1048th meeting – 11-12 February 2009

Appendix 13
(Item 5.1b)

Terms of reference of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: projects

Action line: I.3 “Human Rights in Public Policies”
Programme: I.3.5 “Media, information society and data protection”
Project 1.3.5/DGHL/1415 “Standard-setting and policy assistance on topical issues concerning the media and new communication services”

Project relevance:

1. The Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, in particular item 3 from Chapter I “Promoting common fundamental values: human rights, rule of law and democracy” (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005, CM(2005)80 final, 17 May 2005).

2. Contributions to the core values, in particular, by consolidating democracy, good governance and the rule of law in the member states, mostly, in this case, as regards freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media, as key elements of democracy.

3. In addition, the source of political justification of the current work of the CDMC stems from the political texts adopted at the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10-11 March 2005): “Declaration on integration and diversity: the new frontiers of European media and communications policy” requesting, inter alia, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to redefine the mandate of the Steering Committee on the Mass Media (CDMM) so that it can fully encompass the new information and communication technologies and, accordingly, to rename it Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services.

Political framework: the CDMC is entrusted to work out, in a pan-European perspective, concerted policy measures and appropriate instruments, particularly addressing issues raised notably by the functioning of means of public communication in the information society and their impact on human rights and democratic values, following the developments in new information and communication technologies that have reduced the borders between mass media and other communication services. It also develops media activities to contribute to the pan-European objectives of democratic security, cultural cohesion and diversity, and of media literacy.

The CDMC should also prepare Council of Europe conferences of Ministers responsible for media and new communication services.

Project added value:

Through the work of the CDMC (and prior to it the CDMM), the Council of Europe is the best placed organisation to address issues related to freedom of expression and freedom of the media as guaranteed by Article10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Over the years, it has prepared a considerable number of instruments and key tools which are recognised as references in member states. More recently, its important contribution to the think tanks on Internet governance placed it at the global forefront of the actors of that developing sector.

The Council of Europe has established close synergies and co-operation with other organisations acting in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of the media as well as in the field of new information technologies (OSCE, UNESCO, UN, EU) constantly striving to avoid overlap.

Moreover, the CDMC enjoys regular information flows and exchanges with a wide professional network (journalists, academics, researchers and representatives of industry) that feed its relevant and accurate standard-setting activity in its field of expertise.

Financial information:

Annual costs (estimated on the basis of the 2009 budget): €118 700 (without taking into account billed services such as interpretation, translation, document production)
2 annual plenary meetings (4 days – 48 participants representing member states)
2 to 3 annual Bureau meetings (7 members – 2 days) 
CDMC participation in other committees.

Terms of reference of the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

1.

Name of Committee:

Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

2.

Type of Committee:

Steering Committee

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

-

Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and their working methods;

-

the Warsaw Declaration and the Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), in particular chapter I.3;

-

the guidelines given at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for media and new communication services.

 

In the framework of the programme I.3.5 of the Action Plan “Media, information society and data protection”, the Committee will:

i.

pursue pan-European co-operation in the field of the media and new communication services with a view to protecting, promoting and facilitating the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of expression and information in a pluralistic democratic society and the free flow of information and ideas across frontiers, and with a view to fostering a plurality of independent means of public communication which reflect a wide diversity of opinions and cultures and promoting intercultural dialogue. This will be done having due regard to the duties and responsibilities carried by the exercise of the above-mentioned freedoms;

to this effect, work out, in a pan-European perspective, concerted policy measures and appropriate instruments, particularly in respect of the media in times of crisis, media pluralism and cultural diversity, social cohesion, digital inclusion and media literacy, as well as public service media, addressing issues raised notably by the functioning of means of public communication in the information society and their impact on human rights and democratic values;

in this connection, take account of technological, legal, political and economic changes which concern means of public communication, their operation and governance, in particular in the context of globalisation and the evolution of communication services in the information society;

ii.

monitor the implementation by member states of non-binding instruments prepared under its authority with a view, where necessary, to identifying and proposing further action;

iii.

follow-up, in its area of competence, the monitoring procedure of the Committee of Ministers concerning freedom of expression and information, on the basis of the relevant decisions of the Committee of Ministers;

iv.

prepare the European Ministerial Conferences on the Media and New Communication Services and ensure their follow-up on the basis of the relevant decisions of the Committee of Ministers;

v.

develop co-operation and exchanges with other countries and organisations, in particular in neighbouring regions of Europe, on questions falling within its area of competence;

vi.

having regard to the Secretary General's co-ordinating role, co-operate with other steering committees, ad hoc committees and any other structures set up within the framework of the Council of Europe dealing with issues of relevance to its work programme;

vii

report to the Committee of Ministers on its conclusions and proposals in accordance with Resolution Res(2005)47 and in this context draw the Committee’s attention to situations in its area of competence which may give rise to concern.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A.

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to designate a representative of the highest possible rank who is an expert in areas covered by these terms of reference; the representatives should be in a position to liaise with other relevant departments or agencies with a view to establishing the position to be adopted by that member state on issues dealt with by the CDMC.

 

The Council of Europe's budget bears travelling and subsistence expenses for one expert per member state (two in the case of the state whose representative has been elected to the chair).

5.B.

Participants

 

The following bodies and committees of the Council of Europe entities may each send representatives to meetings of the CDMC, without the right to vote and at the expense of their administrative budgets:

- the Parliamentary Assembly;
- the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;
- the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe;
- the European Audiovisual Observatory.

5.C.

Other participants

i.

The European Commission may send representatives to meetings of the CDMC, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The following states with observer status with the Council of Europe may send representatives to meetings of the CDMC, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Canada;
- Holy See;
- Japan;
- Mexico;
- United States of America.

iii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the CDMC, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM);
- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

5.D.

Observers

 

The following non-member states and non-governmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Belarus;

- Article 19;
- Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT);
- Association of European Journalists (AEJ);
- European Internet Service Providers’ Association (Euro-ISPA);
- European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA);
- European Federation of Journalists (EFJ);
- European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

6.

Working methods and structures:

Subject to the provisions of Resolution Res(2005)47 and within the framework of its terms of reference, the CDMC shall have the possibility to establish committees of experts, ad hoc advisory groups, etc. of limited membership and duration for the consideration of specific issues. It will also have the possibility to have whatever contacts with professional or other bodies that it deems necessary for the implementation of its terms of reference.

 

The Bureau of the CDMC will comprise 7 members.

 

Within the limits of available budgetary appropriations, the CDMC shall have recourse to consultants and/or scientific experts and organisation of hearings, (other working methods and structures if necessary).

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2011.



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