ORDER No. 531 (1997) 1 on the impact of the new communication and information technologies on democracy

1. Having regard to the recommendations made to national parliaments in Resolution 1120 (1997) and the need to harmonise European and national policies, the Assembly considers it necessary to help to establish common rules that are flexible enough to permit the development of the new communication and information technologies (NCITs) as well as sufficiently strict to foster their democratic use, it being understood that this effort will draw on existing national legislation and, where necessary, the work of the European Union.

2. The Assembly invites the committees concerned to monitor the development of the NCITs with a view to organising discussions thereon proposing any measures deemed necessary.

3. The competent committees may now take steps to:

i. draw up a European code of electronic commerce;

ii. distinguish between the law on information and the law on the means of conveying it.


1. Assembly debate on 22 April 1997 (11th Sitting) (see Doc. 7772, report of the Committee on Parliamentary and Public Relations, rapporteur: Mr Masseret; and Doc. 7805, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Rodeghiero).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 April 1997 (11th Sitting).