Closing the Gap


As part of the European Cyber Diplomacy Initiative, the EU Cyber Direct project joins forces with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and numerous research institutions to organise an international conference that contributes to closing the gap between scholars and practitioners working on cyber-related issues. The conference aims to foster productive exchanges between different generations of scholars (emerging talents and established researchers), disciplines (law, political science, international relations, economics, IT, media studies), sectors (government, private sector, academia, NGOs) and regions (Global South-North).

As an expression of ‘academic diplomacy’, the conference will bring together researchers from around the world, in addition to the government officials and private sector representatives. Initially planned as an academic conference at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, the event is now designed as an online event, which significantly enlarges the scope for participation. The sessions will be organised in two thematic streams – resilience and cyber diplomacy – and will be organised in three different formats:

  • Panels: composed of upcoming and established scholars selected on the basis of the submitted abstracts. These are accessible for registered participants through the private page.
  • Roundtables: focused on the most topical issues linked to cyber diplomacy and featuring a mixture of senior scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.
    These are open to the public and accessible through the links in the programme below.
  • Workshops: interactive masterclasses to develop concrete skills or provide new perspectives. These are accessible for registered participants through the private page.

Monday 13 July

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9.00-9.05 Brussels (CEST)Welcome Remarks
Gustav Lindstrom, Director, EU Institute for Security Studies
9.05-9.15 Brussels (CEST)Opening keynote remarks
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
9.15-9.30 Brussels (CEST)Opening keynote remarks
Philippe Goffin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Belgium
Panel session 1B
10.00-11.30 Brussels (CEST)


Cyber diplomacy: exploring the concept
ChairXymena Kurowska, Central European University, Hungary
SpeakersThomas Renard, Egmont Institute, Belgium &
André Barrinha, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Power and Diplomacy in the post-liberal cyberspace
Marzio Di Feo & Luigi Martino, University of Florence, Italy
The role of Multi-track Diplomacy in reducing conflict stemming from cyberspace
Joe Burton, Université Libre de Bruxelles & University of Waikato & George Christou, University of Warwick, UK
Bridging the Gap Between Cyber War and Cyber Peace
Aude Gery, GEODE, France
Norms of Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace: A Danger for the Security and Stability of Cyberspace?
DiscussantsBart Hogeveen, ASPI
Kathryn Jones, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK
13.00-14.00 Brussels (CEST)Roundtable 1: Closing the knowledge gap

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Information is the key component of the knowledge-based policy making. In cyberspace, information and knowledge are diffused and shared among many groups of stakeholders. This roundtable will address the following question: How can we address the existing knowledge gaps in order to promote more policy-relevant research and better-informed policymaking?

ChairFrederick Douzet, Paris 8, France
SpeakersNayia Barmpaliou, World Economic Forum
Ruhiya Seward, International Development Research Centre, Canada
Fabrizio Tassinari, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute
Hilde Hardeman, Director/Head of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission
Panel session 2B
15.00-16.30 Brussels (CEST)Unlawful activities in cyberspace: legal and policy responses
ChairJoyce Hakmeh, Chatham House
SpeakersFabio   Cristiano, Dennis Broeders & Daan Weggemans, The Hague Program for Cyber Norms, The Netherlands
Mainstreaming and countering cyber terrorism: kryptonite for the promotion of digital rights?
Francis Monyango Otieno, Kenya ICT Action Network
Kenya’s computer misuse and cybercrime act is back: the implementation hurdle
Ivar Hartmann, Yasmin Curzi & Julia Iunes, FGV Law School Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Roles of the Stakeholders in Fighting Cyberterrorism in Social Media
Trong Van Nguyen, Waseda University, Japan
International cooperation against cybercrime: legal challenges of Vietnam
DiscussantsPhilipp Amann, European Cybercrime Centre
Folake Olagunju, ECOWAS

