Declaration by the Council of Europe on Freedom of Expression and Information

of 29 April 1982 - [Council of Europe, Press Relaeses C (82) of 29 April 1982]

The operative part of the Declaration by the Committee of Ministers states the following:

The member states of the Council of Europe

I. Reiterate their firm attachement to the principles of freedom of expression and information as a basic and pluralist society;

II. Declare that in the field of information and mass media they seek to achieve the following objectives:
 a)  protection of the right of everyone, regardless of frontiers, to express himself, to seek and receive information and ideas, whatever their source, as well as to impart them under the conditions  set out in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
 b) Absence of censorship or any arbitrary controls or  constraints on participants in the information process, on media content or on the transmission and dissemation of information;
 c) the pursuit of an open information policy in the public sector, including acces to information in order to enhance the individual's understanding of, and his ability to discuss freely political, social, economic and cultural matters;
 d) the existence of a wide variety of independent and autonomous media, permitting the reflection of diversity of ideas and opinions;
 e) the availability and acces on reasonable terms to adequate facilities for the domestic and international transmission and dissemation of information and ideas;
 f) the promotion of international co-operation and assistance, through public and private channels, with a view to fostering the free flow of information and improving communication infrastructures and expertise;

III. Resolve to intensify their co-operation  in order:
 a) to defend the right of everyone to the exercise of the freedom of expression and information;
 b)  to promote, through teaching and education, the effective exercise of the freedom of expression and information;
 c) to promote the free flow of information, thus contributing to international understanding, a better knowledge of convictions and traditions, respect for the diversity of opinions and the mutual enrichment of cultures;
 d) to share their experience and knowledge in the media field;
 e) to ensure that new information and comunication techniques and services, where available, are effectively used to broaden the scope of freedom of expression and information.