1187th meeting – 11-12 December 2013

Item 5.2

Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society
(Belgrade, 7-8 November 2013) – Report of the Secretary General



The Deputies

1. took note of the texts adopted by the Ministerial Conference;

2. agreed to pursue as a matter of priority efforts to uphold and promote the respect of Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and, as regards the latter article, to promote media freedom – whether print, broadcast or online – as well as the implementation of existing Council of Europe standards at national level;

3. supported the implementation of the actions mentioned in the texts adopted by the Ministerial Conference and decided to transmit them to the relevant steering and other committees (Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (T-PD), European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY), Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER), Steering Committee for Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE), Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI)) for information and action as appropriate within their respective fields of competence;

4. instructed, in particular, the CDMSI:

    (i) to develop, in a multi-stakeholder approach, the notion of “Internet freedom” on the basis of standards adopted by the Committee of Ministers on Internet governance principles, network neutrality and the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet;

    (ii) to examine closely, in the light of the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, the question of gathering and processing of electronic communications data on individuals by security agencies, with a view, as appropriate, to making proposals for further action. This work will be carried out in consultation with other relevant Council of Europe intergovernmental and convention committees and other international organisations, in accordance with the term of reference of the CDMSI;

    (iii) examine the state of media concentration, transparency of media ownership and regulation and their impact on media pluralism and diversity, and consider the need for drawing up or updating related Council of Europe standards;

    (iv) propose measures to preserve and strengthen the media’s watchdog function by creating a favourable legal environment for vigorous investigative journalism and critical scrutiny of all matters of public interest;

    (v) consider, in the light of Council of Europe standards on media pluralism and diversity of content, questions relating to digital convergence, connected television and other new arrangements for the delivery of essential media content or information and, in this context, examine the role of public service media and community media services;

5. invited the Secretary General to make arrangements or proposals for intensifying actions to implement Council of Europe freedom of expression standards and best practices through co-operation, technical assistance programmes and activities, and invited the European Union to continue to support this action both for offline and online environments;

6. decided to transmit the texts adopted by the Ministerial Conference to the Parliamentary Assembly and the Commissioner for Human Rights for information;

7. agreed to consider separately the follow-up to be given to Resolution No. 3 on Safety of Journalists adopted by the Ministerial Conference in the framework of their thematic debate on that subject;

8. in the light of decisions 1 to 7 above, took note of the Secretary General’s report on the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society (Belgrade, 7-8 November 2013), as it appears in document CM(2013)162, as a whole.



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