The second meeting of the European Cyber Diplomacy Dialogue (ECDD) took place on 20-21 January 2020 in Florence, Italy, and was co-organised by the EU Cyber Direct project and the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute.
The primary objective of the ECDD is to support the efforts of the European Union and its member states in conducting strategic cyber engagements with other countries and stakeholders by providing a platform for regular exchanges between policymakers and scholars in order to bridge the existing knowledge gaps, share approaches to international norms negotiation, and address specific policy challenges.
The event brought together selected researchers and analysts, members of the European Cyber Diplomacy Network, as well as senior level government officials involved in the design and implementation of cyber diplomacy policies in their respective countries or institutions.
The two days were opened by the lecture “How to live with norm contestation?” delivered by Dr. Antje Wiener, Professor of Political Science and Global Governance at the University of Hamburg, Germany. On this occasion, Prof. Wiener addressed the key question: “Should norm contestation be feared and avoided or embraced and leveraged?”
Furthermore, the two days included deep dive discussions, closed-door and public roundtables, as well as focused break-out sessions.
During the first roundtable, participants discussed the role for the UN in promoting effective multilateralism and rules-based order in cyberspace in the presence of Amb. Jürg Lauber, chair of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group and Amb. Guilherme Patriota, chair of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts.
In the historical venue of the Sala d’Arme in Palazzo Vecchio, headquarter of the Mayor of the City of Florence, the panellists discussed the distribution of responsibilities and the pathways for cooperation at all levels in the light of the increasing reliance on digital platforms for delivery of key governmental functions and services to citizens. As the first line of defence against digital risks and frequent victims of malicious activities against the energy, transportation or communication infrastructure, local representatives from the City of Florence also participated in this public roundtable.
During the break-out sessions, participants further explored the role of emotions in foreign and security policy and the activities of the so-called rogue states in cyberspace, as well as the conduct of offensive cyber operations by states and the challenges brought to cybersecurity by artificial intelligence and disrupting technologies.
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