Strasbourg: the beginning of …?

As today the first meeting of New media experts committee starts in the Council of Europe. According to the decisions by 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers Responsible for Media and New Communication Services, the mandate for the expert group is provided for two  yers period.

The Committe is instructed to work in three areas: a) examine, whereas the understanding of what are media remains valid in the new environment; b) explore the challenges to individual’s rights to freedom of expression and information, privacy and other fundamental rights, as well as to their dignity and security on the Internet, develop appropriate guidance, benchmarks and tools to protect users’ rights.

From my personal viewpoint, the solution of the underlying problem is rather simple. At first we have to agree on the principles we should use for the media in general. The factual implementation and regulatory decisions we make is only the technical step afterwards keeping in line with those general principles and technologies neutrality as the main guiding line.

The first impressions from the first round table are rather different. From one side we have a lot of experts and private participants with valuable views. On the other side it is rather too general and as now it is unclear, how should we proceed these two years onwards.