Internet as a Commons in the European Parliament

On the 1st of October The Commons Network, the Green Group  and the Heinrich Böll Foundation organised Internet as a Commons: Public Space in the Digital Age.

We explored the need for a comprehensive new narrative for the Internet. A narrative that frames Internet as a common good, accessible by all, and managed by a pluraliInternet-as-a-commonsty of actors in a way benefitting society at large. In other words: as a Commons.

Together with Aran Balkan, Julia Reda, Renata Avila, Michel ReimonYochai Benkler (on video) and many more, we explorer important questions about how we  choose to regulate or digital societies, how to ensure fair democratic participation, and how to avoid the commercialization of all aspects of our digital lives.

Event Videoaccessible here

Event Pictures: see here 



15:00 15:30-    Introduction

Opening statements by Michel Reimon (MEP) and Sophie Bloemen (Commons Network) and a video message from Yochai Benkler.

15:30 – 16:45    1st panel: Internet as a Commons: the Big Picture
What, if anything, in the current model of Internet Governance is clashing with a decentralized, democratic Internet? What should be the elements of a vision that embraces the Internet as public space for all to equitably use and exercise their democratic rights? And, what steps should be made by policymakers to foster the best environment for decentralized, community managed projects to grow? Panelists: Renata Avila (WebWeWant), Aral Balkan (
Respondents: Nicole Dewandre (DG CONNECT) Jennifer Baker (journalist at the Register)
Moderator: Max Andersson (MEP)

16:45  – 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 – 18:15  2nd panel. Decentralised infrastructure:  Examples
What examples of local and decentralized projects do we have today? Why are they desirable and what are the obstacles they face? Panelists:
Edmon Chung (,
Robbert Mica (Pager),
Olivier Schulbaum (Goteo)
Leandro Navarro (
Estelle Massé (Access Now)
Moderator: Julia Reda (MEP)

18:15 – 18:30 Conclusions and final remarks
Julia Reda




2015-09-14 13:23:01 – Commonsnetwork