Agenda 2022


Olga Kyryliuk, Technical Program Manager, ABA ROLI
Maria Voskobitova, Program Director, Europe & Eurasia Division, ABA ROLI

Feeling the policy trends and being fast to react are key for successful and efficient advocacy. It is especially relevant with regard to rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated Internet freedom environment. While the challenges to Internet freedom are usually global, there is a certain time lapse before they gain proper attention and gain momentum in different countries. The session will have a forward-looking focus inviting a live discussion on what digital rights issues are likely to make it to the top of policy- and decision-makers’ agendas in South-Eastern Europe in the next few years, as well as seeking concrete advise on how human rights defenders and civil society activists can effectively adapt their advocacy interventions to improve outcomes and gain more credibility.

  • Ljubomir Mihajlovski, President, Bar Association of Republic of North Macedonia
  • Sasho Bogdanovski, Head of Department for Human Rights and Media Literacy, Department of Program Affairs, Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services of North Macedonia
  • Catherine Garcia-van Hoogstraten, Director Digital Safety, European Government Affairs Microsoft (Online)
  • Caterina Rodelli, EU Policy Analyst, Access Now
  • Bogdan Manolea, Executive Director, Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI)
Olga Kyryliuk, Technical Program Manager, ABA ROLI

Session will focus on general overview of the new law on personal data protection in North Macedonia and how it was implemented for the past year.


  • Arben Gudachi, Data Protection Officer, MYLA
  • Igor Kuzevski, DPO at Halk Bank, Ex Data Protection Supervisor & Deputy Director at Personal Data Protection Agency of North Macedonia
  • Gjorgji Rajchinoski, DPO at one of the largest telecom operators in North Macedonia, Ex Data Protection Supervisor
  • Dimitar Gjeorgjievski, Ex-Director, current President at NGO “Privacy”
  • Biljana Volcheska, DPO and Senior Legal Associate at PwC Papazoski and Mishev Law Firm, Ex-Data Protection Supervisor
  • Valentin Fetadjokoski, Chief Supervisor, Personal Data Protection Agency of North Macedonia
  • Emilija Ginoska, Junior Associate for Counseling and Public Relations, Personal Data Protection Agency of North Macedonia

Goce Kocevski, Program Director and Lawyer, MYLA

This panel will present the key privacy violations that members of vulnerable groups have been facing, the need to adopt the Strategy on Personal Data Protection, court and media practice in this area and other important issues regarding the protection of online privacy in Serbia.


  • Milan Aleksić, Researcher & Analyst, ATINA
  • Damjan Mileusnić, Researcher & Lawyer, Partners Serbia
  • Nina Nicović, Attorney at Law
  • Dragana Žarković-Obradović, Director, BIRN
  • Marijana Sofilj-Aćimović, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection of Serbia

Ana Toskić Cvetinović, Executive Director, Partners Serbia

The aim of the training is to raise the awareness of the participants about various safety risks that Internet users face on a daily basis. It will provide simple, yet effective tips on how we can increase our online security.
Robert Todoroski, Independent Digital Security Consultant

In the digital era, teleworking has become a new reality, where the right to work remotely is explored more frequently by the employees in various sectors. As remote working arrangements have numerous impact areas and vary for businesses the speakers will tackle rights and principles in remote work, together with any associated risks. This session will also touch upon the responsibility for health and safety at work, taxation principles and employment conditions.


  • Marina Bzovîi, Executive Director, ATIC
  • Lisa Rousso, Legal Specialist, ABA ROLI (Online)


Various intimidation tactics and attacks against the media and other public watchdogs are a growing threat to HRDs’ freedom of expression and public participation in Serbia. Journalists and HRDs are increasingly facing physical attacks, harassment, and threats from state and non-state actors as a result of their reporting activities, in particular when reporting on human rights abuses, public wrongdoing, and corruption.

According to the Report on the attacks on human rights defenders in Serbia for 2021, there were 73 attacks and pressures registered. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile legal actions initiated by public officials, public figures, and other powerful individuals against journalists, media outlets, and grassroots and community-based organizations that demand democratic governance and accountability. Typically, these legal actions – so-called strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) – are brought solely to harass or subdue an adversary and prevent an exercise of fundamental rights. Those targeted by costly civil lawsuits are often ill-equipped to defend themselves. SLAPPs are a form of legal harassment against critical voices, pursued by powerful individuals and organizations who seek to avoid public scrutiny. Their aim is to drain the target’s financial and psychological resources and chill critical voices to the detriment of public participation.


