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Estonia Next Chairman of Internet Freedom Coalition


Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in a high-level conference of the countries in the Internet Freedom Coalition, where he accepted the responsibility to lead the coalition from the Netherlands. “Estonia is the next chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition and we will also be organising the annual conference of the coalition in Tallinn next year,” he said.

In his statement at the meeting today, Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that the goal of the Internet Freedom Coalition is to protect and promote the free movement of information in cyberspace. “When the coalition was created in the Netherlands in 2011, Estonia was among the 15 founding members,” said Paet. “The circle of countries that share the same values and way of thinking is expanding, and today the membership of the Internet Freedom Coalition has grown to 21,” he added.

Paet stated that the member states of the Internet Freedom Coalition must work in the name of creating, through their close co-operation, readiness to support and protect internet freedom in various places around the world. “Co-operation with international organisations, civil society, and enterprises is also important,” he noted.

Foreign Minister Paet also said that Estonia views cyber issues through the lens of general freedoms and human rights. For Estonia, virtual freedom of expression is an indivisible aspect of human rights and supporting freedom of expression on the internet is as important as working to protect and promote all other human rights. “Therefore it is very important for Estonia that we are able to organise the annual meeting of the Internet Freedom Coalition in Tallinn next year,” he emphasised.

The foreign minister stated that the keywords for the conference in Tallinn next year will be a free and safe internet. “For example, in Tallinn we want to discuss topics related to freedom of expression on the internet. We will also focus on privacy and transparency, as well as co-operation between the public and private sector,” said the foreign minister, describing the goals of the conference for next year.

The Internet Freedom Coalition (IFC) was created during an internet freedom conference in The Hague in 2011 at the initiative of the Dutch Foreign Ministry. Estonia is one of the founding members of the coalition. The coalition focuses on supporting the citizens of countries where internet freedom is restricted. The goal of the coalition is also to develop the dialogue on internet freedom among the state, civil society, and businesses.

Additional information on the conference in Tunisia:

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