Pre-event: Sovereignty in the digital world


  • Jamal Shahin


  • Paul Timmers
  • Florian Pennings

Organisation: CPDP

Room: Auditorium (Gather)

Timing: 18:30 - 19:30 on 26 January 2021

Who is sovereign in our digital world? This question is paramount in relation to debates about control and cooperation in cyberspace. Digital Sovereignty provides a frame to address policy and regulatory challenges at the interface between ‘traditional’ ideas of governance and new experiments in ‘digital’ governance.

Debates around policies for recent technologies, in fields of data protection or cybersecurity, for example, emphasise the feeling that contemporary political institutions are not set up to deal with the 21st Century, neither in the way they operate, nor in the approaches they take to defining policy problems.

Key questions include:
Is digital sovereignty a synonym for reinforced national control over the digital sphere, or does it imply a different form of organisation?
Will making Europe Fit for the Digital Age come at the expense of our relations with other regions in the world?


Jamal Shahin



Paul Timmers

European University (CY)

Paul Timmers is adjunct professor at European University Cyprus, visiting professor at Rijeka University, senior advisor to EPC Brussels, board member of Digital Enlightenment Forum and of the Estonian eGovernance Academy supervisory board. Previously he was Director at the European Commission dealing with EU legislation and funding for cybersecurity, digital health, smart cities, e-government. He was cabinet member of European Commissioner Liikanen, manager in a large ICT company, and co-founded an ICT start-up. He holds a physics PhD from Nijmegen University, MBA from Warwick University, was awarded an EU fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, obtained cybersecurity qualification at Harvard, and was research associate University of Oxford.

Florian Pennings