The European Union (EU) is a regional intergovernmental organisation created with the aim to foster economic and political partnership between its member states. The EU currently has 28 member states, as well as partnerships with other regions and countries.
The EU, through its institutions (such as the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, and the European Commission), works on a wide range of policy areas, from agriculture and competition, to environment and transport. The EU institutions establish regulatory frameworks in these areas, which are then applicable to all member states (either direclty, in the case of EU regulations, or indirectly, through their transposition in national legislations, in the case of directives).
The EU is active in the development and implemention of digital policies covering topics such as: electronic communications networks and services, privacy and data protection in the online space, cybersecurity, e-commerce, e-government, intellectual property rights, etc. The main objective of the EU in this area is to complete the 'digital single market', which aims at: ensuring better online access to digital goods and services across the Union, creating an environment that encourage the development of digital network and services, and ensuring that Europe's economy, industry and employment take full advantage of what digitalisation offers.
The Union also contributes to the activities of various international organisations and processes in the Internet governance ecosystem, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Bodies and entities within the EU system involved in Internet governance