re:publica 2012 – Digital Diplomacy – Reinventing foreign policy?


Ever since the protests of the “Green Movement” in Iran (2009) and the “Arab Uprising” (2011), Western foreign policy makers realized that a new phenomenon might have the impact of changing their well-known world of diplomacy and international relations: information and communication technology or just ICT. And while the U.S. Department of State launched their respond to this global development already in 2009 — called ‘The 21st century statecraft’ — both, European governments and the European institutions still seem to wonder what we are talking about.

But as a matter of fact, Europe’s diplomatic services are already facing a new challenge: what is digital diplomacy or digital foreign policy and how should Europe respond to the new digital hemisphere? What are the main issues? What can be new benefits and what are new threats for modern diplomacy? Who is Europe’s new digital constituency and to what extent is Europe responsible for the digital world and its users outside Europe?

1. Marietje Schaake, D66, European Parliament,
2. Olaf Boehnke, ECFR
3. Dan Meredith, Radio Free Asia
4. Ehsan Norouzi, Deutsche Welle