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Strasbourg, 11 September 2006

MC-S-IS(2006)015

 

PDF

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

(MC-S-IS)

______

5th meeting
20 and 21 June 2006
Human Rights Building, Strasbourg
Room 20 RC Jardin

______

REPORT
______

Item 1 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

1. The Group of Specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS) held its 5th meeting in Strasbourg on 20 and 21 June 2006. The meeting was chaired by Ms Heleen Janssen, Vice-Chairperson (the Netherlands).

Item 2 of the agenda: Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

2. The Secretariat informed the Group that the CDMC, at its 3rd meeting in Strasbourg on 30 May to 2 June 2006, had examined and generally agreed upon1 the draft Recommendation on empowering children in the new information and communications environment (document MC-S-IS (2006) 003 rev 6) subject to the addition of one additional paragraph to the preamble recalling the importance of education for democratic citizenship in the context of empowerment and information literacy. The Group also took note that the draft is to be submitted for adoption by the Committee of Ministers on 27 September 2006.

Item 3 of the agenda: Other information of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

4. The Secretariat informed the Group of the contributions it had made so far to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which will be held in Athens from 30 October to 2 November 20063. In particular, the Chairperson of the CDMC invited the Secretariat to prepare a written submission to the IGF exploring the very concept of Internet Governance from a Council of Europe human rights/rule of law perspective4.

5. Mr Michael Remmert Project Manager, Project on Good Governance in the Information Society, Council of Europe, informed the Group of the new Council of Europe Forum on the Future of Democracy, to be held in Moscow on 18 and 19 October 006, which will address the role and activities of political parties with regard inter alia to the role of media.

Item 4 of the agenda: Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

The CAHDE will hold its first meeting in Strasbourg on 18 and 19 September 2006 and, as indicated in its terms of reference, invite the CDMC to take part5.

Item 5 of the agenda: Reviewing Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services

7. With reference to the proposed revisions to the Recommendation submitted by Mr David Sandukhchyan (Armenia) (document MC-S-IS(2006)009) the Group discussed ways to revise the Recommendation with particular emphasis and concern regarding the re-definition of the term and scope of ‘media’ with regard to ‘new media and other new communication services’ and the possible impact on inter alia compatibility with domestic legislation, the development of European standards, and the right to freedom of expression and information.
The Group encountered difficulties in reaching agreement on how to substantively review and develop the Recommendation in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services. In response, a working group of members (Austria, Malta, Slovakia) and observers (EBU and ENPA) met during and after the MC-S-IS to discuss and review the Recommendation. In response, the working group prepared and submitted proposed revisions to the Recommendation (document MC-S-IS (2006)009 rev 2) which the Vice-Chairperson invited the Secretariat to circulate to the Group for their comments at the latest by 28 September 2006.

Action: The Group is invited to consider and submit comments to the Secretariat on the proposed revisions of the working group (document MC-S-IS (2006)009 rev 2) by 28 September 2006.

Item 6 of the agenda: (Draft) guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the Information Society

8. The Group examined and discussed the discussion paper prepared and presented by the working group members from Austria and the Netherlands with the assistance of the Secretariat (document MC-S-IS(2006)012).

9. In order to advance the work on the development of guidelines, the Vice-Chairperson called on the Group to provide further comments, where possible in the form of ‘track changes’ by the 28 September 2006, so that the paper may be reworked by the working group and then re-sent back to the Group by e-mail for further comments by the Group in time for the 6th meeting of the MC-S-IS in Strasbourg on 4 and 5 December 2006.

Action: The Group is invited to provide further comments on the discussion paper where possible in the form of ‘track changes’ by the 28 September 2006.

Item 7 of the agenda: Following the implementation of 2003 Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet by the member States

10. At the invitation of the Secretariat, Ms Zornitza Anguelova (Bulgaria) presented a synthesis of her analysis and findings regarding the responses so far received to the questionnaire on the Declaration so far received (document MC-S-IS(2006)010). Ms Anguelova considered that the responses reflected that there was general compliance with the Declaration and that there was no need to generally revise or develop the instrument further.
Ms Anguelova considered that several responses did however reveal that certain aspects of the implementation of the Declaration could be lacking and therefore be explored further by the MC-S-IS. In response, certain members and observers pointed out that some responses were not always entirely convincing regarding the implementation of inter alia Principle 2 (member states encouraging self-regulation or co-regulation regarding content disseminated on the Internet) with reference to the actions of Internet Service Providers and other positive obligations in the Declaration.

11. The Group considered that were too few responses received to reach a fully informed decision on the Declaration’s implementation. The Group therefore agreed on the importance of urging as many members states to respond to the questionnaire as soon as possible.
In response, the Vice-Chairperson summarised the discussions and concluded by requesting the Secretariat to remind those CDMC members to respond to the questionnaire at the latest by 8 September 2006 and thereafter to inform the Group of any responses received6.

On this basis, Ms Anguelova is invited to prepare a revised analysis and synthesis of the responses to the questionnaire, together with the assistance of Ms Heleen Janssen (the Netherlands), in order for this to be considered by the Group at its 6th meeting in Strasbourg on 4 and 5 December 2006.

