As a consequence of Resolution 12-36 of the Internet Society Board of Trustees the logo of the Internet Society is now removed from this website. The Internet Society asked to do so in a letter sent on November 21st 2012:
We kindly request you to refrain from future use of the ISOC Trademarks in communication of the ECC (either on the website or in direct communications), as this may cause confusion in the furthering of the message and mission of the Internet Society through our Chapters and our Europe Regional Bureau. In the same vein, we would appreciate efforts to avoid any public confusion about who ECC represents.
A copy of this letter is being forwarded to chapters who are currently members of the ECC. The Internet Society continues to support those Chapters through its Membership and Services Department and its Regional Bureau.
The trademarks involved are:
- CTM mark number 000560573 “ISOC” (word) registered in classes 16, 41 and 42 of the International Nomenclature.
- CTM mark number 001509488 “INTERNET SOCIETY” (figurative) registered in classes 16, 41 and 42 of the International Nomenclature.
The letter was sent to the current Chair and Secretary and two other individual Internet Society members.
Any mention of either ISOC or Internet Society on this website is in respect with the trademarks of the Internet Society and is only mentioned on this site for reasons of historical accuracy about events and actions in the past.
The Secretary of the ECC.
Reply from ETNO to the European ISOC chapters’ Statement on ETNO Contribution 109 to CWG-WCIT12, received 24 September 2012
See ETNO Digital Alert for HTML version.
To Mr R. Rustema (coordinator)
Internet Society European Coordinating Council
c/ Carme 47, 08001, Barcelona, Spain
cc: European Commission, Current Presidency of the CEPT and the EP
(PPE, S&D, ALDE, Verts, GUE/NGL, ECR, EFD)
RE: Your letter of 14 September 2012 / CWG-WCIT12 Contribution 109 Source: ETNO
Dear Mr Rustema,
I have read with great interest the letter you have addressed to my attention concerning the ETNO proposal for the revision of the ITU ITRs. In your letter you raise a number of concerns, shared by the European Chapters of the Internet Society, that you hope will bring ETNO to reconsider its current position.
Having taken into consideration the arguments you have developed, and the consequent reaction that you will find hereunder, I confirm that ETNO is all the more convinced of its position and will continue to defend it in the public discussions on ITRs revision, as well as in the appropriate institutional and public fora.
Multi-stakeholder participation in Europe: As you rightly point out, as far as Internet governance issues are concerned, ETNO has supported the multi-stakeholder approach, and will continue to do so. The positive elements of such approach are well acknowledged by ETNO and we are convinced that fora such as the IGF will keep contributing substantially to the multi-stakeholder debate on all Internet governance issues.
To this extent, we believe that ETNO’s proposal on ITRs review is not against this model. On the contrary, it strengthens the principles of openness, transparency and multi-stakeholder discussion on issues that are very important for a solid and future-proof development of the Internet, in the interest of citizens, of all stakeholders of the digital value chain and, ultimately, of society as a whole. ETNO is committed to ensure the highest possible level of transparency for its proposals and is genuinely open to a multi-stakeholder dialogue, keeping however in mind that the ITRs revision is an institutional process that needs discussions and negotiations within the appropriate institutional bodies and organizations. On this point, we are surprised that the ISOC has tried to block the ETNO proposal, thereby preventing a full and open discussion on it.
The scope of the International Telecom Regulations: The ISOC stresses that the ITRs regulate relations between governments. ETNO agrees on this point. However, since the 1988 revision, we all know the telecommunications world has changed and the digital industry is today radically different from the telecommunications industry of the 1980s. As ETNO has made very clear since its submission to CEPT, the revision of the ITRs could foresee the inclusion of some principles that, in full respect of the competences of jurisdictions and regulatory bodies around the world – including of course the EU – will help the development of the Internet and enhance consumers welfare in the digital sector. Indeed, the ITU is the only globally recognized telecoms organization where all countries are actively involved. The ITRs treaty is therefore the only truly global treaty on telecoms and, as such, ETNO sees the ITRs as a fitting ‘home’ for the principles that it wishes to see introduced during the revision process.
Network neutrality: ETNO fully supports the principle of an open Internet and does not believe that its proposal could hamper, to any extent, the “principle of an open internet” and “the quality of “best effort service delivery”. By contrast, ETNO’s proposal aims at providing the inclusion in the ITRs of a forward-looking principle regarding the value of “commercial agreements”. This will contribute, in the years to come, to the development of new advanced services to consumers, based on QoS, for the benefit of all societies around the world. In particular, reading the statements made by the Internet Society European Coordinating Council, we would like to point out the following considerations:
- the key goal of Net Neutrality principles and of an Open Internet is the ability to send and receive, over the Internet, any content and to have access to any web site/IP address;
- Net Neutrality is, in general, not related to the IP connectivity performance but to connectivity only in extreme situations such as the block of IP addresses or web sites.
Differentiated QoS (such as the priority given to specific type of content) is related to the service requirements not to Net Neutrality. As an example, real time video streaming is needed for some specific services and it is crystal clear that the performance of real time streaming cannot be provided (due to evident cost issues) to any IP traffic. According to the Internet Society statement, no differentiated quality should be provided for real time video streaming and then many of the services today offered by OTTs/CPs should not be allowed.
