6-10 December 2021

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The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. Its 47 member states are parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention. The Court’s case-law makes the Convention a powerful living instrument for addressing new challenges.

In accordance with the Court’s case-law, member States have the obligation to secure the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention to everyone within their jurisdiction, both offline and online. The rule of law is a prerequisite for the protection and promotion of the exercise of human rights and for pluralistic and participatory democracy. 

Based on these principles and drawing on the conclusions of the World Summit on the Information Society, the Council of Europe adopted the Declaration on internet governance principles (2011). It underpins the Organisation’s people-centered and rights-based approach to internet governance and identifies major features of the internet sourcing its public service value.

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