On 24-25 November the CDMSI (Steering Committee on Media and Information Society) held its 18th meeting online, due to current travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee was informed of recent developments in the Organisation, as well as about the Council of Europe's work on the impact of COVID-19 on freedom of expression and the media, including guidance provided to member states on how to address the challenges raised by the health crisis in terms of access to information, media freedom and freedom of expression, more widely.
The Steering Committee held an exchange of views with the chairs/vicechair of its expert committees on the progress made in the expert committees' work and the timeframe for finalizing the expected deliverables under their terms of reference.
The Committee further debated the implementation of the Council of Europe adopted standards in the field of safety of journalists and gender equality: Implementation Guide to CM/Rec(2016)4 on the Protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, new online HELP course on “Protection and Safety of Journalists” and “Freedom of Expression" and the analytical report on Gender Equality and Media.
Members of the Steering Committee also discussed the state of preparation of the Conference of Ministers responsible for media and the information society (June 2021) and the Conference documents. They had an exchange of views with Ambassador Lumi (Estonia), the new Council of Europe Thematic Coordination for the Information Policy (Tc-INF), as well with the representatives of the European Audiovisual Observatory and Ms Anna Herold (Head of unit, Audiovisual and Media policy at the European Commission), on recent developments of common interest.
The CDMSI also held elections for its leadership. Ms Inge Welbergen (The Netherlands) was re-elected as the CDMSI Chair, Mr Thomas Schneider (Switzerland) was re-elected as the CDMSI Vice-Chair, and Ms Maja Zaric (Serbia) was elected as a member of the CDMSI Bureau.