Action: Ms Anguelova, together with the assistance of Ms Heleen Janssen (the Netherlands), is invited to revise her analysis and synthesis of the responses to the questionnaire.

Item 8 of the agenda: 2006 Pan-European Forum on Human Rights in the Information Society: Empowering children and young people (Yerevan, 5 and 6 October 2006)

12. The Secretariat informed the Group about its progress in organising the Forum7 in cooperation with the Armenian member of the CDMC, Mr Garegin Choogaskian, and in developing the Forum’s substantive elements with particular regard to the draft Recommendation on empowering children and young people which is scheduled for adoption by the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg on 27 September 2006.

Item 9 of the agenda: Developing strategies to promote digital inclusion, inter alia by means of media education

13. At the invitation of the Secretariat, expert consultant, Mrs Divina Frau-Meigs, presented her paper on “Developing strategies for the promotion of digital inclusion” (document MC-S-IS(2006)013) from which she discussed the Internet’s impact on users’/public’s values and behaviours, especially on young people, and the long term importance of human rights education, transforming human rights principles into literacy, and building the creation and appreciation of cultural values.
The Group took note of, and thanked, Ms Frau-Meigs for her presentation and written paper which provides an excellent basis to develop strategies as part of its (future) mandate.

14. The Group further agreed on the need to insert additional information and references to human rights in each of the fact sheets contained in the Council of Europe Handbook on Internet Literacy8. The members from Malta and Switzerland agreed to undertake this review and to send their work to the Secretariat by the 8 September 2006 in order for it to be circulated to Group members thereafter.

Action: Mr Thomas Schneider (Switzerland) and Mr Hubert Theuma (Malta) are invited to review the Handbook on Internet Literacy and submit to the Secretariat any necessary additional human rights related information and references to the text by the 28 September 2006.

Item 10 of the agenda: Other business

15. The Secretariat informed the Group that no comments had so far been received regarding the abridged on-line version of the study by the consultant experts, Ms Rachel O’Connell and Ms Joanne Bryce, on “Young People, Well-Being and Risk On-Line” (document H-Inf(2006)5).

16. In discussing proposals for a possible future mandate, the Group considered the CDMC Work Plan (see document CDMC(2005)019rev) and the Kyiv Action Plan in particular those elements under sub-theme 3 (Human rights and regulation of the media and new communication services in the Information Society). Several Group members commented on inter alia the need to understand the wider scope of digital broadcasting as well as to make reference to (media) “platforms” (with respect to paragraph 25 the Kyiv Action Plan), and to pursuing respect for human dignity in the media (with respect to paragraph 27 the Kyiv Action Plan).

The Group also took note of the proposals of the Vice Chairperson (document MC-S-IS(2006)014).

Following the proposal of one observer (EDRI) certain members of the Group considered it important to conduct a limited (narrowly focused) stocktaking exercise of member states’ practice and legislation regarding freedom of expression.

The Secretariat invited the Group to review the current mandate of the MC-S-IS and to send proposals to it regarding possible future work at the latest by the 28 September 2006.

Action: The Group is invited to review and consider its current and possible future mandate and to send proposals to the Secretariat at the latest by the 28 September 2006.

***
Appendix I

List of participants

MEMBER STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

Albania/Albanie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr. Taulant TOPCIU, Desk Officer in the Press and Information Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Armenia/Arménie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr David SANDUKCHIAND, Head of Legal Department, Project Manager, Internews Armenia

Austria/Autriche
Mr Michael TRUPPE, Federal Chancellery, Constitutional Service, VIENNA

Belgium/Belgique
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Alexandra KRICK, Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, BRUXELLES

Bulgaria/Bulgarie
Ms Zornitza ANGUELOVA, Ministry of Transport and Communications, SOFIA

Ms Nelly STOYANOVA, Ministry of Transport and Communications, SOFIA

Finland/Finlande
Ms Kristina HAUTALA-KAJOS, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Culture, HELSINKI

Greece/Grèce
Mme Maria GIANNAKAKI, Press Attaché, Permanent Representation of Greece to the Council of Europe, Press Office, STRASBOURG, France

Malta/Malte
Mr Hubert THEUMA, Senior Counsel for the Republic, handling Human Rights litigation as well as Intellectual Property issues, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, VALETTA

Moldova
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Aureliu CIOCOI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CHISINAU

The Netherlands/Pays-Bas
Ms Heleen JANSSEN, Ministry of the Interior, DEN HAAG

Norway/Norvège
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Bengt HERMANSEN, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Cultural and Church Affairs, OSLO

Portugal
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Maria de LURDES MONTEIRO, LISBONNE
M. José Manuel MENDES, LISBONNE

Russian Federation
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Vladislav ERMAKOV, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MOSCOW, Russian Federation

Slovakia/Slovaquie
Mr Zeljko SAMPOR, Media Department, Ministry of Culture, BRATISLAVA

Switzerland/Suisse
Mr Thomas SCHNEIDER , Service des Affaires internationales, Office fédéral de la communication, BIENNE

