JEF-Estonia and JEF-Latvia gather to discuss Internet Governance

, by Karlīna Emīlija Melberga

JEF-Estonia and JEF-Latvia gather to discuss Internet Governance

An article of JEF Latvia’s-JEF Estonia’s project “Bilateral seminar on Internet Governance”, part of JEF Europe 2021 Internet Governance work plan

In July 2021, JEF Latvia attended the international seminar “Let’s discuss governance in Internet Governance” in Alicante, Spain. After many workshops, lectures, and hearing people’s experiences, we realized the need for our own event to discuss this topic with others and spread awareness in our region. Thereby, Latvia and Estonia decided to collaborate and make bilateral seminars – one part in each country, and simultaneously establish a network between Baltic countries.

Internet Governance alludes to the principles, strategies, norms, and practices that direct and shape worldwide cyberspace. We say Internet Governance (henceforth – IG) and not government since many issues on the Internet are not (and most likely can’t be) taken care of by the conventional regional public foundations. Administration suggests a polycentric, less varied, leveled request; it requires transnational collaboration among norms engineers, network administrators, online specialist co-ops, clients, legislation, and global associations to tackle issues while holding the receptiveness and interoperability of the Internet. Regardless, the public approach assumes a significant part in molding the Internet. However, the ascent of the Internet has created and will keep on delivering new organizations and administrative courses of action that react to its unique qualities.

Consequently, to better comprehend this arduous topic, splitting the seminar into two parts made it easier for participants to perceive information because there was more time provided. The first part was three days long, and it took place in Estonia. Attendees had to pitch ideas on how youth could help the European Union’s relationship with IG and the people who work with it. However, Latvia’s perspective was to offer additional information about IG and teach more about what it is, how it works, what stakeholders are, and how young people can make a difference in this field, as well as learn effective ways to manage social media.

First and foremost, the online seminar started with two speakers: Firstly, Cezara Panait, Head of Digital Policy at Europlus - Centre of European Expertise. Here, she coordinates digital policy activity, publishes press articles and constantly organizes and moderates public debates that bring together national and European policy-makers and representatives from both the private sector and civil society. Secondly, Benedetta Veneruso, a young professional in digital transformation and corporate/political communications. The objective of this activity was to enhance understanding of IG. They interviewed each other whilst others were listening. Having said that, through interrogation, it was easier for the rest of the participants to understand the topic because the language was not sophisticated and was explained in a comprehensible manner, since many did not have any experience with IG. Furthermore, after the activity, we realized the need for young people’s involvement in decision-making and the IG framework. Thereby, the next speaker ensured that participants could make a difference by highlighting opportunities.

A board member of JEF Europe, a specialist on digital topics, gave a presentation about possibilities for youth to participate in IG. They introduced multiple youth arenas, particularly organizations, initiatives, and platforms that people can join. For example: the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a global discussion forum that brings all the stakeholders together once a year, or the European Summer School on Internet Governance, a week-long intensive seminar about IG, and, finally, campaigns as “No Hate Speech Movement” and “Better Internet for Kids” where young people can work and fight together to make change. Surprisingly, there are many potential areas to join to render more effective work and form more extensive diversity.

Our seminar continued with an informal, but essential part of the educational activities. Everyone had to watch a video ( led by an Artificial intelligence (henceforth – AI) robot. It is an EU-funded site designed to raise awareness of privacy issues. Only judging by a person’s face, it was feasible to detect age, BMI index, gender, life expectancy, and other features; even though I lied about my age, the computer corrected it to the right one. Many algorithms are around us, not knowing it, which seems insane. In a conversation after detection, all the participants agreed that we need to be very careful about the data we share and allow AI to use.

The final speaker was a 3rd Year Estonian-Finnish language student from Riga, Brigita Andersone, who is researching social media as a hobby. Thus, she presented different social media platforms, the audience in it, and how to create attractive and compelling posts. Little did everyone know how significant small nuances in apps are, such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. It is better if Instagram posts are reels, but since Facebook is the greatest platform, it is advantageous to sponsor posts; TikTok, however, is a trendy platform for advertisement, thanks to its algorithm. After the presentation, participants shared their experience managing social media accounts and making many posts. One of the outcomes is that the internet platforms are developing every second, thereby trends and demand for content also. Having said that, it is challenging to develop social media accounts successfully; moreover, it is believed that in the 21st-century, the influence of social media will only grow.

In conclusion, this activity aims to increase knowledge of IG and everything related to it. People must know how AI influences them and be wary of data leakage. Although digital technologies ease our daily lives and are beneficial, it is essential to remember that they come with many problems, such as our data being used without our knowledge, mental health problems, and violations of our rights. The opinion of civil society should be considered when new decisions are made; however, it depends on whether we fight for it and get involved in making Internet Governance safe and suitable for all of us. We will continue to encourage people to join in IG decision-making processes.

Your comments

Warning, your message will only be displayed after it has been checked and approved.

Who are you?

To show your avatar with your message, register it first on (free et painless) and don’t forget to indicate your Email addresse here.

Enter your comment here

This form accepts SPIP shortcuts {{bold}} {italic} -*list [text->url] <quote> <code> and HTML code <q> <del> <ins>. To create paragraphs, just leave empty lines.

Follow the comments: RSS 2.0 | Atom