- Moreover it must be taken into account that differentiated QoS has always been used in the public Internet and today the need for QoS delivery is growing. No claim was ever made on QoS delivery against Net Neutrality. Examples of differentiatedQoS are: use of CDN, use of ADN, web acceleration, caching, buffering for some of the contents. Google, Akamai, L3/GX, Limelight and many other OTTs/CPs/Aggregators/CDN Providers are using differentiated QoS for some traffic and then, according to the Internet Society statement these companies are hurting freedom of communication and are against Net Neutrality.
The previous points give evidence that commercial agreements with differentiated QoS delivery are widely used over the Internet.
With reference to the statement on “quality of best effort delivery threatened by differentiated QoS”, we would like to point out the following scenario:
- The internet ecosystem is open and competitive. In every country many ISPs compete to get more market share and to get more end user paying for broadband and ultrabroadband internet access service.
- Differentiated QoS is not provided to all internet traffic, it is used only for the high value traffic (i.e. for the traffic that gives revenues to OTT/CP). The “not high value traffic” is delivered by best effort.
- Telcos end users receive both best effort and differentiated QoS traffic.
According to this scenario it is crystal clear that, if a Telco operator does not give good performance for best effort traffic delivery, it will lose clients and market share due to the high competition among ISPs.
The previous points give evidence that commercial arrangements with differentiated QoS do no threaten the quality of best effort delivery.
ETNO wants to avoid decisions that would prevent new business models from emerging or that would hamper differentiated offers, hence limiting consumer choice. The risk of undesirable economic and technical regulation of operator rates, terms and conditions will be much higher if the development of the Internet continues to be jeopardized by the lack of sustainability and/or by the lack of end-customer satisfaction.
On many occasions ETNO members have reiterated their commitment to sustain an open Internet and to continue enabling consumers to access services and applications of their choice, as well as guaranteeing complete transparency about terms, conditions and limitations. As recognized by the European Commission, operators should not be prevented from developing differentiated offers based on customer needs, in addition to the best effort Internet. It is important to note that nobody will be cut off from the Internet as the best effort Internet will continue to exist and to evolve. New business models based on differentiated offers will ultimately create more choice for consumers.
“Sending party network pays”: ETNO is not proposing to use SPNP model as the founding principle for IP interconnection. ETNO proposal is based on commercial agreements between parties, therefore the SPNP approach is not imposed, but can be used when commercially suitable.
To present examples, SPNP model could be used for:
- Telco-to-Telco peering agreements with a threshold
- Telco-to-OTT/CP interconnection, where paid peering is adopted; paid peering is generally used when OTT/CP have to terminate high-value traffic such as commercial movies. A well-known example is the Netflix/Level3/Comcast agreement, that moved from “free on net” interconnection to paid peering between Level 3 and Comcast.
On your final remark (Economic considerations, “fair remuneration” and broadband investment), we would like to highlight that ETNO represents the major investors in broadband deployment in the EU and acknowledges the beneficial role of a competitive and liberalized market in providing better services for citizens. By recognizing the value of such principles, the ETNO proposal is fully in line with the ongoing process of market liberalization and is in no way against the principles defined in liberal legal policy and regulatory frameworks, as is the EU framework for electronic communications and services.
On the contrary, the advocacy of a principle that would recognize, at the international level, the role of commercial agreements, is in itself a liberal principle. In fact, it would help prevent that ITU members could one day approve legislation that might result into blocking a liberal and successful development of the Internet and digital industries.
The ETNO proposal calls for a new IP interconnection ecosystem that provides end-to-end Quality of Service delivery, in addition to best effort delivery, enabling the provision of value-added network services, to both end-customers and OTT players and content providers. Moreover, the contribution states that, in order to ensure an adequate return on investment in high bandwidth infrastructures, operators shall negotiate commercial agreements to achieve a sustainable compensation for telecommunications services.
By endorsing the concept of “quality based delivery”, it will be possible to establish new interconnection policies based on the differentiation of the QoS parameters for specific services and types of traffic (not only on the “volume”), enabling new business models and implementing an ecosystem where operators’ revenues will not be disconnected from investment needs. The ETNO proposal is not imposing any premium service obligations on network operators, since the QoS delivery will be based only on commercial agreements.
Indeed, the ETNO contribution aims at creating the best enabling environment to foster commercial agreements based on QoS delivery and to avoid any regulations that can prevent the development of these agreements.
In view of the points explained above, we are confident that the ISOC will change its opinion on ETNO’s proposal and will share our active commitment towards innovation and our interest in defending principles that will help the Internet to evolve towards better services for consumers and higher societal welfare.
ETNO Executive Board Chairman
The reply from ETNO was received on 24 September 2012.
Update on 18 September 2012: the French chapter also signed
Mr Luigi Gambardella
Avenue Louise 54
1050 Brussels, Belgium
cc: European Commission, Current Presidency of the CEPT and the EP (PPE, S&D, ALDE, Verts, GUE/NGL, ECR, EFD)
Subject: CWG-WCIT12 Contribution 109 Source: ETNO
Brussels, 14 September 2012
Dear Mr Gambardella
We, Chapters of the Internet Society in Europe, are writing to you with respect to ETNO’s contribution to the ITU in reference.
As we are sure you are already aware, the Internet Society has already issued a statement about the WCIT, including specific recommendations. Our present purpose is to respond to specific European aspects of your proposal. We hope that, based on this input, ETNO would reconsider Contribution 109 from the ITU Council Working Group. Allow us to explain our point of view:
1. Multi-stakeholder participation in Europe: We consider that Internet governance in general, and the European position in the ITU WCIT in particular, should be based on multi-stakeholder consultation and decision taking. In many contexts (IGF, EuroDIG, ICANN, etc.), ETNO members have supported the multi-stakeholder model, and it is in the best interests of the whole European Internet community if all stakeholders follow, and continue to develop this model.
