The media regulatory body should act in an impartial and transparent manner.
- The Assembly therefore calls for greater commitment to safeguard journalists’ security and freedom and to uphold media pluralism and independence. It recommends that the Council of Europe member States: (…) 7.5. ensure transparency of the operation of regulatory bodies; the provisions for their appointment, mandate and powers must secure their independence from any influence, especially from governments.
- The independence of the [media regulatory] authorities and bodies referred to in the previous paragraph should be guaranteed by ensuring that they have open and transparent appointment and dismissal procedures; have adequate human and financial resources and autonomous budget allocation; function according to transparent procedures and decision making; are open to communication with the public; have the power to take autonomous, proportionate decisions and enforce them effectively and that their decisions are subject to appeal.
- Any State body which has regulatory or other competence over Internet matters carries out its activities free from political or commercial interference, in a transparent manner and protects and promotes Internet freedom.
- Accordingly, the Assembly calls on member States to review, where necessary, their regulatory frameworks governing media coverage of election campaigns, in order to bring them into line with Council of Europe standards, ensuring in particular that they: (...) 8.11. enhance the operational capacities of media regulators which must be independent of the political and economic powers; in this regard: 8.11.1. ensure that the composition of these bodies is politically neutral and based on media expertise and competence.
- Ensure that regulatory bodies for the media are independent, operate transparently and are accountable to the public, and respect the principle of limited scope of regulation, and provide appropriate oversight of private actors.
- The establishment of a neutral supervisory body to monitor and regulate the media and to deal with complaints about media behaviour during the campaign can be an important step in implementing the law and promoting free, equal, and fair access to broadcasting. Such a body might be a media monitoring unit within the election administration or a parliamentary commission, a multi-party board, a commission of selected persons or a selfregulatory body of the media.
- States should refrain from adopting models of regulation where government agencies, rather than judicial authorities, become the arbiters of lawful expression. They should avoid delegating responsibility to companies as adjudicators of content, which empowers corporate judgment over human rights values to the detriment of users.
- Oversight of any rules relating to the media and elections should be vested in an independent administrative body which should address any complaints promptly. The decisions of this body should be subject to judicial review.
- Whatever the model chosen, the supervisory body should act in an impartial, independent, transparent and consistent manner in order to fulfil its mandate and ensure compliance of the media to relevant regulations.
- Any administrative body which has the power to oversee rules relating to the media during election periods should be independent of the government and its decisions should be subject to timely judicial review.