  • Kristina Todorović, Attorney at Law, YUCOM
  • Aladin Paućinac, Human Rights Defender
  • Rade Djuric, Lawyer and Researcher, Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia

Jovana Spremo, Advisor on EU Integration Related Policies, YUCOM

During the session MYLA will present the results of the survey conducted in high schools in North Macedonia, as well as findings and recommendations. The session will also include the challenges the schools and the Personal Data Protection Agency face when protecting children’s rights in digital era.


  • Maja Atanasova, Lawyer, MYLA
  • Manuela Stanoevska Stoilkovska, Senior Supervisor – Head of Unit, Personal Data Protection Agency of North Macedonia
  • Dragana Urumovska, Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation/NOVA International Schools
  • Aleksandra Dojchinovska, Teacher SEPUGS Vasil Antevski – Dren
  • Valjdete Adili Selimi, Psychologist, High school “Drita” – Kichevo
  • Emilija Ginoska, Junior Associate for Counseling and Public Relations, Personal Data Protection Agency of North Macedonia

Goce Kocevski, Program Director and Lawyer, MYLA

The use of mass surveillance techniques has increased in last two decades, boosted by the development of new technologies, but also the raise of new forms of crimes, most of terrorism. The states all around the world have rationalized the use of mass surveillance techniques with the urging need to protect national security and safety of citizens. The workshop “Seven billion suspects” explores whether the “privacy vs security” dilemma is a real one, and what are the possible consequences of the use of mass surveillance, with a focus on facial recognition, privacy and other human rights and freedoms.


  • Ana Toskić Cvetinović, Executive Director, Partners Serbia

This session will be focused on Artificial Intelligence, its application and its potential impact on the human rights and fundamental freedoms. The audience of this session will have a possibility to get more familiar and discuss on the following issues: what is AI; how is AI applied in our everyday lives; positive and negative aspects of using AI, potential risks related to human rights and fundamental freedoms that could be caused by AI-solutions; global, regional and national trends in the regulation of AI.

  • Bardhyl Jashari, Executive Director, Metamorphosis Foundation
  • Martin Vasilkovski, Senior Data Scientist, Data Masters
  • Aleksandra Dedinec, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information Sciences and Computer Engineering
Marijana Jancheska, Openness and Engagement Specialist, Metamorphosis Foundation

Digitalization has become the most important topic on the global policy agenda. This session will focus on giving an overview of the newest Digital Policies discussed in EU, extended to a local approach in Moldova. A special focus will be given to eIDAS, Digital Services Act, NIS2 and similar regulations in Moldova, along with quick digital wins that ensured the use of electronic signature, electronic documentation and remote interaction in Moldova. This session will also present an overview of digital public solutions implemented by the E-Government Agency in Moldova.


  • Angelica Petrov, Policy Advisor, European Parliament (Online)
  • Vitalie Tarlev, Digitalization Adviser, Economic Council to the Prime Minister of Moldova
  • Nina Catîrev, Head of Department, E-Governance Agency of Moldova

Marina Bzovîi, Executive Director, ATIC


The open Internet provides a baseline approach from which fragmentation departs and against which it can be assessed. Particularly important are the notions of global reach with integrity; a unified, global and properly governed root and naming/numbering system; interoperability; universal accessibility; the reusability of capabilities; and permissionless innovation.

Working definitions are proposed for three forms of fragmentation:
Technical Fragmentation – conditions in the underlying infrastructure that impede the ability of systems to fully interoperate and exchange data packets and of the Internet to function consistently at all end points.
Governmental Fragmentation – government policies and actions that constrain or prevent certain uses of the Internet to create, distribute, or access information resources.
Commercial Fragmentation – business practices that constrain or prevent certain uses of the Internet to create, distribute, or access information resources.

During the FishBowl discussion we will reflect on the current situation with the Internet fragmentation from the perspective of citizens, youth and current regulations and implications.