2. The scope of the International Telecommunication Regulations: The ITRs regulate relations between governments. Commercial arrangements between operators are beyond the scope of the ITRs.
Your references to ‘operators’ tends to undermine this basic distinction. On the contrary, we wish to maintain this distinction and particularly to ensure that the ITU ITRs are neutral with respect to the regulatory and competition policy responsibilities of the public authorities, particularly those arising from the EU Treaty.
3. Network Neutrality: Without revisiting here all the arguments about Network Neutrality, we believe that the concepts in the ETNO proposal related to “commercial arrangements with differentiated quality of service delivery” are inconsistent with the principles of an open Internet.
Specifically, as many European Internet Society chapters have pointed out through the years, network operators – such as the majority of ETNO members – should not have the power, commercial or technical, to discriminate among IP packets sent or received by the users.
The commercial consequences of the model which you have proposed could threaten the quality of “best-efforts” delivery and create counterproductive incentives towards selective and ‘walled garden’ definitions of IP services. That would not be the open Internet, enjoyed today by all users.
4. ‘Sending party network pays:’ This concept has apparently been carried over from traditional telecommunications, whereas the Internet functions on different principles, where the receiving party pays, usually through a subscription.
For reasons that have been amply explained elsewhere, this will not work, and should not be supported.
We would be particularly concerned that ‘sending party pays’ would in practice discriminate against many smaller, service providers, and new entrants.
5. Economic considerations, ‘fair remuneration’ and broadband investment: The European telecommunications industry has known for more than 20 years that markets would become progressively liberalised, and for more than a decade that convergent IP traffic would predominate through the Internet, as is already the case.
We would also note that several other countries are achieving higher levels of broadband penetration, more quickly, without resort to “new business models” (see for example the official Bulgarian contribution to the ITU-PP10), but by ensuring liberal legal framework, with no licensing or registration for the ISPs. Furthermore, the ISPs and other telecommunications operators already charge their customers significant amounts for connection to the Internet.
Specifically, we do not believe that ITU ITRs, which regulate relationships between public authorities, should extend to commercial relationships between operators.
We are participating actively within national WCIT preparatory processes throughout the region, knowing that our respected governments will support positions that are consistent with the development of the Internet as an open and inclusive media, following a liberal legal framework. In this regard, we do not believe that the full range of impacts the ETNO proposals might produce for the global Internet community have been fully evaluated from a technical, commercial, or development perspective. Further, we have concluded that placing treaty-based interconnection obligations on infrastructure providers is not a constructive way to make progress and runs the serious risk of fragmenting the Internet. We hope that you will reconsider the ETNO proposal and work with us to grow the Internet in an open, market-based, multistakeholder fashion.
R. Rustema (coordinator)
Signed and endorsed by the following Chapters of the Internet Society in Europe:
The Internet Society chapters are grass roots organisations interested in an open, inclusive internet. The members are often customers of ETNO’s members.
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The General Assembly of ISOC-ECC was held, on-line, Friday 13 July 2012, 09.00-12.00 CEST. Minutes at http://www.isoc-ecc.org/?p=383
The agenda comprised the classic formal items, followed by a general discussion about the future structure and orientation of the ECC, drawing on recent contributions on the Council List.
Twelve member Chapters were represented, plus one observer. The group present accounted for 24 votes, 5 short of the quorum of 75% of the group, equivalent to three Chapters or two Chapters plus the ISOC Representative. On the insistence of a few participants, no formal decisions were to be taken on this occasion.
On the proposal of the Chair, it was agreed that the Chair and Secretary of the meeting would be the Chair and Secretary of ISOC-ECC.
As will be seen from the minutes of the meeting prepared by the Secretary, there was some overlap between the discussion of the formal part of the meeting and the more general discussion of the future of ECC. This Executive Summary will endeavour to disentangle these distinct matters.
Reports from the Executive Committee
The meeting took note of the Report from the Chair. The Chair (CW) elaborated on the relationship between ECC and EURid and his recent election to the EURid Board of Directors, and answered several questions.
The other matters in the report from the Chair did not give rise to any comment or questions.
CW introduced the Financial Report. He noted that the financial situation was healthy. A significant surplus had been carried forward from 2011 to 2012. About half (€30K) of the capital endowment from Catalunya had been reinvested in an interest bearing bond. The other half is held in a deposit account. The next Executive Committee might investigate creating an additional bank account in Brussels with a second signatory, which might be more accessible.
There were no substantive comments on the Financial Report. One participant (DE) sought confirmation that ECC is tax-exempt in Barcelona. CW will check this with ISOC-Catalunya.
Regarding the proposed Budget, CW recommended funding for a higher level of participation by ECC members in relevant meetings, notably in the area of Internet Governance in Europe and internationally. Since there is no long term guarantee of funding from EURid, via the Presence Fees, the draft budget envisages the creation of a membership subscription.
Report from the Election Committee
The Election Committee was constituted by the Chair in March 2012 following an invitation for volunteers. Proposals were received from three Chapters (SI, RO, BG) and this was endorsed by the membership on a nem-con basis. Borka Jerman-Blažič (SI) is the Chair of the Election Committee.
