Council adopts Recommendation on the protection of minors and human dignity

Subject: Council adopts Recommendation on the protection of minors and human dignity
From: Emanuella Giavarra (
Date: pe 29 touko  1998 - 15:17:35 EEST

(Announcement made by Nathalie Labourdette, European Commission, DGX
Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual media)

Dear All,

Notwithstanding the diversity of the services in question, the differing
national sensibilities concerning basic values and the differing
traditions with regard to regulation and self-regulation, the European
Union has succeeded in reaching a consensus and swiftly developing a
joint strategy :

The Recommendation on the protection of minors and human dignity in the
audiovisual and information services was approved by the European
Parliament by 513 votes to 1 on 14 May and was adopted yesterday (28
may) by the Council.

It is the first legal instrument concerning the content of on-line
audiovisual and information services made available on the Internet.

The Recommendation, which is a legal act under Article 189 of the
Treaty, aims to provide guidelines for national legislation. Its legal
basis is article 130 (development of the audiovisual and information
services industry). It covers all electronic media:

- television is asked to try out new digital methods of parental control
(such as personal codes, filtering software or control chips), although
the responsibility of broadcasters in this area is acknowledged;

- on-line Internet service providers are asked to develop codes of good
conduct so as to better apply and clarify current legislation. The
Recommendation fits in with current national and European regulations.
The Recommendation offers guidelines for the development of national
self-regulation regarding the protection of minors and human dignity.
Self-regulation is based on three key elements: first, the involvement
of all the interested parties (Government, industry, service and access
providers, user associations) in the production of codes of conduct;
secondly, the implementation of codes of conduct by the industry;
thirdly, the evaluation of measures taken. In practice, this means the
industry adopting codes of conduct which lay down the rules of the game.

The European Union, having given on-line services careful and measured
consideration, has quickly developed a coherent instrument for
audiovisual and information services which will help to ensure a high
level of protection for minors and human dignity on our continent.

The text of the recommendation is already available in 3 languages
(others languages will come soon):

Nathalie Labourdette

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