  • Mikhail Doroshevich, Baltic Internet Policy Initiative, Cofounder at Digital Skills Coalition Belarus
  • Marharyta Vorykhava, Chairperson, Belarusian National Youth Council RADA
  • Yan Auseyushkin, iSANS Analyst
    Free chair for speaker from the audience

Mikalai Kvantaliani, Association “New Group”, Cofounder at Digital Skills Coalition Belarus

This session will examine recent developments and trends impacting Internet freedom in the light of contemporary security challenges, with a particular focus on case studies in Moldova and the region. Speakers will discuss trends and approaches to the development of the legal framework of the information space, current issues of freedom of expression online and offline, issues of freedom and security in the regulation of the virtual environment, and will present recommendations for improving recent legislative initiatives aimed at regulating the information space in Moldova, ensuring its security and combating misinformation, as well as increasing the transparency of the regulatory process.


  • Tatiana Puiu, Freedom House’s Local Representative in Moldova, member of the European Committee of Social Rights
  • Alexandru Donos, Cryptography and Information Security Expert, First General Director of State Enterprise “Center of Special Telecommunications”
  • Andrei Rusnac, Information Security Expert & Co-founder of Association “Comunitatea Internet”
  • Galina Climov, Executive Director, Alliance of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities from Republic of Moldova (Online)

Alexei Marciuc, Chairman at Association “Comunitatea Internet”, National Coordinator of Moldova Internet Governance Forum (MIGF)

The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stated that freedom of expression “constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfillment”. The overall environment for exercising freedom of expression without hindrance in Serbia needs to be improved. Human rights activists, journalists and other media actors are regularly facing threats such as censorship, political and economic pressure, intimidation, job insecurity, abusive use of defamation laws, physical attacks as well as legal prosecution. These offenses are often committed in an intolerable context of impunity or in excessive legal protection in cases when public officials are threatened, which fuels recidivism and has a chilling effect on freedom of e xpression.

During this session speakers will reflect on YUCOM’s research showing inconsistency in criminal law practices regarding freedom of expression. They will also discuss the case of the Working Group for Security and Protection of Journalists established by the Serbian government and aimed to propose changes to the Criminal Code that should have enabled more comprehensive and efficient criminal-legal protection of journalists. The amendments were supposed to respond to various forms of online abuse and threats faced by journalists and to address the prosecutorial obstacles to initiating investigations ex officio.


  • Milena Vasić, Attorney at Law, YUCOM
  • Tara Petrović, Lead Researcher, Civic Initiatives
  • Bojan Perkov, Policy Researcher, SHARE Foundation

Jovana Spremo, Advisor on EU Integration Related Policies, YUCOM

The aim of this session is to provide a platform for deliberate discussion about freedom of expression and potential threats in that area, as well as identifying steps we could undertake in order to improve the freedom of expression in our societies.

  • Bogdan Manolea, Executive Director, Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI)
  • Marina Bzovii, Executive Director, ATIC
  • Uroš Mišljenović, Program Officer, Partners Serbia
  • Biljana Nasteska – Kalanoska, Communication Officer, Association of Journalists of Macedonia
  • Filip Noubel, Managing Editor, Global Voices (Online)
Filip Stojanovski, Partnership and Resource Development Director, Metamorphosis Foundation

When human rights are violated offline, digital rights are rarely spared. Authoritative governments are increasingly interested in developing oppressive techniques in the digital domain by increasing censorship, overregulating cyberspace, and weaponizing tech to spread propaganda and surveillance. Belarus is no exception. Notorious for being “Europe’s last dictatorship” – with its vast history of enforced disappearances of dissidents, torture, political persecution, and appalling human rights record, – the role of Belarus as a digital and not merely “analog” dictator receives less attention. While it is true that the control over Belarusian citizens online may not have reached the scale and professionalism of “textbook” digital dictatorships – such as China with its “Great Firewall” or Russia with its “troll factories” – the tendency towards tightening the grip on Internet freedoms is alarming.

While Belarusian authorities exhibit a clear interest in using cyberspace as another battleground for state repression, Belarusian activists are using it to advance human rights. Digital authoritarianism tendencies in Belarus are met with digital resistance, producing a phenomenon of “digital dissidents.” The ways to protect digital rights from the state’s arbitrary interference vary and include, inter alia, civic tech tools, cybersecurity and self-help measures, and hacktivism.

The session’s goal is to explore the dynamics of digital authoritarianism and digital resistance tendencies in Belarus in the context of the ongoing political and human rights crisis, as well as to identify working solutions to reclaim human rights online and offline and expand the shrinking civic space.


  • Tatsiana Ziniakova, Legal Analyst & Human Rights Defender, Human Constanta (Online)
  • TBC

Moderator: TBC

Olga Kyryliuk, Technical Program Manager, ABA ROLI