Credit: FOC

Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has announced that the Grand Duchy is the newest member of the Freedom Online Coalition, a group of governments working together to advance internet freedom.

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, Luxembourg officially joined the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) by a unanimous vote of its members. FOC is a coalition of now 34 governments working together to advance online freedoms around the world. The coalition provides a forum for like-minded governments to coordinate their efforts with civil society, the private sector and other internet actors in order to support the ability of individuals to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms online.

The mission and vision of the FOC is based on the notion that the same human rights and fundamental freedoms apply online and offline. The Coalition seeks to identify best practices regarding the application of human rights obligations and commitments in the evolving internet landscape, as well as to draw attention to the conditions that undermine these rights.

Through the Digital Defenders Partnership, the FOC is also providing a rapid response to a range of threats to internet freedom, including supporting bloggers and cyber activists to help them claim their human rights online in repressive environments.

By becoming a member, Luxembourg has committed itself to defending and advancing the values ​​of the FOC, i.e. protecting the civic space while respecting all human rights. 

According to a statement released by the FOC, "Luxembourg has demonstrated respect for human rights online both in its domestic record and through its engagement in key multilateral and other relevant international forums and initiatives. Over the years, it has been an active participant in Internet-related discussions and debates, and a fervent advocate for digital equality, human rights, and press freedom".

Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, commented: “We are excited to join the Freedom Online Coalition, a group of partners promoting human rights and democracy online. Within the Coalition, we want to promote a free, open, safe, and accessible internet. Leaving no one behind also means leaving no one offline”.