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Indicators for media in a democracy

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 12068 | 13 October 2009

Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 1067th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (9 October 2009) 2009 - November Standing Committee
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 1848 (2008)
1. The Committee of Ministers has taken note of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1848 (2008) on “Indicators for media in a democracy” and Resolution 1636 (2008) on the same subject, and agreed to bring the recommendation to the attention of the governments of the member states.
2. In line with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers has on numerous occasions stressed the fundamental importance of freedom of the media in a democratic society, in particular for informing the public and for the free formation and expression of opinions and ideas. In the Third Summit Action Plan, the Heads of State and Government of Council of Europe member states also reiterated their “commitment to guarantee and promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media as a core element of our democracies”.
3. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly’s identification of a set of principles that can serve as indicators for assessing the situation of the media in the member states. It believes that if these principles are interpreted in line with the relevant Council of Europe instruments in the media field and, in particular, in the light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the bodies and individuals working in the media sector could usefully refer to them for the purpose of analysing the situation of the media.
4. The Committee of Ministers has always paid very close attention to the situation in member states regarding respect for freedom of expression and information. In future, the Committee of Ministers could, where necessary, also refer to the basic principles identified by the Parliamentary Assembly.
5. The Committee of Ministers has asked its Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) to take account of Recommendation 1848 (2008) and Resolution 1636 (2008) in its future work.