On 16 and 17 April the Netherlands is hosting the Global Conference on CyberSpace 2015 (GCCS 2015). The conference will be held at the World Forum in The Hague. As the host of GCCS 2015, the Netherlands wants to position itself firmly in the debate on cyberspace, as an advocate of a free, open and secure digital domain. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, and the State Secretary for Security and Justice, Klaas Dijkhoff, announced this in a letter to the House of Representatives today.
The conference will draw around 1500 attendees from more than 100 countries, including several developing countries. The Netherlands considers it important to have a balanced group of stakeholders at political and strategic level present, including government ministers, CEOs and other private sector representatives, international organisations, civil society and the academic world.
GCCS 2015 encourages active dialogue on cohesion between economy, security and freedom
As the government attaches great importance to an open and secure internet, the Netherlands wants GCCS 2015 to establish a global dialogue with international partners. Mr Koenders has referred to this as ‘internet diplomacy’. ‘The fact that the internet knows no boundaries means international cooperation is vital,’ he said. ‘At this conference we specifically want the debate to include countries whose views on the cyber domain differ from those of Western countries. That debate is crucial, because the internet is something we all share,’ added the minister, who will be the conference host.
By investing in international cooperation and coalitions, the Netherlands is not only improving its own digital security, but also creating opportunities for economic growth and innovation. Mr Dijkhoff said that the Netherlands has made a strategic choice in favour of close public-private partnership. ‘We’re seeing this trend everywhere, including in the cyber domain,’ he said. ‘The Netherlands has a wealth of experience, which we can use to tackle challenges jointly, for instance at the National Cyber Security Centre. Our experience serves as a model which can be useful to other countries as well. We’ll be sharing that knowledge and experience at the GCCS.’
The themes of the conference tie in with the Netherlands’ National Cyber Security Strategy 2. That strategy emphasises the importance of cohesion between economy, security and freedom in the cyber domain. GCCS 2015 is also particularly relevant to the Netherlands’ plans in this policy area when it assumes the EU Presidency in 2016.
Greater focus by pooling cyber events
The week of GCCS 2015 will see a large number of prominent individuals, companies and organisations from the cyber community visiting the Netherlands, which has taken the opportunity to organise various additional cyberspace-related activities, together with partners in the public and private sectors. The National Cyber Security Centre’s annual One Conference on cyber security will be held on 13 and 14 April. This conference will link up the expertise and insights from the technical and operational level on the one hand, and the strategic and political level of GCCS on the other. In parallel with the two conferences, a ‘Cyber Security Week’ is being held at the campus of The Hague Security Delta (HSD), sponsored by the Dutch government, the municipality of The Hague and HSD. This side event will showcase numerous initiatives in the area of cyber security and innovation.
International exposure increases opportunities for economic growth and innovation
The international exposure brought by GCCS 2015 will provide Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions with opportunities both in terms of exporting products and expertise and for presenting the Netherlands as the gateway to European markets.