Below is the relevant part of the EC new Internet Governance policy2 as it pertains to Governance Principles.


The strength of the Internet lies in its open, distributed nature, based on non-proprietary standards which create low barriers of entry. The European Union has always been committed to the Internet as one single unfragmented space, where all resources should be accessible in the same manner, irrespective of the location of the user and the provider. This is especially so where they relate to human rights and some states, quoting security concerns, attempt to curb global connectivity of their citizens by censorship and other restrictions. Blocking, slowing down or discrimination of content, applications and services goes against the open nature of the Internet.

Even when faced with complex regulatory or political challenges, filtering traffic at borders or other purely national approaches can lead to fragmentation of the Internet and could compromise economic growth and the free flow of information. This does not exclude increased efforts towards diversification of the underlying infrastructure such as local internet exchange points and transmission capacity, which can strengthen the resilience and robustness of the Internet, as well as measures necessary to protect fundamental rights and to address concerns raised by revelations of large-scale surveillance and intelligence activities.

For over two years, the Commission has advocated an approach summarised by the COMPACT acronym2: the Internet as a space of Civic responsibilities, One unfragmented resource governed via a Multistakeholder approach to Promote democracy and Human Rights, based on a sound technological Architecture that engenders Confidence and facilitates a Transparent governance both of the underlying Internet infrastructure and of the services which run on top of it.

The COMPACT builds on the Tunis agenda of 2005. Since then there has been a proliferation of Internet governance principles in various fora but in most cases each one supported by a limited set of stakeholders, or limited in geographical scope. A process leading towards a more broadly supported and coherent set of principles for Internet governance would be helpful in finding common ground.

The Commission supports establishing a coherent set of global Internet governance principles, consistent with fundamental rights and democratic values, with all stakeholders. The Commission will facilitate discussions among stakeholders, including via multistakeholder platforms and the High Level Group on Internet Governance. The Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to contribute to a common European position in all appropriate venues.