Media - Freedom of expression and information

  Committee of experts on protection of journalism and safety of journalists (MSI-JO)

Activities
STANDARD-SETTING
  Steering Committee (CDMSI)
  Bureau of the Committee (CDMSI-BU)
  Former Steering Committee (CDMC)
  Former Bureau of the Committee (CDMC-BU)
  Committee of Experts on Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists (MSI-JO)
  Committee of Experts on cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT)  
CONVENTIONS
  Transfrontier Television
  Conditional Access
COOPERATION
  Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building
FORMER GROUPS OF SPECIALISTS
  Rights of Internet Users
  Information Society
  New Media
  Public Service Media Governance
  Cross-border Internet
  Protection Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations
  Media Diversity
  Public service Media
 
Events
  Conference Freedom of Expression and Democracy in the Digital Age - Opportunities, Rights, Responsibilities, Belgrade, 7-8/11/2013
  Conference "The Hate factor in political speech - Where do responsibilities lie?", Warsaw18-19 September 2013
  Conference of Ministers, Reykjavik - Iceland, 28-29 May 2009
  European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)
 
Documentation
  Conventions
  Committee of Ministers texts
  Parliamentary Assembly texts
  Ministerial Conferences
  Publications
  Translations
 
Useful links

Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI)

Set up by the Committee of Ministers under Article 17 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and in accordance with Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods

Terms of reference valid from: 1 January 2012 until 31 December 2013

Main tasks

Under the authority of the Committee of Ministers, the CDMSI will oversee the Council of Europe’s work in the field of media, information society and data protection, and advise the Committee of Ministers on all questions within its area of competence, focusing on human rights protection and promotion, taking due account of relevant transversal perspectives and of the activities of other international organisations. For this purpose, the CDMSI is instructed to facilitate co-operation among the Council of Europe member states and assist them in the development of common policies, as well as fulfil any other activity which might be assigned to it by the Committee of Ministers. In particular, the CDMSI will:

    (i) oversee the implementation of a Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy, focusing on the right to freedom of expression on the Internet and the right to impart and receive information regardless of frontiers;
    (ii) develop co-operation at pan-European level, extend this co-operation to its neighbouring regions and engage other relevant stakeholders, preparing instruments with a view to promoting and protecting human rights, the rule of law and pluralist democracy in the Information Society and Internet Governance;
    (iii) review, consolidate and update existing instruments and conduct, where necessary, additional standard-setting work in respect of freedom of the media, paying due attention to professional journalism standards, supporting independence, pluralism and diversity in the media, including public service media;
    (iv) contribute to the implementation of the Committee of Ministers’ Declaration of 13 January 2010 on measures to promote the respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
    (v) co-ordinate to standard-setting work in respect of the protection of personal data and the right to private life, in close association with other relevant Council of Europe bodies (e.g. T-PD, CDCJ);
    (vi) prepare the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society (Serbia, 2013) and ensure the follow-up of any decision taken by the Committee of Ministers.

Pillar / Sector / Programme

Pillar: Rule of Law
Sector: Common standards and policies
Programme: Information society and Internet governance

Expected results

Expected results 2012-2013:

    (i) Proposed activities to be decided upon by the Committee of Ministers:
    - follow-up to specific instruments on the Internet adopted by the Committee of Ministers (2012 and 2013);
    - compilation of existing rights for Internet users (2013);
    - instrument on cross-border flow of Internet traffic (2013).
    Any pending CDMC work is finalised in respect of draft instruments on:
    - search engines (2012);
    - social networks (2012);

    (ii) freedom of expression and freedom of the media are better protected, taking due account of gender equality, youth and children’s issues; to this end:

    a. a draft recommendation is prepared on gender equality and media, in particular on a gender equality dimension in the media coverage of election campaigns, in consultation with relevant Council of Europe bodies, as well as UN Women (2013);

    b. a draft convention on broadcasters’ neighbouring rights is prepared in 2012 if a standstill persists within WIPO and on condition that the European Commission obtains a mandate to negotiate such a convention within a Council of Europe framework;
    c. proposals are made to the Committee of Ministers, as appropriate, for follow-up to specific media-related instruments adopted by the Committee of Ministers (e.g. in respect of public service media, public service value of the Internet, or a new notion of media) (2012 and 2013);
    d. a contribution is made from a media and freedom of expression perspective to Council of Europe work addressing the problem of libel tourism;

    (iii) intergovernmental expert input is given to the implementation of CM Declaration of 13 January 2010 (improved collection and sharing of information and enhanced co-ordination within the secretariat on freedom of expression and freedom of the media in member states), having due regard to other relevant non-binding instruments adopted by the Committee of Ministers;

    (iv) personal data and the right to private life are better protected in the Information society. To this end the CDMSI offers, in consultation with the CDCJ, an intergovernmental setting at 47 for negotiation and finalisation of draft instruments prepared by the Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (T-PD):
    a. modernising Convention 108 (2012);
    b. data protection and employment (2012);
    c. data protection and the police (2012);
    d. biometrics (2013);
    e. data protection and children (2013).

    (v) a Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society is organised in Serbia, having due regard to the Committee of Ministers’ decisions on Council of Europe Conferences of Specialised Ministers (2013) and follow-up is provided to decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers.

Composition

Members:
Governments of member states are invited to designate one or more representatives of the highest possible rank in the relevant fields (media policy and freedom of expression, information society and Internet governance, data protection).

The Council of Europe will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative from each member state (two in the case of the state whose representative has been elected Chair).

Member states may send other representatives without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses.

Each member of the committee shall have one vote. Where a government designates more than one member, only one of them is entitled to take part in the voting.

Participants:
The following may send representatives without the right to vote and at the charge of their corresponding administrative budgets:

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
- Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;
- European Court of Human Rights;
- Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights;
- Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe;
- Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER);
- European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ);
- Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (T-PD);
- other Council of Europe intergovernmental committees as appropriate.

The following may send representatives without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:

- European Union (one or more representatives, including, as appropriate, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights – FRA)

- European Audiovisual Observatory;
- Observer States to the Council of Europe: Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America;
- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
- Organization of American States (OAS);
- UN agencies (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - UNESCO);
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU);
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN);
- Civil society and representatives of business, technical, professional and academic communities.

Observers:
The following may send representatives without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:

- Belarus.

Working methods

Plenary meetings:
48 members, 2 meetings in 2012, 4 days
48 members, 2 meetings in 2013, 4 days

Bureau:
7 members, 2 meetings in 2012, 2 days
7 members, 2 meetings in 2013, 2 days

The Committee will also appoint a Gender Equality Rapporteur from amongst its members.

The rules of procedure of the Committee are governed by Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods.

Additional working methods:

Regular contacts with CM TC-INF.

Multi-stakeholder dialogue, permitting to interact with different stakeholder groups, at different stages of the tasks assigned to the CDMSI.