Borka Jerman-Blažič said that the election committee had decided to delay their work by one month in the light of the GA initially scheduled in April (back to back with INET, Geneva). The work was again delayed in the expectation of a GA in June (Prague ICANN). The election committee anticipated that the GA would adopt revised ECC bylaws and election procedures.
All members present of the current Executive Committee drew attention to a misunderstanding on the part of the Election Committee regarding its role and responsibilities, the prospect of revising the Bylaws and Election Procedures, and the requirement in the current Bylaws to hold a GA after the election. Members present of the current Executive Committee expressed the wish that the elections be held as soon as possible.
Some suggested that the elections can also be used to give shape to discussion of the future of the ECC when candidates express their intentions.
Debate about the future of the ECC
The meeting then proceeded to about on hour’s debate about the future of ECC. The discussion was inconclusive, a few protagonists were absent from the meeting, and the consensus was that another meeting, face-to-face or on-line would be desirable in the autumn.
Broadly speaking, several distinct tendencies emerged from the discussion, with nuances among the participants.
- 1. General Support to maintain ECC, with significant improvements:
(ES, LU, RO, PL, SI, WALL)
- emphasis on coordinating actions on EU policy issues (PL, LU, HU, WALL)
- emphasis on cooperating in joint EU projects (RO)
- 2. Create a European Chapter rather than a coordinating Council
(for: BG, LU. Against: NL, BE, PL).
- 3. Bring the communications infrastructure up to date (DE, NL, SI)
- 4. Dissolution of ECC :
(for: BE, DE, BG. Against: SI, CAT, ES, WALL, HU, NL, among others)
- 5. Role of the European Bureau: In the absence of the Director, there was little discussion:
- Bureau to support communications tools and platform (HU).
- - Good relations with the Bureau (ES)
Conclusion and followup
A further meeting ECC would be organised in the autumn. Either on-line or face-to-face.
A discussion with the Board of Trustees at their October meeting in Toronto has been announced.
II. ACTION POINTS
1. Election Committee to initiate election procedures as soon as possible, using existing policies and procedures. (SI, BG, RO)
2. Secretary (RR) and Vice Chair (VB) will investigate with Chapters the most appropriate solution for the next meeting, including a low-cost airline hub.
Other current matters:
3. CW is in contact with the Chair and Secretary of the Board of Trustees about the BoT meeting in Toronto in October.
4. In the light of the requirements of the Spanish Ley Organica, CW will revert to the Council List regarding approval of the 2011 Financial Report.
5. CW to check with ISOC-Catalunya regarding precise tax status of ECC.
Rev. 1.0 CW/12 August 2012
ISOC-ECC General Asembly
On-Line Webex, 13 July 2012, 09.00-12.00 CEST
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
1. Welcome and roll call
1 – Rudi Vansnick BE
0 – Frans Gerbosch BE
2 – Christopher Wilkinson BE-WALL + ExeCom Chair
1 – Hans-Peter Dittler DE
1 – Peter Koch DE
2 – Lajos Balint HU
3 – Vittorio Bertola IT + ExeCom Vice Chair
2 – Patrick Vande Walle LU
2 – Dick Kalkman NL
2 – Marcin Cieslak PL
2 – Ed Trick RO
2 – Borka Jerman-Blažič SI
1 – Victor Castello ES
2 – Pedrag Mitrovic SE
1 – Reinder Rustema ExeCom Secretary
0 – Olivier Crepin Leblond EN
0 – Sabrina Wilmot Chapter Support
24 votes, 5 votes short of a quorum.
0 – Stefano Trumpy IT
2 – Pedro Veiga PT
1 – Jordi Hinojosa CAT
0 – Christian de Larringana EN
1 – Frederic Donck ISOC Representative
2 – Veni Marcovski BG
Other absent members:
2 – Tommi Kartavi FI
2 – Gérard Dantec FR
1 – ES-Aragon
1 – ES-Galicia
Introductions from new participants
1’50-4’45 introductions by Predrag Mitrovic from Sweden and Victor Castello Spain.
Election of the Chair and Secretary
4’45-7’44 establishing Chair and Secretary of the meeting:
Christopher Wilkinson (CW) and Reinder Rustema (RR)
7’44 Borka Jerman-Blažič proposes that any conclusion during this meeting will be first presented in writing, CW confirms that would have been desirable.
9’20 Roll Call
12:24 CW proposes to check for a quorum when a vote is necessary
18’00 Rudi Vansnick “no quorum”
18’50 CW proposes to continue and also vote, but send the proposal to be voted upon after the meeting to those absent.
20′ Hans Petter Dittler, proposal rejected. RR agrees.
22’22 Rudi Vansnick: no decisions. Only in a special GA possible.
25′ CW: “this is the best attended ISOC-ECC meeting ever.”
26′ Peter Koch. We cannot take decisions later on in the meeting if we have decided now that there is no quorum.
Reports from the Executive Committee
29’15 CW “Report from the chair”.
31’30 there is a paragraph about EUrid. This report says what ECC and in particular the chair has been doing. Some of you have asked about that on the List.
33’33 Patrick Vande Walle: ECC should not be involved in discussion about chapter membership of ISOC. It is for the chapters themselves.
35′ RR: ECC as a platform.
36′ Hans Peter Dittler: chapters should use structures outside the ECC to discuss this matter, in this ad-hoc way you can also include those who are not part of ECC.
38′ Marcin Cieslak: It would be good to upload a specific topic to reach those that are interested in it, but not everyone all of the time.