Turkey/Turquie
Mr Mehmet Bora SÖNMEZ Radio and Television Supreme Council, ANKARA

Ms Tülin GÜRSOY, Radio and Television Supreme Council, ANKARA

Ukraine
Mr Vassil FILIPCHUK, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KYIV

United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mrs Armelle BAILEY, ICT EU Policy, LONDON

Mr Nigel HICKSON, Department for Trade and Industry, LONDON

OTHER PARTICIPANTS / AUTRES PARTICIPANTS

Parliamentary Assembly / Assemblée Parlementaire
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe / Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux de l'Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Audiovisual Observatory/Observatoire européen de l’Audiovisuel
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Wolfgang CLOSS, Executive Director

European Commission/Commission européenne
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
M. Gilbert DUBOIS, Chef de l'Unité de coordination pour le Conseil de l'Europe, BRUXELLES, Belgique

CDDH
Mr Ignacio BLASCO LOZANO, Government Agent, Abogacia des Estado ante el TEDH, Abogacia General del Estado, Ministry of Justice, MADRID, Spain

OBSERVERS /OBSERVATEURS

Canada

Holy See/Saint-Siège
Monsieur Louis TER STEEG

Japan/Japon

Mexico/Mexique

United States of America/Etats-Unis d’Amérique

Nordic Council of Ministers/Conseil nordique des Ministres

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) / Organisation pour la Sécurité et la Coopération en Europe (OSCE)

Alliance for a Media Literate Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Evelyne BEVORT, Paris

Mr Pär LUNDGREN, Project Manager, KARLSTAD, Sweden

Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT)/Association des Télévisions Commerciales Européennes (ACT)
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Ross BIGGAM, Director General, BRUSSELS, Belgium

European Digital Rights in Europe (EDRI)
Ms Meryem MARZOUKI, PARIS, France

Danish Institute for Human Rights
Mr Rikke Frank JØRGENSEN, PARIS, France

European Federation of Journalists / Fédération européenne des Journalistes
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Aidan WHITE, General Secretary, BRUSSELS, Belgium

European Newspaper Publishers’ Association / Association européenne des éditeurs de journaux (ENPA)
Ms Santha RASAIAH, LONDON, United Kingdom

EuroISPA
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Richard Nash, Secretary General, BRUSSELS, Belgium

Europol
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Søren Kragh PEDERSEN, Head of Corporate Communication, Europol, THE HAGUE,

European Schoolnet / INSAFE
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Association of Internet Hotline Providers in Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Internews
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Taras SHEVCHENKO, Lawyer, Internews Ukraine

Internet Content Rating Association
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Stephen BALKAM, BRIGHTON, United Kingdom

Internews International
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Eric JOHNSON, Executive Director, PARIS, France

European Internet Coregulation Network / Réseau européen de co-régulation de l’Internet
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Benoît TABAKA, Forum des droits sur l'Internet, PARIS, France

European Broadcasting Union / Union européenne de Radio-Télévision (UER)
Mme Anne-Catherine BERG, Conseiller juridique

European consumers' Organisation
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Dominic FOREST, BRUSSELS, Belgium

UNESCO
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

GUEST SPEAKER/ORATRICE INVITEE

Mme Divina FRAU-MEIGS, Professeur, Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Sociologue des Médias, Vice-présidente, AIERI/IAMCR (Ass.Int.des Etudes et Recherches en Info-com)

SECRETARIAT

Mr Jan MALINOWSKI, Head of Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II/ Chef de la Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II (Secretary to the Committee/Secrétaire du Comité)

Mr Lee HIBBARD, Administrator, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights – DG II/Administrateur, Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

INTERPRETERS/INTEPRETES

Mme Maryline NEUSCHWANDER
Mr Jean-Jacques PEDUSSAUD

***

Appendix II

Agenda

1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

2. Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

3. Other information of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

4. Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

5. Reviewing Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services

6. (Draft) guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the Information Society

7. Following the implementation of 2003 Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet by the member States

8. 2006 Pan-European Forum on Human Rights in the Information Society: Empowering children and young people (Yerevan, 5 and 6 October 2006).

9. Developing strategies:

10. Other business


1 During the 3rd meeting of the CDMC, France, Germany and the Russian Federation agreed on the draft Recommendation ad referendum. Following the proposal of the French authorities, a definition of “information literacy” was inserted into the text to provide added clarity.

2 For further information see item 10, paragraph 14, below.

3 See http://www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/igf/index.html.

4 This written submission was prepared and sent to the UN IGF Advisory Group on 24 August 2006 and now appears on its website at: http://www.intgovforum.org/

5 The CDMC has since agreed to send a representative.

6 The Secretariat has sent a reminder to the CDMC and since this time one additional response has been received (from Turkey). To date, 13 countries have so far responded.

7 Further details regarding the Forum can be found on the website of the Media Division of the Council of Europe at http://www.coe.int/media/. Online registration and practical details regarding flights and accommodation can be found on the website of the Information Technologies Foundation of Armenia at http://www.coeforumis.am/.

8 See: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human_Rights/Media/hbk_en.html.