1063rd meeting – 8-9 July 2009

Appendix 11
(Item 5.1d)

Terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)

Compliance with
Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

Project 2008/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 Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), notably Chapter I.3. “Strengthening democracy, good governance and the rule of law in member states”.

2. The Statute of the Council of Europe (1949, ETS No. 1) – Contribution to core values: protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and democratic pluralist system.

Political framework:

The Resolution “Towards a new notion of media” and the corresponding Action Plan adopted at the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers in charge of the Media and New Communication Services (Reykjavik, 28-29 May 2009).

Project added value:

Through the work of the MC-NM, a body reporting to the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC), the Council of Europe will draft the first policy document reviewing the notion of media to include relevant new media and media-like mass communication services and service providers.

The Council of Europe will be the best placed organisation to examine how Council of Europe standards that were developed having traditional forms of mass communication in mind apply to new media-like services or service providers with the aim of protecting fundamental rights.

The mandate of the Committee builds on work carried out by the CDMC and its subordinate bodies on standard-setting in the field of media and new communication services.

Financial information:

The MC-NM will be composed of 15 members whose costs related to participation in meetings of the Committee will be reimbursed by the Council of Europe. The full Committee will meet twice a year and an additional working meeting for up to 8 members will be organised once a year.

The cost per year of the MC-NM will be approximately €51 350 = €38 600 (travel and subsistence for members participating in meetings) + €9 750 (interpretation) + €2 000 (translation) + €1 000 (production of documents).

Terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)

2.

Type of Committee:

Committee of Experts

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

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

the Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005; CM(2005)80 final, 17 May 2005), in particular Chapter I.3. “Strengthening democracy, good governance and the rule of law in member states”;

Resolution “Towards a new notion of media” and the corresponding Action Plan adopted at the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services (Reykjavik, 28-29 May 2009);

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5), its additional protocols and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

 

Under the authority of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) and in relation to the implementation of Project 2008/DGHL/1415 “Standard-setting and policy assistance on topical issues concerning the media and new communication services”, the Committee is instructed to:

i.

examine whether the understanding of what are media and mass communication services remains valid in the new information and communications environment. If appropriate, elaborate a policy document reviewing the concept itself to include relevant new media and media-like mass communication services and service providers. Explore whether and, if so, how Council of Europe standards that were developed for traditional forms of mass communication, apply to the new services or service providers. Particular regard should be paid to the need for and the modalities (e.g. self-regulation, co-regulation or regulation) of regulatory activities required to ensure respect for Council of Europe values in the framework of new media and media-like mass communication services;

ii.

explore the challenges to individuals’ (in particular, children and young people) rights to freedom of expression and information, privacy and other fundamental rights, as well as to their dignity and security on the Internet. Address in particular, the following issues: possibilities of removal of content children create or place on the Internet, the effect of newer or emerging modes of mass dissemination of, and access to, content, and the associated retention, processing and exploitation of data have on the rights protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

in consultation with relevant stakeholders, develop appropriate guidance, benchmarks and tools to protect users’ rights.

iii.

examine the draft texts prepared by the Ad hoc Advisory Groups reporting to the CDMC with a view to giving an opinion on them, if deemed appropriate, before submitting them to the CDMC.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

 

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives and/or independent experts in new media and information society, in particular, on rights and responsibilities of new communication services and regulation in new communication environments. As regards meetings of the Committee, the Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of the 15 members appointed by the following member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Russian Federation, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Representatives and/or independent experts appointed by other member states may participate in the meetings of the Committee at the expense of these states.

Each member state participating in the meetings of the Committee has the right to vote. If a government designates more than one member, only one of them is entitled to take part in the voting.

5.B

Participants

 

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the body that they represent.

5.C

Other participants

 

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

5.D.

Observers

 

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

- Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT);
- European Broadcasting Union (EBU);
- European Federation of Journalists (EFJ);
- European Internet Co-Regulatory Network;
- European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA).

6.

Working methods and structures:

 

In order to carry out its tasks, the Committee may, where necessary, within the limits of available budgetary appropriations, seek advice of external experts, have recourse to consultants and consult with relevant non-governmental organisations and other members of civil society, as well as other pertinent bodies.

The MC-NM is entitled to invite other participants and/or observers to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses. The MC-NM will have to request the necessary authorisation from the CDMC for the admission of observers (other than those already identified in the terms of reference).

7.

Duration:

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2010.



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