39′ CW: agrees. Our bylaws are an obstacle for this. They assume that everyone participates on everything. Which is not our experience.
Participation in the EURid ccTLD Registry for the .eu Domain
44′ -52′ CW: About the relationship with EURid.
ISOC-ECC is founding member of EURid. Presence fee is paid for participating in EURid’s Strategic Committee. This fee is currently paid into the ISOC-ECC account. That is our main resource. Currently there are seven members in the Strategic Committee of EURid.
The EURid Board is planning to increase the number of Members (this was decided at the 2011 EURid General Assembly) but does not now plan to implement this decision until after the European Commission rebids and awards the contract for the .eu domain, probaby in 2014.
On Thursday 19 April 2012, EURid called for nominations from all the 7 Members for the election of the EURid Board of Directors, for a response by Tuesday 24 April for an election to take place at the General Assembly in Pisa on Thursday 26 April.
The ISOC-ECC ExCom decided to make a nomination in order to not loose this position to others.
52’30. Rudi Vansnick: 1. Two months is not a short notice. 2. Request from EURid has not been to the ECC Council. Board of directors seat is nominative. CW has this seat, not ISOC-ECC.
53′. CW: We received a request on a Thursday, requesting a response before the Tuesday. Over a weekend. For an election to take place on Thursday.
54′ Rudi Vansnick: EURid told me the request was sent out two months in advance.
54’29. CW If that were the case, I did not realise this was addressed to the Strategic Committee memebrs.
The previous board of directors was exclusively composed of the ccTLD members of EURid. The Board needs a stronger governance dimension. Some Board members ae aware of the risks of conflict of interests among the TLD businesses. ISOC-ECC is therefore a significant asset. There is no guarantee that our future candidate will be eleted to the board.
The Geneva INET
58′ Borka Jerman-Blažič: Why do you managed to have a closed meeting for the appointment as a member of EURid? Why it was not possible to hold the General Assembly in Geneva? We know that there were 24 European chapters present there.
58’40 CW: Not sure if there were 24 present and whether they could represent their Chapters in ISOC-ECC. The meeting was postponed because ISOC staff made it impossible.
59′ RR: During preparations I had the assumption that we could count on the support of staff. Afterwards Jacek explained to me this assumption was wrong. Otherwise this would set a global precedent. When I heard, last moment, that nothing was prepared, while all the time I was under the assumption that we would get support, then I agreed to cancel the meeting.
1:00 Sabrina Wilmot: We try to assist chapters in meeting at our event or at an ICANN event. In this case ISOC had a conflict with the event management there. We had to struggle to do anything there. I know that Jacek tried hard, but we got the notice too late. We made some suggestions on how to work around it, at another venue. We could not change the agreement made with that company already. We tried to help you. I think there were assumptions on both sides which led to this situation.
1:02 Borka Jerman-Blažič: About two weeks before the GA (It was 14 April . CW) I got a message from the chair on Skype that he is going to cancel due to the lack of finding a room. The ECC has enough money to rent a room in many hotels in Geneva. The answer was the ExeCom insists in holding the elections before the GA. By the time I heard this there was enough time to rent a room in any of the hotels in Geneva.
1:03’40 CW: I know you disagree with what we decided. There was very little time. At the time we felt there was no alternative. I do not accept the argument of making a precedent. ISOC should be supporting events from Chapters in their respective regions. I do not see what is the dangerous precedent.
1:05 Sabrina Wilmot. We do support chapter meetings. You are probably aware of our chapter event funding. What that meant with the precedents is that this means that we will receive more requests and we have to set boundaries because we have a limited budget as well. That is why we want to keep it in our format that we provide for chapters and don’t want to start with exceptions.
1:05 RR I have to be more precise. Jacek said that if only we would have filed a formal request in advance for such support, a lot more would have been possible. We did not file a formal request for support, that is why we found ourselves with this last minute surprise.
1:06 Sabrina Wilmot. That is what I meant with assumptions. You assumed that we were aware of this request, but we weren’t. We did not know the date and so on. We also want to keep these kind of special requests transparent and in a proper form so that there is a chance for everybody to take use of that.
1:07 CW: We were let down. We shall do better next time, both on the ExeCom side as the staff side. Frederic and Jacek were in several ExeCom meetings and this problem was never raised until the last minute. We leave it at that and do better next time. (1)
ISOC-ECC 2011 Financial Report
1:08’20 CW: Official Final Report, thanks to ISOC-Catalunya. I wrote the financial report in English based on the Spanish report from the accountant. Thanks to the presence fees to EURid in surplus and continue to operate in a modestly viable way. Funds from government of Catalunya are intact. Half (€30K) has been reinvested in interest bearing bond. New bank account outside of Spain is an option if we are going to operate in a higher level of activity. Under discussion, not yet realised.
1:12’40 Peter Koch: are we tax exempt?
1:13’30 CW: I think so. In previous years we did not pay any tax. We are registered as a not for profit organisation. EURid presence fees are paid directly to ISOC-ECC Barcelona, thus avoiding possible taxation in Belgium.
A one day mission to Barcelona in an economical hotel costs €250. Therefore I have been cautious. Such purely administrative missions could easily cost more than any savings realised.
1:1616 Rudi Vansnick: When I was on the Execom board with Borka and Andres. The account was opened with Barclays at the time with my and Adres’ signature. Yet today I have not received any document removing my mandate. I have never received an official document that discharges me from this function.
