The Internet is today an essential tool for accessing information and communicating with others, as well as for many other daily activities. It is a service in itself and it provides access to many other services. It has also become important for participation in democracy and for social inclusion.

It is crucial that Internet services are accessible and affordable, as well as secure, reliable and continuously available. Improving access to the Internet is the only way more people will benefit from all the opportunities it offers.

The Council of Europe is currently implementing an Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society (2006-2015). It aims to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities as regards their participation in politics and cultural life, their employment and social and legal protection. The Action Plan calls on states to ensure that public authorities make their information and communications accessible to people with disabilities.



  • Promoting the public service concept of the Internet and e-accessibility;
  • Encouraging the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to reinforce democratic processes and public participation in Internet governance;
  • Making the Internet accessible to people with disabilities and improving their quality of life.


Key standards


Committee of Ministers Recommendation to member states on measures to promote the public service value of the Internet (2007)

In this Recommendation, the Council of Europe calls on its member states to create public access points offering a minimum range of communication and information facilities, in line with the principle of universal community service.


Recommendations of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to member states on:

The Council of Europe created in cooperation with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Association for Progressive Communications, a Code of good practice on information, participation and transparency in Internet governance. The code contains guidelines for Internet governance entities to maintain and improve transparency, inclusiveness and accountability, for example through multi-stakeholder participation, open discussion and inclusive decision making.


Participation by people with disabilities

Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member states on: