On 8 July 2021, the Council of Europe published a draft recommendation dealing with the future of media and communication policy. The draft was developed by the Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform (MSI-REF), to which the EMR’s Director for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Mark D. Cole, was appointed in February last year. Together with Prof. Dr. Manuel Puppis, professor at the University of Zurich, Cole was also responsible as co-rapporteur for the now published draft of the “Recommendation on principles for media and communication governance“, which sets out guidelines on the regulatory and policy requirements that Member States should take into account in the context of freedom of expression and information, taking into account the needs of users in the context of prioritising content of public interest on relevant social networks, search platforms and other news aggregators.
The recommendation thereby establishes basic principles for future media and communications regulation. Transparency and accountability, openness and inclusion, independence and impartiality, evidence-based and impact-oriented decision-making, as well as agility and flexibility play a central role.
With the publication of the draft, the Council of Europe has launched a public consultation, which will run until 10 August 2021 and invites comments. The MSI-Ref will then review all comments received and finalise the draft before it is considered by the Steering Committee and submitted to the Committee of Ministers for possible adoption.