1:18’34 CW: When I came on this board the only mandate I was aware of and the bank said should be changed was the one for Andres Oliva. I will ask to the bank to confirm that Rudi no longer has a mandate to that account.
1:20’33 Borka Jerman-Blažič: Rudi was treasurer during my term.
Draft 2012 Budget proposal
1:27 CW: Since there is no quorum to adopt the budget: but there is nevertheless a draft budget for 2012. The budget foresees a higher level of participation in meetings: chapter & governance meetings. Members of ECC should pay about €500 membership annually, per chapter. There is no long term guarantee of the EURid presence fees. EURid might not get the renewed contract from the European Commission. As soon as you decide to have more meetings, this could quickly use up several thousands of euros per meeting. Therefore, membership fee should be considered.
1:30 RR. The presence fees from EURid to ISOC-ECC. A personal choice. If CW’s successor decides to not to pass on the presence fees. This makes it also less attractive to volunteer for such a position if you do not get the presence fees personally.
1:31’50 Peter Koch. ECC has no influence on who has the position in the board of directors of EURid.
1:32’30 Borka Jerman-Blažič: Membership of ISOC-ECC is same as founding members. Status of associate members. The seat should be provided by the ISOC-ECC. EURid has no say. ISOC-ECC decides who goes there. The seat is personal after ISOC-ECC proposal for a candidate.
1:34 CW: I have never seen an exchange of letters between ECC and EURid, from that period.
1:34;40 Borka Jerman-Blažič, on the website. Nowhere mentioned ad personem, but organisation.
1:36’15 CW: Member of the strategic committee does not need to be chairman of the ISOC-ECC. But board members have to be elected by the EURid members, based on an appropriate profile.
1:37’24 Rudi Vansnick: Document to EURid with your candidature was signed by two persons. You and a second person. Who was that? A new chair cannot take your seat in EURid.
1:39 CW: Pierre Verbaeten was unanimously reelected as chairman of the EURid Board. My nomination was seconded by the Chair. There was no need to find others to second my nomination.
1:42 RR: There are many questions in the chat about the relation between ISOC-ECC and EURid.
1:44 CW When I travel to a EURid meeting, my hotel and travel expenses are covered by EURid. Direct reimbursible expenses are very little, because the travel arrangements are done by the EURid secretariat.
1:46 Borka Jerman-Blažič: What happened to the work about Internationalisation of domain names. Was this reimbursed to ISOC-ECC? I was member of the IDN committee.
1:48’30 CW; I was also on that committee. After our work there was little feedback. The Commission had taken over, to amend the EURid policy documents before IDN could be implemented. There was no presence fee, no compensation. I did not claim any expenses at the time (located then in Brussels).
Point 6. Report from the Election committee.
1:55. Borka Jerman-Blažič. We met in March. We prepared a schedule. We decided what documents are required from the nominees. We unanimously decided to hold the elections after the GA in Geneva where articles of the bylaws would be changed with regard to the election procedures. To our surprise the GA was cancelled. Then the GA was supposed to take place in June, this was also cancelled. Then we were waiting and there were loud voices to dissolve the ECC. The committee is now waiting for this GA and if there is a decision of the GA to continue with the elections. Either with the election or the discontinuation or bylaws to be changed.
1:57. RR: You were waiting for the GA to hold the elections because you expected a change of the bylaws which would affect the elections?
1:57’10 Borka Jerman-Blažič: Not only the bylaws, but also the election procedures. We were very surprised to receive news from the chair that the elections be held before the GA. We did not know what to do and stopped working.
1:58 RR: Can you work with the current bylaws to hold elections?
1:59 Borka Jerman-Blažič: We proceed or not according to the decision of the GA. A pity we don’t have a quorum today to decide on how to proceed from now on. The proposals to dissolve the ECC was the big reason to not continue with the elections. We are waiting for the GA to happen and to get instructions on what to do in the future.
1:59’44 RR: We need elected officers before we can proceed with anything, we need elections no matter what.
2:00 Borka Jerman-Blažič: This is not the first time this happens. The previous elections also had a delay of 6 months. You can read it in the archives.
2:02 RR: What are the obstacles to hold elections? We really need elected officers to proceed, even with the dissolving the ECC. We can not proceed if we do not have officers with a mandate.
2:02:39 Borka Jerman-Blažič: Obstacle was no GA. GA was cancelled without no real reason.
2:02:48 RR: Election committee is an independent body which is only there to organise elections is what I always understood.
2:03 Vittorio Bertola: The electoral committee has the task to run the elections. Not to decide whether there is a need to change the bylaws or whether the organisation should be dissolved. Now we do not even reach a quorum, so I wonder if it is possible in the future. It is important to hold elections because that would be a way to understand where our members want to go. We can see how many chapters want to dissolve the ECC, how many want to change it and continue. Therefore I would like to ask the electoral committee to proceed. I am embarrassed to stick around for so long. Unfortunately I have less time and I would like to be replaced. Elections as soon as possible.
2:05 CW In my view there has never been any chance whatsoever on revised bylaws and new election procedures before conducting the elections. If I may speak on behalf of ISOC Wallonia. We received proposals to change the election procedure from the staff which were unacceptable. In my opinion that proposal is dead.
2:07 Hans Peter Dittler: We need to know more about the future. Then we can think about the elections. Not the other way round.
