www.coe.int/
freedom-expression
 
           Projects
           underway
Council of Europe
Joint programmes

  Ukraine (EU)
  South-East Europe
  Ukraine (Canada)
  Azerbaijan phase II
 
           Projects
           completed
Monitoring of elections in Ukraine
South Caucasus-Moldova
  Ukraine
  Hungary
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
 
           Standards
  European Convention on Human Rights
  Committee of Ministers
  Parliamentary Assembly
 
           Media related
           information 
  Venice Commission
  Commissioner for Human Rights
 
           Publications
  Living together
  Guidelines, Media in times of crisis
  Converging media - convergent regulators
Overview 

Our main goal is to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in line with the Council of Europe standards. These standards – conventions, recommendations, declarations, guidelines, etc. – are based on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. Our co-operation activities in the media field include legal expertise, training programmes, seminars, conferences and other events with the participation mainly of public officials, media professionals and civil society. The implications of new communication technologies are also explored.

In the field of media and freedom of expression, four cooperation projects with external funding have been successfully accomplished from 30 September 2012 to 31 December 2013. Four cooperation projects with external funding are currently underway. The results of this extensive work (approximately 100 activities organised throughout the year 2013) are significant. Our work in the field of media freedom and expression included a very broad range of activities such as legal expertise, training programmes, seminars, conferences and other events with the participation mainly of public officials, media professionals and civil society. We constantly look for links and synergies between our various projects. The best practices and the results achieved in one place are constantly shared with others through bilateral and regional networking.

News

Conference "From state broadcasting to Public Service Media"
[27 June 2014, Strasbourg] The Council of Europe, in the framework of the Project “Integration of European standards in the Ukrainian Media Environment” is organising a conference "From state broadcasting to Public Service Media", on 1-2 July 2014, in Kyiv, Ukraine.    
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Monitoring of media coverage of the May 2014 presidential election in Ukraine
[20 June 2014, Strasbourg] A In the framework of Cooperation in Ukraine - Immediate measures package, the media cooperation section monitors and provided feedback on the media coverage of the May 2014 presidential election campaign encompassing the state-funded broadcaster, 7 national and 46 regional TV channels, 6 national and 55 regional print newspapers, 4 radio stations, and 51 Internet sited.
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Regional conference on "Role and importance of PSB in building a democratic society"
[30 May 2014, Strasbourg] The Council of Europe, in the framework of the Project "Promoting freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in South-East Europe (SEE)" has organised a Regional conference "The role and importance of the Public Broadcasting Service in building a democratic society", on 26-27 May 2014, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.    
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Seminar on Safety of Journalists
[20 April 2014, Strasbourg] A two-day seminar on the safety of journalists was held in Kyiv on April 15 and 16 2014 as part of the program "Integration of European Standards in Ukrainian Media Environment". The seminar covered the issues related to personal, legal and technical safety of journalists.
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Regional conference on "Indicators for Independence of Media Regulatory Bodies"
[10 March 2014, Strasbourg] A regional conference on "Indicators for Independence of Media Regulatory Bodies" was organised on 6 to 7 March 2014 in Tirana, Albania. The Conference brought together representatives of the regulatory authorities in the field of media, relevant Ministries, Parliamentary Committees and non-governmental organisations from six South-East European countries. The aim was to discuss indicators for the formal and actual independence of regulatory bodies. 
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Cooperation activities with Hungary in the media field
[23 December 2013, Strasbourg] The Council of Europe has taken the lead in establishing a constructive dialogue with the Hungarian authorities leading to the comprehensive expertise of the media laws by Council of Europe appointed experts, to the negotiation of the co-operation Agreement and the organisation of three activities under that Agreement.
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Hungarian media legislation
[25 July 2013, Strasbourg] Implementation of the law ruling the selection process of a new President of the National Media and Infocommunication Authority / Media Council in accordance with Council of Europe standards
See the text


