6 October 2020

Digital Sovereignty – Navigating Between Scylla and Charybdis

Panelists: Paul Timmers, Ciaran Martin, Margot Dor and Georg Serentschy Moderator: Lynda Hardman


6 October 2020

The panel debate: “Digital Sovereignty – Navigating Between Scylla and Charybdis” was streamed and recorded on the DIGHUM channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-oCPW9l7IuDvu_J30tqMVw

This panel debate took a hard and critical look at the sense and nonsense of digital sovereignty.

It debunked some of the terminology that is being thrown around in debates on digital sovereignty, analysed the good, the bad, and the ugly of geopolitical technology battles between the USA and China and provided specific insight into two harbingers of the emerging perceptions of sovereignty in cyberspace: global telecommunications and global standardisation.

The audience was invited to be part of the debate with the panel to increase our understanding of how Europe can best navigate the good, the bad and the ugly of geopolitics and the digital world.

Professor Paul Timmers set the scene with a critical reflection of where we are in the debate on ‘digital sovereignty’ and consequences for EU policy development. Paul Timmers is at the European University Cyprus, Research Associate at Oxford University, Senior Advisor at EPC, former Director European Commission, and leading thinker on strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty.

Subsequently, the panel and audience engaged in a discussion where three leading cybersecurity personalities put forward their response to the scene setter:

  • Prof Ciaran Martin, Oxford University, former head UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), a world top person in cybersecurity, recent interview by the Financial Times on east-west split over the internet.
  • Margot Dor, Strategy Director of ETSI a European Standards Organization, driver of the Carl Bildt Report on Strategic Standardisation for Europe in the Digital Era
  • Dr Georg Serentschy, advisor on telecoms and IT, senior advisor SquirePattonBoggs, Board of Directors International Telecommunications Society, former Head of BEREC (European Telecoms Regulators).

The moderator was Lynda Hardman (CWI – Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam)