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Internet governance and human rights

Recommendation 2144 (2019)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 23 January 2019 (6th Sitting) (see Doc. 14789, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Andres Herkel). Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 January 2019 (6th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly, recalling its Resolution 2256 (2019) on internet governance and human rights, highly values the work of the Council of Europe in the domain of the information society and underlines the key role of the Organisation in advocating stronger recognition of the human rights of internet users and their effective protection on the web, as well as its contribution to enhanced decision-making processes for internet governance issues. The numerous and well-thought-out texts adopted by the Committee of Ministers in this field clearly show the crucial importance of these issues.
2. Internet governance must continue to be given high priority, as decisions in this area have a direct impact on the lives of all Europeans and on the future of our societies, including the stability of their democratic foundations and socio-economic development.
3. In this respect, the Assembly considers that additional efforts should be made to promote improved internet governance and help Council of Europe member States to act together to take up the challenges they have to face in this domain.
4. Internet governance requires clearer procedures, based on transparency and accountability. These procedures should be laid down by the community of States in consultation with other stakeholders, in accordance with a multi-stakeholder approach. At European level, the Council of Europe and the European Union should act together to this end.
5. A first step in this direction could be to strengthen the political impact of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), so that it can play a more significant role in setting the agenda and structuring the debate on internet governance across the European continent. The Council of Europe should take a more proactive stance towards those European countries which do not have a national initiative, by encouraging such initiatives and ensuring their inclusiveness. The active commitment and support of the Council of Europe are highly important to guaranteeing a minimum level of participation from all regions of Europe in the EuroDIG.
6. The Assembly is concerned about the insufficient security of network and information systems. In this respect, it commends the approach which is promoted by the European Union in Directive (EU) 2016/1148 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the European Union, namely improved cybersecurity capabilities at national level; increased European Union-level co-operation; and risk management and incident reporting obligations for operators of essential services and digital service providers. The Assembly considers that this approach should be encouraged in all Council of Europe member States and, if possible, the expertise acquired by the European Union and its members should be shared within the wider European framework and beyond.
7. Therefore, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
7.1 entrust the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) to monitor the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Committee of Ministers in the field of internet governance, making good use of multi-stakeholder dialogue and the results of internet governance forums such as the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), EuroDIG and other regional and national initiatives;
7.2 launch a study on how to strengthen the existing forms of co-operation in the field of prevention of cyberattacks and on the expediency of creating a specific mechanism for monitoring, crisis management and post-crisis analysis by sharing resources that already exist in various countries, for example based on the model of the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement.