Media – General
At their 1187th meeting (11-12 December 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1187/5.2), the Deputies took note of the texts adopted by the Ministerial Conference. They 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. The Deputies 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 (CDMSI, CDDH, T-PD, CDCJ, CDPC, T-CY, CODEXTER, CDPPE, CAHDI) for information and action as appropriate within their respective fields of competence.
The Deputies instructed, in particular, the CDMSI: 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; 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; to 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; to 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; to 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.
The Deputies 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.
The Deputies decided to transmit the texts adopted by the Ministerial Conference to the Parliamentary Assembly and the Commissioner for Human Rights for information. They 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.
Finally, the Deputies 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) (CM(2013)162).
At their 1183rd meeting (6 November 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1183/5.1), the Deputies noted that the first meeting of CAHDATA would take place on 12 to 14 November 2013.
At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/5.2), the Deputies welcomed the wide range of measures taken by the Secretary General for improved collection and sharing of information and enhanced co-ordination between the secretariats of the different Council of Europe bodies and institutions to promote respect of Article 10 of the ECHR. They agreed that this work is to be given continued priority, in particular in relation to the rights of Internet users and Internet freedom and governance, protection of journalism and safety of journalists and combating hate speech. In this context, the Deputies agreed on the usefulness of addressing an open invitation to interested media freedom organisations to report serious violations of media freedom to the relevant Council of Europe bodies via the Secretariat; also agreed to reflect on the modalities for the creation of an Internet based platform aimed at facilitating the compilation, processing and dissemination of the information collected to the above-mentioned bodies and to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
The Deputies agreed to hold their next thematic debate on issues relating to media freedom in Europe in December 2013, in the context of their consideration of the text(s) which will be adopted at the forthcoming 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society (7-8 November 2013, Belgrade), including in the light of information collected within the framework of the above-mentioned open invitation.
The Deputies then agreed to transmit the Secretary General’s report to the Parliamentary Assembly, to the Commissioner for Human Rights and to the CDMSI for information and possible comments and invited the Secretary General to report on further action taken to implement the Committee of Ministers’ Declaration of 13 January 2010 on measures to promote the respect of Article 10 of the ECHR within three years.
At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/5.1), the Deputies adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2013)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on gender equality and media. They took note of work carried out by the Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108) (T-PD) regarding the modernisation of the Convention and, with a view to pursuing this work, approved the terms of reference of the Ad hoc Committee on Data Protection (CAHDATA). The Deputies welcomed the increasing number of Parties to the Convention and the growing interest in this treaty by non-member States, while encouraging the T-PD and the Secretariat to pursue the promotion of the Convention to facilitate responses to global challenges to data protection. They then took note of the abridged report of the 3rd meeting of the CDMSI (CM(2013)72) as a whole.
At their 1173rd meeting (11-12 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1173/5.1), the Deputies adopted the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Risks to Fundamental Rights stemming from Digital Tracking and other Surveillance Technologies.
At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/5.1a), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 2nd meeting of the CDMSI (CM(2012)163).
Also at their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/5.1b), the Deputies requested the CDPC and the CDCJ to give an opinion as soon as possible on the draft Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Risks to Fundamental Rights stemming from Digital Tracking and other Surveillance Technologies (CM(2012)157).
Replies to Recommendations
At their 1165th meeting (13 March 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1165/5.1), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1998 (2012) on “The protection of freedom of expression and information on the Internet and online media”.
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
At their 1187th meeting (11-12 December 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1187/5.1), the Deputies decided to invite Morocco to accede to the European Audiovisual Observatory.