Tuesday 14 July

Panel session 3A
10.00 – 11.30 Brussels (CEST)Data economy and data management
ChairLouise Marie Hurel, London School of Economics and Political Science / Igarapé Institute, Brazil
SpeakersAnjali  Kaushik, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India
Transborder Data Flows Comparing the EU-India Approaches and a Possible Cooperation Framework
Beltsazar Krisetya, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia
From e-government to cloud-government: Examining Indonesia’s leapfrogging attempt in data governance     
Joanna Kulesza, University of Łódz, Poland
Cybercrime, DNS abuse and cybersecurity due diligence
Beatriz Kira, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Digital technology governance: developing countries’ priorities and concerns
DiscussantsJoanna Swiatkowska, AGH Cracow
Paul Timmers, Oxford University
Panel session 3B
10.00 – 11.30 Brussels (CEST)Operationalising cyber diplomacy: tools and methods
ChairLaura Groenendaal, German Marshall Fund of the United States
SpeakersYuliya Miadzvetskaya, CiTiP – KU Leuven, Belgium
Restrictive measures as a cyber-deterrence tool of the EU Cyber Diplomacy?    
Myong-hyun Go, Asan Institute for Policy Studies, South Korea
Building an Effective Multilateral Framework for Cybersecurity: The Use of Whitelist for Ensuring Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace     
Jeroen van der Ham, University of Twente, The Netherlands
EthicsfIRST: A Code of Ethics for Incident Response and Security Teams National Cyber Security Centre
Anastasiya Kazakova, Kaspersky, Russia
Global Transparency Initiative as a framework for increasing trust in cyberspace       
DiscussantsManon Le Blanc, European External Action Service
Xymena Kurowska, Central European University
13.00-14.00 Brussels (CEST)Roundtable 2: Closing the international law gap

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International law is a critical element in the debate about stability and irresponsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Yet, only a handful of governments around the world have made their views on the application of international law in cyberspace known. The purpose of this session is to look at the ongoing initiatives undertaken by both research and policy communities to answer: Does international law matter and how can we close the existing gap linked to its application in cyberspace?

ChairFrancois Delerue, IRSEM, France
SpeakersMike Schmitt, United States Military Academy West Point
Cathrin Bauer-Bulst, European Commission
Duncan Hollis, Temple University & Inter-American Juridical Committee, Organization of American States
Huu Phu Nguyen, PhD Candidate, Associate Researcher, Institute of Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam
Tania Jančárková, Law researcher, NATO CCDCOE
Panel session 4A
15.00 – 16.30 Brussels (CEST)Cyber and digital policies: good practices
ChairEnrico Calandro, Research ICT Africa, South Africa
SpeakersTinatin Akhvlediani, CEPS, Belgium
Digital and Cyber Dimensions of  the EU Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine            
Eva Claessen, KU Leuven, Centre for Global Governance Studies (GGS), Belgium
Defining virtual borders – the impact of strategic narratives on Russia’s role in cyber norm development
Ahmet Salih Bıçakcı & Ayhan Gücüyener Evren, Kadir Has University, Turkey
Sisyphean Task Of Building Cyber Security Culture And Resilience: Examples Of Israel And Turkey
Bruna Toso de Alcântara, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), Brazil
Is the Digital Three Seas Initiative a model to be exported? Applicability to the Brazilian case to mitigate security concerns with 5G
DiscussantsJoanna Kulesza, University of Łódz, Poland
Eneken Tikk, Cyber Policy Institute, Estonia
Panel session 4B
15.00 – 16.30 Brussels (CEST)Democracy in the digital age
ChairIvar Hartmann, FGV Law School Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
SpeakersArthur Ernest Gwagwa, The Regional Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa (C3SA), Strathmore Law School, South Africa
Engaging citizens on cybersecurity issues to safeguard African elections in the digital democracy era   
Pavlina Pavlova, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw, Poland
The human dimension of cybersecurity: Case study of human rights defenders           
Adam   Pontius, Central European University, Hungary
The democratic state as an actor or an arena? Examining the impact of cyber on efforts to referee democracy
DiscussantsSophia Ignatidou, Academy Associate, Chatham House
Michael Aendenhof, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium

