcomed the landmark consensus of the 2012-2013 Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, including its affirmation of the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace. The two sides welcomed the confidence building measures agreed in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and their implementation in order to build confidence and reduce the prospects for conflict in cyberspace. They commended efforts to expand similar efforts in other regional fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Organization for American States.
The two sides reiterated that no single entity, company, organisation or government should seek to control the Internet, and expressed their full support for multi-stakeholder governance structures of the Internet that are inclusive, transparent, accountable and technically sound.
The two sides welcomed the continued cooperation through the existing US-EU Working Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime and highlighted cooperation occurring in the following key areas:
The two sides look forward to the UN General Assembly ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015. They both believe that the timing of the review is appropriate as the UN General Assembly will be finalising a post-2015 development agenda, and the review will build on efforts to continue bridging the digital divide. The General Assembly’s recognition and allowance for multistakeholder participation in the review was appreciated, and participation from all stakeholders is strongly encouraged and welcomed.
With the increasing relevance that cyber issues play in the overall society, the EU and US representatives welcomed the upcoming Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague in April 2015 and the annual Freedom Online (Coalition) Conference in Mongolia in May 2015.
The EU and US reaffirmed their strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. They emphasised that all human beings have the same human rights online and offline and that states have an obligation to protect those rights in accordance with international law. In particular, the rights to freedom of expression and privacy, as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in the digital sphere require the attention of all stakeholders.
Both sides emphasised the importance of bridging the digital divide towards fostering open societies and enabling economic growth and social development.They reiterated their commitment to an approach to cyber capacity building that leverages the expertise and resources of all stakeholders to ensure that people around the world can fully benefit from the Internet and ICTs. They welcomed further coordination among actors globally and agreed to continue exchanging views and good practices, as well as to seek future synergies in their respective global cyber capacity building initiatives.
The chairs agreed that they will continue their collaborative efforts and convene the US-EU Cyber Dialogue again in approximately one year’s time in Washington, DC.