Living together: Council of Europe Conference (17-18 November 2011, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
[27 October 2011, Strasbourg] A major event, a conference to be opened by the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is entitled “Living together: conference on combating hate speech in South-Eastern Europe” and it will address the issue of hate speech in the media in some of the Council of Europe member states where the problem is most worrying. Its aim will be to increase the awareness of this phenomenon and of relevant Council of Europe standards, as well as exchanging experience amongst various players and eventually contributing to the fight against hate speech.
Hate speech is an abuse of the right to freedom of expression and an attack on the foundations of democracy. The Council of Europe contributes to the elimination of racial discrimination and intolerance not only through the enforcement of the European Convention on Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights but also through the recourse to non-binding instruments such as recommendations of the Committee of Ministers and of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Agenda
Background paper

 


For a fair media coverage of the election campaign in Tunisia  
[09 September 2011, Strasbourg] In view of the elections on 23 October 2011 of a Constituent Assembly which will draft the new constitution of Tunisia, the Venice Commission and the Media Section of the Council of Europe organised training for Tunisian trainers on fair and balanced media coverage of elections. The training took place in Strasbourg between 6 and 9 September and was accompanied by meetings with French and German journalists as well as with the Secretary General and other representatives of the Council of Europe and of the local authorities. The Tunisian experts will, upon their return, train Tunisian journalists.
The training programme is funded by a financial contribution from the government of the Netherlands. 


Regional network of press councils established  
[16 June 2011, Strasbourg] Representatives of media self-regulatory bodies from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine agreed to create an informal network of press councils. The network will serve as a platform for regional cooperation and exchange of information and experience. It will aim at raising the profile and  the effectiveness of the media self-regulatory mechanisms in each country. The network will cooperate, among others, with the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe and the worldwide Organisation of News Ombudsmen.
The agreement was reached on 9-10 June 2011 in Chisinau at a Regional meeting on media self-regulation organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Press Council of Moldova. The participants established a working group to draft a statute and a short-term work plan of the network. Mr Petru Macovei, Secretary of the Press Council of Moldova, was elected as coordinator of the group. The meeting is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe.


Regional meeting of media self-regulatory bodies (9-10 June 2011, Chisinau, Moldova)
[27 April 2011, Strasbourg]
 Media professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine will meet to explore the possibilities for creating an informal network of self-regulatory bodies in the region. The meeting will bring together representatives of media self-regulatory bodies such as press councils, as well as journalists and media experts. The meeting is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and is organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Press Council of Moldova.


Regional conference on "Freedom of expression to the test of democratic evolutions in  Central and Eastern Europe: myth or reality" (30-31 May 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria)
[19 April 2011, Strasbourg]
 The International Organisation of the Francophonie is organising in partnership with the Council of Europe and the Robert Schuman Foundation a regional conference on “Freedom of expression to the test of democratic evolutions in Central and Eastern Europe: myth or reality", to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 30 to 31 May 2011. The aim of the event will be to discuss good and bad practices, to exchange experiences and to identify new approaches for guaranteeing media freedom.
Agenda (French version only)
Note (French version only)


Moldovan Journalists adopt a New Code of Ethics

[06 May 2011, Strasbourg] At a national conference on 3 May 2011 in Chisinau, Moldova, 85 mass media outlets and associations adopted a new Code of Ethics of the Moldovan Journalists and committed to observe the principles prescribed by it. The compliance with the Code will be monitored by the Moldovan Press Council, which also mediates in case of complaints by the public and provides remedies for unethical conduct by journalists.
 

Discover our projects

 

Freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in South-East Europe

The overall objective of the project is to develop legal and institutional guarantees for freedom of expression, higher quality journalism and a pluralistic media landscape in South-East Europe, in line with CoE standards.

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Integration of European standards in the Ukrainian Media Environment

The overall objective of the project is to promote freedom of expression and information in Ukraine via further aligning the legal framework for the media with international and CoE standards, to support policy work on the Internet and human rights issues and to raise professional and ethical standards in journalism. 

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