Wednesday 15 July

Panel session 5A
10.00-11.30 Brussels (CEST)New technologies and cybersecurity
ChairSimona Soare, EU Institute for Security Studies
SpeakersMoonyati Yatid, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia
Security Concerns in Artificial Intelligence: Current Approaches in ASEAN and Considerations for Malaysia 
Lorenzo Pupillo, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Belgium
Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity: avoiding the technology trap
Gills Lopes, Brazilian Air Force University, Universidade da Força Aérea, UNIFA, Brazil
The cyber dimension in Aerospace Power: new perspectives for Brazil
Amy Ertan, University of London & Christian Perrone, ITS Rio
Managing 5G security challenges: options for multi-stakeholder governance
DiscussantKen Katayama, KEIO University
Oscar Jonsson, Center for the Governance of Change, Spain
Panel session 5B
10.00-11.30 Brussels (CEST)Learning from the best? Comparing national approaches
ChairHannes Ebert, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington, D.C.
SpeakersLouise Marie Hurel, London School of Economics and Political Science / Igarapé Institute, Brazil
Pathways to Cyber Policy: Unpacking Brazil’s Domestic/Foreign Policy Paradox(es)    
Jayadev Parida, Amity University, India
India’s Cyber (In)Security Concerns and Global Ambitions  
The Phuong Nguyen & Thanh Trung Nguyen, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University-HCMC
Cyber security in Vietnamese Context: Policies and Practices    
Rogier Creemers, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Cybersovereignty in China: Rhetoric and Realization
Natalie Thompson, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Targeted Financial Sanctions and Countering Malicious Cyber Activity
DiscussantLaura Carpini, Ambassador for Cyber Issues, Italy
Patryk Pawlak, EU Institute for Security Studies
13.00-14.00 Brussels (CEST)


Roundtable 3: Closing the accountability gap

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In the debate about responsible state behaviour, the question of accountability – that of states, private actors and individuals – has become the key to understanding responsibilities of individual stakeholders in the cyber ecosystem. While most of the conversation to date has focused on the issue of attribution as a silver bullet for more accountability, this session will aim to answer: How do we establish accountability for irresponsible and/or malicious behaviour in cyberspace?

ChairDennis Broeders, The Hague Program for Cyber Norms
SpeakersKerry-Ann Barrett, Organization of American States
 Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonia
  Wiktor Staniecki, European External Action Service
Arjun Jayakumar, ORF, India
Panel session 6A
15.00 – 16.30 Brussels (CEST)Digital transformation and cyber capacity building
ChairIan Wallace, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington, D.C.
SpeakersBabatunde Okunoye, Paradigm Initiative, Nigeria
Internet Access in Africa: Towards a Human Rights centred approach
 William H. Dutton, Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez, Ruth Shillair & Sadie Creese, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
The Shaping and Impacts of Cyber Security Capacity
 Ilina Georgieva & Tjerk Timan, TNO, The Netherlands
Openness Online: The role of strategic visibility in the shaping of cyber norms
 Xuechen Chen & Xinchuchu Gao, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Bridging the Gap: How Can the EU’s Digital Connectivity Strategy Fit into East Asia’s Digital Landscape
DiscussantFrancesca Bosco, CyberPeace Institute,
Enrico Calandro, Research ICT Africa, South-Africa



Session 6B
15:00 – 16:30Different shades of norms: regional perspectives
ChairCaitriona Heinl, Director, The Azure Forum for Contemporary Security Strategy, Ireland
SpeakersArindrajit Basu & Aman Nair, Centre for Internet&Society, India
Confidence Building Measures and the Crystallization of Norms for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace:A framework for South Asia     
 Fitri Bintang Timur, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia
Pushing for Progress: Extents and Limits for ASEAN Adoption of Responsible Behaviour in the Cyberspace
 Nils Berglund & Enrico Calandro, Research ICT Africa, South Africa
African Positions in an Era of Cyber Norms Contestation     
 Alexandra Paulus, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung & Chemnitz University of Technology
Brazil’s engagement with international cyber norms processes
DiscussantJacqueline Eggenschwiler, University of Oxford
Daniel McBryde
, Global Affairs Canada
Chris Painter, Chair of the Foundation Board, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise

