Poor engagement with international internet governance in Bulgaria

International internet governance principles and approaches are applied poorly in Bulgaria, argues a newly published report entitled "The Internet Governance Forum does not work in countries where good governance does not work". Authored by Todor Yalamov at BlueLInk, the report is included  as a chapter in the 2017 edition of the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) published by the Association for Progressive Communications. The GISWatch analyses  the evolution of Bulgaria’s involvement in Internet Governance Forums and its impact on the governance of top-level domains in the country.

Bulgarian internet stakeholders have engaged with European policies, initiatives and activities prior to and during the institutionalisation of the IGF. But this involvement was short-term and did not translate into sustainable partnerships and commitments that delivered later on, the Bulgarian chapter argues. After the successful approval of the .бг TLD by ICANN, the motivation of the private sector and government stakeholders to be involved with international internet governacne dropped sharply, Yalamov observes. The report makes the following recommendations for improving internet governance in Bulgaria:

  • collaboration;
  • adopting good governance guidelines; and
  • further research of good practices of standardisation of domain management of public institutions.

A total of 54 reports on National and Regional Internet Governance Forum Initiatives are gathered  GISWatch 2017. The publication covers 40 countries, as diverse as the United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea and Colombia. A total of 54 reports on national and regional internet governance initiatives (NRIs) are gathered in the publication. The country reports are rich in approach and style and highlight several challenges faced by activists organising and participating in national Internet Governance Fora (IGFs), including broadening stakeholder participation, capacity building, the unsettled role of governments, and impact.

Seven regional reports analyse the impact of regional IGFs, their evolution and challenges, and the risks they still need to take to shift governance to the next level, while seven thematic reports offer critical perspectives on NRIs as well as mapping initiatives globally.

National and Regional Internet Governance Forum Initiatives are now widely recognised as a vital element of the Internet Governance Forum process. In fact, they are seen to be the key to the sustainability and ongoing evolution of collaborative, inclusive and multistakeholder approaches to internet policy development and implementation.