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

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Strasbourg, 25 November 2011

CDMC(2011)016

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Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services
(CDMC)
June 2005 – December 2011
______

CDMC end-of-operations stocktaking report

______

 

The beginning

Council of Europe standard setting work in respect of media and freedom of expression started in the 1960s; it gathered momentum in the 1980s (18 instruments over that decade; 29 during the 1990s). The first specialised ministerial conference was held in Vienna in 1986 (on the future of television in Europe). Now, in 2011, Vienna hosts a Conference on the Council of Europe internet governance strategy, giving additional impulse to the forward-looking proposals made at the Reykjavik ministerial conference in 2009, and consolidating the transversal understanding of the organisation’s information society work.

Disruption and creativity

In 2005, the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) took over from the three decade-old Steering Committee on Mass Media (CDMM) as proposed by the seventh specialised ministerial conference (Kyiv). In Kyiv, the Ministers expressed the wish that the Council of Europe move forward and explore the new frontiers of media and communication policy. Supported by the Committee of Ministers, this opened the door to innovative cutting-edge Council of Europe work. The CDMC welcomed a wide range of participants and stakeholders (see Appendix III) with different views and idiosyncrasies, who took an active part in the discussion of serious matters while leaving bias and own agenda behind and embracing a strong human rights and democracy approach.

After just over six years of existence, the CDMC will be replaced, on 1 January 2012, by the new Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI). This reflects the speed of change in the area of work entrusted by the Committee of Ministers to the CDMC.

CDMM, CDMC and CDMSI should not be seen as entirely distinct, but as part of the same endeavour and process, focussed on the protection and promotion of freedom of expression and the right to impart and receive information without interference and regardless of frontiers. Throughout, this work has been strongly anchored on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights and the operation of media (understood in the broad sense outlined in the recent Committee of Ministers recommendation on the subject) are a cornerstone of present –and future– democracy and, because of this, fully justify the ongoing priority accorded to it by the Council of Europe.

Broad recognition

The currently envisaged change from CDMC to CDMSI also offers an opportunity to take stock of the work conducted by the CDMC over its six and a half years of existence.

Over the last few decades, the Council of Europe has been a recognised champion of freedom of expression and information, and a pioneer in freedom of the media standard-setting work. Its valuable body of standards has been adapted and updated according to needs, providing member states with useful and usable guidance for maintaining national policies aligned to human rights exigencies in a rapidly changing environment. In addition, the OSCE and EU use Council of Europe standards and regularly refer to Council of Europe work. The EU provides, together with some member states, significant extra-budgetary funding for co-operation activities.

Over the last six years, Council of Europe freedom of expression and media work has extended resolutely into the Internet, which is today an essential tool for the exercise of Article 10 rights and for the exercise of democratic citizenship, as recognised by the Committee of Ministers in its recommendation on the public service value of the Internet. In light of new media and internet governance standard-setting work, other organisations (EU, World Bank, OSCE, UN agencies) have expressed support for Council of Europe work and interest to be associated with its follow up.

Making a difference

In the run up to the 2nd phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, November 2005), it was advanced in Internet governance circles that human rights discussions had been exhausted. The CDMC disagree and it submitted a message to the Committee of Ministers underlining that human rights had to be in the forefront of any Internet governance discussions, asking the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the Council of Europe was enabled to do this.

The Council of Europe has indeed been able to deliver in this respect.. These efforts have resulted in (i) human rights being now broadly recognised as an essential and integral part of Internet governance discussions and (ii) the Council of Europe being acknowledged as a main actor in this respect, evidenced by both references to our Organisation’s work and the high demand for Council of Europe participation in related events, whether organised by governments, international organisations, civil society or the private sector.

The private sector and civil society have also become keen Council of Europe partners who acknowledge that the Organisation has embraced the multistakeholder approach by providing real opportunities and spaces for meaningful participation and enabling genuine dialogue between interested parties. Examples of this are recent texts on Internet governance principles, protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet, Internet service providers, online games, social networks, online games. Expectations are high with regard to the pursuit of this multistakeholder approach.

