I&J convened

Published on
June 11, 2016

Fragmentation and Digital Sovereignty

On June 10, 2016, Internet & Jurisdiction’s Paul Fehlinger co-moderated the last plenary session of EuroDIG 2016, titled Internet Fragmentation and Digital Sovereignty: Implications for Europe. Mr. Fehlinger was also involved in planning and organizing the session. The 2016 EuroDIG was held in Brussels, Belgium.

The plenary session discussed 

  • The meaning of “Internet fragmentation” and “digital sovereignty”;
  • The social, political, and economic costs of unintended fragmentation; and 
  • How Europe should proceed in addressing this challenge. 

Additionally, the session explored how national jurisdiction can be applied online without re-erecting national borders on the global Internet, and whether the necessary legal tools and frameworks are in place to manage transnational Internet demands. Issues specific to the European Union were discussed included enforcement of the right to be de-indexed, privacy protection and data localization, the Digital Single Market, and Internet governance provisions in trade agreements.

The session was divided into two conceptual parts: fragmentation in general (moderated by Wolfgang Kleinwächter) and resulting jurisdictional challenges (moderated by Paul Fehlinger).


Göran Marby

President and CEO


John Frank

Vice President, EU Government Affairs


Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir

Director, Media Commission

Ministry of Communications, Iceland

Marietje Schaake


European Parliament

Roberto Viola

General Director, DG CONNECT

European Commission

About EuroDIG

The Pan-European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussions on public policy issues related to Internet governance. Since 2008, EuroDIG has pulled together a variety of actors and national perspectives in an open and multistakeholder forum to share their expertise and best practices and, where possible, identify common ground.

EuroDIG is supported by a group of institutional partners, namely the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Federal Office of Communications of Switzerland (OFCOM), and the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC).