Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/956/5.1 10 February 20061
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956 Meeting, 15 February 2006
5 Media


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

Reference document
CM/Del/Dec(2006)954/5.1a

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Action
Approve the terms of reference of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC), as they appear in the Appendix to these Notes.

1. The Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) held its 2nd meeting from 29 November to 2 December 2005 in Strasbourg. The abridged report of the meeting is contained in document CM(2005)195. The Deputies examined this report at their 953rd and 954th meetings (items 5.2 and 5.1, respectively). At their 954th meeting, they took a certain number of decisions. However, they decided to resume consideration of the draft terms of reference at their 956th meeting (15 February 2006), in the light of the views expressed and following further consultations.

2. The Chairman of the Deputies has consulted delegations having expressed reservations concerning the terms of reference and other interested delegations. These delegations have reached an agreement on the text contained in the Appendix to these Notes. The amendments proposed are indicated in bold/strikethrough.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISION

956th meeting – 15 February 2006

Item 5.1

Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) - Terms of reference (CM/Del/Dec(2006)954/5.1a)

Decision

The Deputies approved the terms of reference of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions. <see Appendix to these Notes>

Appendix

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

Specific terms of reference

1. Name of committee:
STEERING COMMITTEE ON THE 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 the Statute of the Council of Europe, the principles enshrined in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and to the objectives spelt out for the Council of Europe at the Summits of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation and taking account, in particular, of the orientations provided at the European Ministerial Conferences on the Media and New Communication Services, the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services shall, within the framework of the annual Programme of Activities (projects 2004/DG2/40, 2004/DG2/41 and 2004/DG2/33):

i. pursue pan-European cooperation 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. draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to cases involving violations of freedom of expression and information;

v. 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;

vi. v. develop cooperation and exchanges with other countries and organisations, in particular in neighbouring regions of Europe, on questions falling within its area of competence;

vii. vi. having regard to the Secretary General's coordinating role, cooperate 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. Membership of the committee:

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).

B. Participants

i. The Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may send two representatives to meetings of the CDMC, at the charge of their administrative budgets and without the right to vote.

ii. The Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe may send representatives to meetings of the CDMC without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

iii. The European Audiovisual Observatory may send a representative to meetings of the CDMC, at the charge of its administrative budget and without the right to vote.

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 observer states with the Council of Europe may send a representative 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)

D. Observers

The following observers with the CDMC may send representatives to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

Belarus

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

6. Working structures and methods:

    Subject to the provisions of Resolution Res(2005)47 and within the framework of its terms of reference, the CDMC shall have the possibility, as the case may be, 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 or consultations 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.

7. Duration

These terms of reference shall be valid until 31 December 2008.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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