The CDMC has also set the example in incorporating the protection of children and mainstreaming gender equality into its work, fully embracing the Committee of Ministers May 2009, Madrid Declaration on making gender equality a reality. As in other aspects of its work, in this context too, the CDMC has taken a leading role.

Output

All of the above has not been at the expense of CDMC output; on the contrary, the CDMC expanded its area of work from traditional, or legacy media to the Internet including, for example, social media, social networks, mass communication in aggregate, and search engines, while delivering a growing number of important ground-breaking instruments (listed in Appendix I). Having a common Europe-wide understanding of needs and possible responses has been highly valued by member states’ policy makers who need to keep in pace with developments. This is particularly important in a human rights context..

Over a six year period, the Committee of Ministers has adopted 271 instruments (recommendations, guidelines and declarations) prepared by the CDMC. These include major policy documents such as Recommendations on the remit of public service media in the information society, on media pluralism and diversity of media content, on protecting and promoting freedom of expression on the Internet, on the public service value of the Internet, on empowering children and on protecting them in the new information and communication environments; more recently, Recommendations on a new notion of media and the protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet. Two further texts were prepared by the CDMC with private actors, without formal adoption by the Committee of Ministers, on Internet service providers and on online games.

Eight additional instruments will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for adoption before the end of the CDMC’s mandate. These relate to public service media governance, search engines, social networks, the gender dimension of media related policy, libel tourism and the sustainability of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG). This raises the total CDMC output in just over six years to 35 standard-setting instruments.

The CDMC has also produced a large number of reports and background documents (Appendix II), contributing to ongoing policy discussions (e.g. on the impending evolution of intellectual property rights), on occasions fuelling Parliamentary Assembly activity. On many occasions, it has provided comments on Parliamentary Assembly texts or taken action upon them at the request of the Committee of Ministers

The way forward

The CDMC welcomes the Secretary General’s proposal and the Committee of Ministers decision to replace it with the CDMSI. In the CDMC's view, this is the right way forward. It trusts that, subject to CDMSI proposals, the Committee of Ministers will continue to offer its support in respect of the next specialised ministerial conference which may explore the inextricable relation between freedom of expression and democracy in the light of current developments. Indeed, the CDMC considers it opportune to examine the human rights aspects of new or impending realities in the political market place, which may well take the form of Internet services or applications operated by new actors.

If the Council of Europe were to cease to deliver in these areas in a sustainable manner, there would be no guarantee that human rights would remain a priority consideration in Internet governance nor that media regulation would keep in pace with developments. The Council of Europe would fail to live up to the expectations of many who count on Council of Europe ongoing activity. Moreover, the space left would be filled by other organisations or persons with priorities other than human rights, possibly without a European vision and with no guarantee that the voice of our member states would be adequately heard.

By contrast, alongside its human rights approach the Council of Europe offers a consensus-building environment, which is essential in view of apparent trends in international Internet related policy-making (i.e. initiatives to increase multilateralism or to enhance governmental oversight of the Internet). In this respect, the Council of Europe should continue to set the example, offering real opportunities for multistakeholder participation at the inception, discussion, deliberation, formulation, implementation and monitoring stages, without prejudice to each stakeholder’s specific role and responsibilities, in particular Council of Europe member states. CDMC-style dialogue, in a friendly and constructive atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, should be pursued by the CDMSI.

The CDMC is proud of its contribution to the Council of Europe’s endeavours to protect and promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media. It trusts that the Committee of Ministers will support the CDMSI in the same way as it has supported the CDMC.

APPENDIX I

Instruments prepared by the CDMC and adopted by the Committee of Ministers

Declaration on the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association with regard to privately operated Internet platforms and online service providers (23 September 2011)

Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)8 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet

Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)7 on a new notion of media

Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on Internet governance principles (23 September 2011)


Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the protection of freedom of expression and information and freedom of assembly and association with regard to Internet domain names and name strings

Declaration on the management of the Internet protocol address resources in the public interest (29 September 2010)

Declaration on network neutrality (29 September 2010)

Declaration on the Digital Agenda for Europe (29 September 2010)

Declaration on enhanced participation of member states in Internet governance matters – Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (26 May 2010)

Declaration on measures to promote the respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (13 January 2010)

Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)5 on measures to protect children against harmful content and behaviour and to promote their active participation in the new information and communications environment

Declaration on the role of community media in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue (11 February 2009)

Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)6 on measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression and information with regard to Internet filters

Declaration on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector (26 March 2008)

Declaration on protecting the dignity, security and privacy of children on the internet (20 February 2008)

Declaration on the allocation and management of the digital dividend and the public interest (20 February 2008)

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)16 on measures to promote the public service value of the Internet

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)15 on measures concerning media coverage of election campaigns

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)11 on promoting freedom of expression and information in the new information and communications environment (26 September 2007)

Guidelines on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis (26 September 2007)

Declaration on the protection and promotion of investigative journalism (26 September 2007)

Recommendation Rec(2007)3 on the remit of public service media in the information society

Recommendation Rec(2007)2 on media pluralism and diversity of media content

Declaration on protecting the role of the media in democracy in the context of media concentration (31 January 2007)

Recommendation Rec(2006)12 on empowering children in the new information and communications environment

Declaration on the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting in the member states (27 September 2006)

Recommendation Rec(2006)3 on the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions

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Human rights guidelines for Internet service providers
Human rights guidelines for online games providers

Council of Europe specialised Conference of Ministers prepared by the CDMC

1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services
(28 and 29 May 2009, Reykjavik, Iceland)
A new notion of media?

Instruments prepared by the CDMC and submitted
to the Committee of Ministers for adoption
(as of 25 November 2011)

Draft Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association with regard to privately operated Internet platforms and online service providers
Draft Declaration on public service media governance

Draft Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to the member states on Public Service Media Governance

Draft Recommendation on the protection of human rights with regard to search engines

Draft on the protection of human rights with regard to social networking services

Draft Declaration on Libel tourism

Draft Recommendation on gender aspects of Council of Europe Recommendations and Declarations including addenda to Declarations and Recommendations

Draft Declaration on the measures to support and foster Pan-European multi-stakeholder dialogue on Internet governance

APPENDIX II

Reports and background documents prepared under the supervision of the CDMC

Speaking of Terror - A survey of the effects of counter-terrorism legislation on freedom of the media in Europe – 2009

A new notion of media? – 2009

Internet governance and critical internet resources – 2009

Living Together – a handbook on Council of Europe standards on media’s contribution to social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, understanding, tolerance and democratic participation – 2009 (available in English, French, Albanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Turkish, Ukranian)

How member states ensure the legal, financial, technical and other appropriate conditions required to enable public service media to discharge their remit H/Inf(2009)7 - Compilation of good practices – 2009

Methodology for monitoring media concentration and media content diversity – 2009

The ways in which the public, in all its diversity, can be involved in consultative programming structures – 2009

Protecting children from harmful content – 2009

Contribution of public service media in promoting social cohesion and integrating all communities and generations Implementation of Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation Rec (97) 21 on media and the promotion of a culture of tolerance – 2008

Strategies of public service media as regards promoting a wider democratic participation of individuals H/Inf(2009)6 Compilation of good practices – 2008

Member states’ current practice regarding the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting – 2008

Copyright and human rights – 2008

Promoting social cohesion - The role of community media – 2008

Convergent media – convergent regulators? The future of broadcasting regulatory authorities in
Southeastern Europe – 2008

The role of public service media for widening individual participation in European democracy - 2007

The Internet Literacy Handbook – 2006 (available in French, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian)

Young people, well-being and risk on-line – 2006

Freedom of expression in Europe - Case-law concerning Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Human rights files No. 18) – 2006

APPENDIX III

List of participants other than CDMC members

PARTICIPANTS / PARTICIPANTS

Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe / Conférence des organisations internationales non gouvernementales du Conseil de l'Europe
Mr Gabriel NISSIM

PACE / APCE
Lord Andrew McIntosh

Mr Rudiger DOSSOW

European Audiovisual Observatory / Observatoire Européen de l’Audiovisual
Mr Wolfgang CLOSS
Ms Suzanne NIKOLTCHEV
Mr Markus BOOMS
Ms Emmanuelle MACHET

