Protecting and respecting human rights is of paramount importance for the lives of ordinary people who use the Internet. Partnership between the Council of Europe and Internet companies demonstrates a commitment to this end.

On 30 March 2016, the Internet Governance Strategy 2016-2019 was adopted by the Council of Europe’s member states which inter alia called for dialogue and cooperation with Internet companies and their representative associations. It recognized that Internet companies play a critical role in dealing with online issues such as extremism and violence, abuse and intolerance, crime and insecurity, as well as the general impact on democracy (elections, fake news, etc.,).

The Exchange of Letters gives Internet companies a recognized status in the Council of Europe which, in turn, enables them to sit side-by-side with governments in the shaping of Internet policy. This means that they can participate in an array of intergovernmental activities and related work of the Council of Europe.

Links to related activities of the Council of Europe: