Cyber Dialogue “Joint Elements” from U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue

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Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 8, 2015

On the occasion of the second meeting of the U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue in Washington, DC on December 7, 2015, the participants jointly affirmed specific areas of collaboration and cooperation as follows:

International Security in Cyberspace The participants welcomed the landmark consensus of the 2014-2015 Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, including the affirmation of the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace and the articulation of norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. They supported the continuation of this process and its central role to further define how international law applies to cyberspace. Both sides also affirmed the importance of developing confidence building measures within the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, welcomed the continued implementation of the first set, and urged agreement on further sets of confidence building measures in order to reinforce cooperation, build trust, and reduce the prospects for conflict in cyberspace. They commended efforts to expand similar activities in other regional fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Organization for American States through workshops and other engagements. Further, participants welcomed the G20 Summit Leaders Statement on the digital economy where leaders committed to help ensure an environment in which all actors are able to enjoy the benefits of secure use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).

Internet Governance Developments in 2015 and 2016 All reiterated that no single entity, company, organization 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. As such we:

  • emphasized the value of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and encouraged its ongoing improvements in line with the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development recommendations. Continued to urge renewal of the IGF’s mandate and the continuation of its work, according to paragraph 72 of The Tunis Agenda, beyond the end of its current mandate in 2015;
  • reiterated commitment to implementing the NETmundial roadmap on multi-stakeholder Internet governance; and
  • welcomed continued efforts to develop a proposal to transition stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the global multi-stakeholder community and an associated proposal for recommendations on enhancing the accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

U.S.-EU Cyber Related Work Streams

We both welcomed the continued cooperation occurring through the existing U.S.-EU Working Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime and highlighted the cooperation occurring in the following key areas:


  • We highlighted the successful conclusion of the synchronized U.S.-EU cybersecurity awareness raising month in October 2015, noted the progress made in awareness raising cooperation through the Working Group, and looked forward to further cooperation in this area.


  • We affirmed our commitment to promote the Convention on Cybercrime (“Budapest Convention”) in the fight against cybercrime, including by working together in international fora. We welcome the most recent parties in 2015: Poland, Sri Lanka, and Canada.
  • We affirmed our strong support for a merger of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online and WePROTECT initiatives and for the implementation of our joint conclusions on overcoming obstacles in fighting transnational child sex offenders.

Further, both sides stressed the importance of cybersecurity across economic sectors and welcome also increased sector focus in U.S.-EU cooperation.

Upcoming Events The two sides look forward to the culmination of the UN General Assembly’s ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society in December 2015. They both believe that the timing of the review is appropriate as the UN General Assembly finalized the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda in September 2015, and on-going efforts to achieve the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes will contribute to continuing to bridge the digital divide. We appreciated the multi-stakeholder participation in the review process, inputs, and the events in the lead up to and surrounding the High-Level Meeting and affirmed our strong support for all stakeholders’ meaningful involvement in future WSIS-related events.

With the increasing relevance that cyber issues play in society overall, the United States and the EU applauded the Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague, The Netherlands in April 2015 and the annual Freedom Online Coalition Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in May 2015. We welcome the next annual Freedom Online Coalition Conference in Costa Rica in 2016 and continue to support global and inclusive platforms for advancing our cyber related priorities.

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Online The United States and the EU reaffirmed their strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. They emphasized that all individuals have the same human rights online and offline and that states have an obligation to protect those rights in accordance with international law. The single, interconnected, global Internet is a unique shared resource that all people should be able to benefit from, to innovate, learn, organize, and communicate, free from censorship or attack. The United States and the EU remain committed to working with all stakeholders to bolster the social, political, and economic benefits of an open Internet and to condemning efforts by some governments or other actors to exploit the Internet to repress democratic activity and attack citizens online. 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.

Global Cyber Capacity Building The United States and the EU continue to emphasize the importance of bridging the digital divide towards fostering open societies and enabling economic growth and social development. As founding members of the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE), we remain committed to strengthening our international cooperation with multi-stakeholder communities from all regions of the world to develop innovative solutions to today’s cyber challenges while maximizing the benefits provided by the Internet and ICTs. We welcomed further coordination among actors globally, particularly within the GFCE, and agreed to continue exchanging views and good practices, as well as stay coordinated on our respective global cyber capacity building initiatives.

The chairs agreed that they will continue their collaborative efforts and convene the U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue again in approximately one year’s time in Brussels, Belgium.

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Robert Williams

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