2:08 CW Retiring execom has to hang on for more than what is reasonable. Spanish law says, even in the case of a dissolution, that it is the executive committee that is responsible. Even if you want dissolution you need a executive committee with a mandate.
CW: Borka, we would like you to proceed with the election on the basis of the existing procedures, now. It has worked like that in the past.
2:10’20 Debate about the future of the ECC.
CW: We shall conduct a tour de table, starting with members who have not yet contributed to this discussion.
2:12 Victor Castello, creation of ECC, a good idea. Problems. We need all to contribute to the mission, currently not the case. Three options: Maintain the ECC, change/renew or dissolution. We need something with which we can all work together.
2:14’30 Patrick Vander Walle. Election with an execom to close down is an option.
I like the Veni’s idea of a European chapter, rather than a coordination of chapters. With individual members (chapters). Fits better in ISOC’s structure. With individuals involved makes it more dynamic. Now a council with 21 chapters, 2 people each. 42 people in total. Perhaps 10 of those active. 20 now and then. The rest says nothing. To get something done we need people to do it. Like the Chair did. So, close down and launch a European chapter.
2:19 Marcin Cieslak. Election is more likely than a GA. Election campaign to propose something new. Visions to dissolve or to continue in some way. We should look at the functioning of chapters. Some are not as strong as others. We in Poland are in direct need of European coordination of our work. 80% is related to EU policy work. I need more a European chapter than the Polish one. Two directions: more project coordination, the second tighter policy coordination. Not a European chapter because it has implications with ISOC bylaws. It has only one vote, not 27 or more. More tight and more centralised than a council of 24.
2:24 Frans Gerbosch. Expectation from some chapters that ECC is a vehicle to catch money from EU. Not the good use of ECC. Ad hoc meetings/communication is necessary, no need for a vehicle like ECC.
2:26 Michiel Leenaars. I could not get on the WebEx because I am on a Linux-system, I am trying to follow the discussion by phone.
2:27 Ed Tric. 20 or 40 people and calling it an organisation at the EU-level is not the way to do it. Let European users talk with other European users. We have an experimental tool for that. About projects. We need somebody to get to the EU-funds. Policy and projects is the task for the ECC.
2:31 Dick Kalkman. No need for a European chapter. We need a network organisation. Many issues that need European coordination. We need a communications instrument.
2:32 Michiel Leenaars. Sites like LinkedIn make it trivial to gather people around issues. At EU level it would be handy to have tools. Tools are essential. Might also be at the Benelux or other levels. We do not have good online tools in our organisation.
2:35’30 Hans Peter Dittler. Stronger communication links between European chapters. ECC can not fulfil this. Work together on solving European issues.
2:37 Lajos Balint. Need of common vision. Bureau can help with tools, platform etc but can not substitute that. No role for projects. ECC is not doing research and development. CW: Greater use of innovative tools and platforms would require some tutorials to create a level field among participants.
2:44. Rudi Vansnick. 4 August 2012 the BoT will ask me what the situation of the ECC is. I cannot answer that. No GA. Many ideas. Within a month there needs to be decided if ECC continues to be an ISOC organisation. Bureau is the vehicle for European chapters to find projects to work together on. Few chapters are interested to work in projects. That there are few ideas to revive ECC, will be my report to the BoT.
2:48 CW: we are not under the authority of the BoT on what to do. Also, BoT has taken years to deal with its own business e.g. ISOC Bylaws, Affiliation Letters. No external deadlines on ECC.
2:51 Victor: Good relation with bureau. Working together.
2:52 Lajos Balint: Message to BoT is that this issue needs the support of the BoT, like it did in the past.
2:55 Borka Jerman-Blažič. Premature to go the BoT to say that this is a disaster. Chapters want some form of cooperation. Chapters could write there ideas. Sources of income needed. Good to have one body that can say that something is the voice of all those chapters in Europe. We have no regular source of income. This has to be sorted out. Perhaps joint projects/activities. Bureau can have more power in supporting the ECC. Better communication, information. E-mails are not sufficient. Meetings. Information on the website. All the information on the website has disappeared for several years. Without such a window on the world we do not exist.
Conclusions and Follow-up
3:01 CW: After the summer we need to have a conference call of this kind or preferably a face-to-face meeting.
3:02 RR: Important to have meetings. A structure which brings people together in regular meetings will be very productive.
3:03 Vittorio Bertola: Continue discussion about the future. More than the past. We need to understand how to work together. I have heard different positions on how. In next months we should approve the budget, continue with elections.
3:06. CW: Expect minutes and a Doodle for time and date of another general assembly in September. Next one conference call of this kind or face-to-face meeting?
3:07 Lajos: face-to-face
Rudi Vansnick: what is the mission of the ExeCom today, what will be the agenda of the next GA? Solution for next meeting if there is no quorum. Find a way a voting system for two weeks, so we know which way we are going.
3:09 Patrick: no preference, because I leave the board of ISOC-LU tomorrow.
3:09 Victor: prefer face-to-face, but problem to bring people together
3:10 RR: which airports do you fly from? Then I can start to calculate, also for the future, how to organise and pay for such a meeting.
3:14 CW: meeting closed.
In the first half hour we discussed the quorum of the meeting. The quorum was not reached. The Chair proposed to continue without decision making, but if the quorum would be met meanwhile to then take decisions on the table. This proposal was rejected. A quorum should be established at the beginning of the meeting and not along the way.
The by-laws say a quorum is 75% of “the group” and at least 10 chapters. With 12 chapters of the current 19 chapters present the quorum missed the 75% with only five votes, i.e. Three Chapters.