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18.00-18.30 Brussels (CEST)Keynote address: Closing the freedom gap
Karuna Nundy
, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Thursday 16 July

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Brussels (CEST)


Keynote address: Closing the gender gap
Moudhi AlJamea,ICT General manager, STC academy
Panel session 7A
10.00 – 11.30 Brussels (CEST)Cyber resilience: from concepts to practice
ChairJulia Schuetze, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
SpeakersEdrine Wanyama, Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Uganda
Improving Cyber Protection of Consumers in Africa: A Four-Country Comparative Analysis    
Jan Martin Lemnitzer, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Why cyber security insurance should be regulated and compulsory     
Mark Corcoral, CERI-Sciences Po and IRSEM, France
Setting the Agenda, Not the Policy: America’s Limited Success in Rhetorically Coercing Europe into a Huawei 5G Ban
DiscussantThomas Buchanan, AXA France
Agnieszka Wierzbicka, European External Action Service
Mihoko Matsubara, NTT Japan


Panel session 7B
10.00 – 11.30 Brussels (CEST)Identifying trends in cyber defence
ChairMotohiro Tsuchiya, KEIO University
SpeakersFarlina Md Said, Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia
A White Sheet for Cyber Command in Developing states        
Tobias Liebetrau, University of Copenhagen
Defending in the grey zone: Three European approaches  
Josh Gold, University of Toronto, Canada
Offensive cyber operations: comparative analysis of Five Eyes countries
DiscussantJakob Bund, Centre for Security Studies, ETH Zurich
Chelsey Slack, Deputy Head, Cyber Defence Section, NATO
13.00 – 14.30

Brussels (CEST)

Workshop 1: Closing the practice gap. A pitching session

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During this informal and hands-on session, participants will have a chance to discuss concrete project ideas with other participants and people directly involved in different aspects of the project cycle: from design to funding and communication.

Ideas will be selected from the whiteboard:

  • 5 minutes presentations of the ideas (3 pitches)
  • 5 minutes: general comments by experts on funding, research design, outreach
  • 15 minutes breakout room on each idea/pitch
  • 20 minutes common discussion
15.00 – 16.15
Brussels (CEST)
Workshop 2: Careers in cyber

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ChairEmily Taylor, Chatham House
SpeakersDanielle Kriz, Palo Alto Networks
Anriette Esterhuysen,Association for Progressive Communications
Madeline Carr, University College London
Teki Akuetteh Falconer, Founder & Executive Director at the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub

Friday 17 July

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Brussels (CEST)

Keynote address: Closing the diversity gap
Johanna Weaver, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
11.00 – 12.15 Brussels (CEST)Workshop 3: Funding cyber research

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ChairCaitriona Heinl, Director, The Azure Forum for Contemporary Security Strategy, Ireland
SpeakersEva Junyent, European Commission, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
Graciela Selaimen, Ford Foundation
Eli Sugarman, Hewlett Foundation
Rachael Falk, Australian Cybersecurity Cooperative Research Centre
13:00 – 14:00 Brussels (CEST)Roundtable 4: Closing the geographical gap

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The study of cyber-related issues and the number of policy processes and initiatives addressing cyberspace have grown exponentially over the past decade. Yet, the scholarship on the topic as well as policy debates are dominated by a small group of countries in what some call Global North. This session aims to answer: What are the main obstacles to a more inclusive debate about cyber and what are the instruments and mechanisms at our disposal to make this happen?

ChairEnrico Calandro, ICT Research Africa
SpeakersLuca Belli, CyberBRICS
Nibal Idlebi, Chief of Innovation Section, United Nation-Economic Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA)
Gbenga’ Sesan, Paradigm Initiative
Philip Lark, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies



Organisers and partners

As part of the European Cyber Diplomacy Initiative, the EU Cyber Direct project, Egmont Institute, and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with other research institutions organised this international conference for scholars, policy analysts and practitioners working on cyber-related issues.