* * *

OTHER PARTICIPANTS

European Commission/Commission européenne
Mr Oliver FÜG, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission
Mr Harald TRETTENBREIN
Dr Philipp RUNGE, Policy Adviser, Audiovisual and Media Policies Unit, European Commission,

Holy See / Saint Siège
Dr Michael LUKAS, Bischöfliche Pressestelle, Germany
Mr Thaddeux JONES, Pontifical Council for Social Communication
Mgr Enrique PLANAS, Head of Office, Bureau, Pontifical Council for Social Communication
Ms Leticia SOBERON

Japan
Mr Naoyukia IWAI, Consulate
Mr Yasushi FUKE, Consulate

United States of America
Ms Sarah LABOWITZ

OSCE
Mr Alexander IVANKO
Mr Roland BLESS
Ms Ilia COHEL

UNESCO
Ms Sylvie COUDRAY
Ms Tarja TURTIA

OBSERVERS/OBSERVATEURS

Belarus
Mr Sergei SKVORCOV, MFA
Mme Maria M VANSHINA, MFA
Mr Andrey POPOV,MFA
Mr Aleksandr MARTYNENKO, National State TV and Radio Company
Mr Andrei NOVASH, National State TV and Radio Company
Mr Victor NOVIKOV, Perm Rep
Mr Alexander ANTONOV

Article 19
Mr Toby MENDEL
Mr Peter NOORLANDER
Ms Barbara BUKOVSKA

Association of Commercial Television in Europe, Association des Télévisions Commerciales européennes (ACT)
Mr Maxim HAUK
Ms Petra WILSTROM-VAN EEMEREN
Ms Julie RUFF
Mr Ross BIGGAM
Mr Tom RIVERS

Association of European Journalists (AEJ) / Media Freedom Representative
Mr William HORSLEY

EDRI
Mrs Meryem MARZOUKI

Community Media for Europe (CFME)
Mr Helmut PEISSL
Mr Nadia BELLARDI
Mr Pieter De WIT
Mr Ciaran MURRAY

Permament Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators / Conférence Permanente de l’audiovisuel méditerranéen (COPEAM)
Ms Alessandra PARADISI, Secretary General
Mr Micol PANCALDI, Training Division

EuroISPA
Dr Kurt EINZINGER, President

European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA)
Mr Holger ROSENDAL, Chefjurist/Head of Legal Department, Danske Dagblades Forening/Danish Newspaper Publishers' Association
Ms Hannah McCAUSLAND
Mr Valtteri NIIRANEN, Director
Mr Ben CARLIN

EJF
Mr Philip LERUTH
Mr Marc GRUBER
Mr Gerhard MOSER

European Broadcasting Union / Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision (EBU)
Mr Michael WAGNER, Deputy Director, Legal and Public Affairs
Mr Jaques BRIQUEMENT
Mr Ignasi GUARDANS, Director, Public Affairs and Member Relations
Mr Wouter GEKIERE, European Affairs Adviser
Mr Edward WILSON
Mr Heijo RUIJSENAARS
Ms Jane VIZARD
Ms Nicolas FRANK

European Youth Forum
Ms Letizia GAMBINI
Ms Silke GEBEL
Mr Matthias FICHTER

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ms Katitza RODRIGUEZ, International Rights Director

Prix Europa
Mr Peter BRAUN

EuroISPA
Mr Michael ROTERT

ISFE
Mr Patrice CHAZERAND, Secretary General

Experts
Mr Nicolas NORD
Mr Tyge TRIER
Mr Peter NOORLANDER
Mr Tim SUTER
Mr Wolfgang KLEINWAECHTER
Mr Vladimir RADUNOVIC (Diplo Foundation)
Ms Annetter KLIEMANN (European Commission)
Mr Ren REYNOLDS (the Virtual Policy Network)


This document will not be distributed at the meeting. Please bring this copy.

Ce document ne sera pas distribué en réunion. Prière de vous munir de cet exemplaire

1 This includes the draft declaration on privately operated internet platforms, with CM expected adoption before the CDMC meeting.