It was decided to continue without making decisions.
N.B. The adoption of the Financial Report by a simple majority is obligatory under the Spanish law. See separate communication to the ECC List from the Chair, and Notes of the Quorum, posted on the website.
(1) Reaction to this from JG by e-mail 8-8-12: ”Frederic and Jacek were in several ExeCom meetings and this problem was never raised be ExeCom until they noticed GA announcement without venue details”
The question of the quorum and voting rules stipulated in the ECC Bylaws has been a thorn in the flesh if not a bone of contention for as long as I have been associated with the ECC. No meeting, face to face or on line, has been, strictly speaking ‘quorate’ since at least the General Assembly convened in Barcelona in October 2006, if not before.
This situation has led me to the conclusion, some time ago, that the problem is not with the ECC and its members, but with the Bylaws themselves. Indeed, a quorum requirement of 75% of voting members is excessive, and in practice not realisable, certainly face-to-face, even on-line. It will have to be rectified. The additional requirement of at least 10 Chapters’ representatives present, is consequently currently redundant. More than 10 Chapters (equivalent to about 20-25 votes) are required to meet the current quorum (29 votes).
Meanwhile, may I recall that the Ley Organico 5852 of 1/2002, stipulates that:
- the accounts of the association are approved annually by the General Assembly (Article 14.3) and that
- decisions of the General Assembly are taken by ‘simple majority’ (Article 12 (d) ).
Consequently, although the Loi Organico does envisage a quorum (undefined) in Article 7 (h), I find it quite inconvenient that the peculiar quorum specified in the ECC has repeatedly rendered conformance to the requirements of the Law virtually impossible, and this over a period of years.
Also, the super-majority (75% of the Group) required for the least amendment to the Bylaws is naturally problematic. (Article XI, paragraph 1)
The following notes examine in more detail the particular stipulations of our current ECC Bylaws:
At present (July 2012), 24 Chapters are mentioned on the website. Of which:
- – three are observers (England, Serbia, Switzerland) and do not vote.
- – two are in reformation (Norway and Turkey) and are not counted as members in good standing with ISOC.
- – among the Spanish Chapters, Aragon and Galicia appear to be dormant. But for present purposes, they are still included among the voting members. They are recognised on the ISOC.org website.Consequently the official membership of ECC is 19 Chapters (July 2012).
2. The Voting ‘Group’
The ECC Bylaws provide for two votes per Chapter (one each if there are more than one Chapter per country.) In addition, the ISOC delegate has one vote and each elected officer has one vote. (Article VI, paragraph 3.)
Thus the voting Group is 13 Chapters with 2 votes and 6 Chapters with one vote each plus one vote each for the 4 officers. The voting group is 38 votes.
3. The Quorum
The quorum is 75% of the “Group”, (and at least 10 Chapter members). That is 29 votes (Three quarters of 38 votes). Article XI, paragraph 4.
- For amendments to the Bylaws, the whole quorum, including the Officers, must be in favour of an amendment. Article XI paragraph 1. That is, 29 votes, have to vote in favour.
- For the formal creation of Committees (Article IX, paragraph 1), a two thirds majority of the quorum (26 votes) may direct the Chair. (This has not been done on any occasion during the past six years.)
- For the approval of the appointment of the Nominating Committee a two thirds majority of the quorum (26 votes) is required. Article IX, paragraph 2). (This has been achieved on a nem-con – i.e. ‘Silence vaut accord’ – on more than one occasion.)
- To elect an Officer, a simple majority of the Voting members present is sufficient (Article XI, paragraph 7.) Irrespective of the quorum. (That is the basis on which successive Election Committees aka Nominating Committes, have conducted elections.)
- To dissolve the Council (Article XIII), a unanimous vote by the four Officers and a simple majority vote (currently 19 votes, assuming all voting members are present) in a meeting convened for this purpose, is required. (Curiously, such majority might be achieved with fewer than a quorum of members (10), whereas any one Officer is able to block a dissolution.)
- For all other matters, ‘unless otherwise specified’, a simple majority of the Voting Members present (i.e. Excluding the Officers) is sufficient (Article XI, paragraph 7), irrespective of the quorum. This is important since such decisions would override the requirement for a quorum, and permit conformity with the requirements of the Law (see above.)
N.B. The ECC Bylaws do NOT specify any matters such as e.g. the Financial Report, the Budget, the report from the Executive Committee etc. which are approved in the General Assembly by a simple majority of the members present.
4. Conclusion and Comments
At the on-line General Assembly, on 13 July 2012, at the beginning of the meeting, the Group present accounted for 12 Voting Chapters present and for 24 votes, among the voting members of the Group. Only three or four Chapters were lacking to attain the quorum of 29 votes, stipulate in the ECC Bylaws.
More than 10 Chapters were present. Since all the points on the agenda were, in the language of the Bylaws other matters, “unless otherwise specified”, one may conclude that the General Assembly on 13 July was fully capable to take decison for all matters that were before it.
The General Assembly was not required to take any action (e.g. revise the bylaws, create committees, appoint the nominating committee) which would have required a two thirds or a three quarters majority of the quorum.
More generally, I would also stress the importance of all member Chapters to attend all meetings to which they are convened. Bearing in mind that it is a simple matter to designate a proxy to excercise the Chapter’s obligation to participate and to vote when necessary.
Chair ISOC-ECC 2007-2012 23 July 2012