Following an introduction from the Chair of the group, the working group session heard :

The perspective of the Council of Europe on the emerging challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.

Based on the work already undertaken we were informed of Recommendation 2102 (2017):

Technological convergence, artificial intelligence and human rights” which seeks to:

Examine impact of new technologies on Bioethics

Implement genuine world internet governance

Modernise the Data Protection Convention

Define the use of care robots in Disability Strategy

Develop regulations on AI-related liability

Enhance transparency on use of personal data by AI

Compile standards for using AI in courts

Ensure human control over AI systems

Provide the right to chose a human assistance

Refrain from profiling for targeted killings

A lengthy and detailed discussion of further areas to examine then took place, specifically on the impacts of face recognition, predictive justice and the application of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

Then following this

a “World Café methodology” was implemented to tease out the key issues faced by INGOs. This was a structured conversational process for sharing knowledge, in which groups of people discussed the emergence of the Digital Citizen.

The result was a list of areas that the Conference of INGOs should be concerned about. The Chair had been invited to address the INGO Conference Plenary with these outcomes and comment on the role of the Conference.


The Working Group propose the following recommendations:

The Council of Europe and the INGO conference should:

Defend an open Internet – access for all

Defend freedom of expression and at the same time promote the control of hatred and terrorism.

Encourage the application of existing norms, regulations and laws that are not implemented (e.g. articles 8 and 10 of the Human Rights Convention)

Require the application of laws that provide for the communication to the public of software codes used by states

Consider the development of a charter for users and related education

Protect digital diversity including all Artificial Intelligence

The Council of Europe should:

Establish and respond to resolutions, treaties, codes – develop world instruments

Produce publications for member states / NGOs of the lessons learned and how to protect citizens against negative aspects

Reward excellence in digital developments in human rights, democracy and rule of law

Explore how finances and global tax systems from GAFAM (leading technology companies) reinvested

Look to find ways to ensure the return of ‘our data’ from GAFAM

Prioritise ethical regulations

The INGO Conference should seek to:

Regularly raise and deal with digital issues in the Conference

Understand the impact on INGO Conference members

Engage with NGOs who are responding to digital issues like Techfugees

Re-think learning and education for the digital citizen

The role of the Conference of INGOs was considered to be to:

Explore relationship between activities of CoE and EU in digital sphere

Raise awareness of existing CoE actions to INGOs

Monitor and inform the Council of Europe of examples of excellence in digital citizenship and issues faced by citizens

Make recommendations for action

Establish a vision of the future we want for the digital citizen

What steps could the INGO Conference take in the future?
Develop a clear, integrated digital strategy

Build a connected digital INGO community

Establish credibility and legitimacy

Collect, tell, share our stories ….

Concerning digital issues, the INGO Conference should focus on:

The advantages we can take from the digital world

Realistic implementable answers

The impact on the user

Karl Donert, Vice President Education and Culture Committee INGO Conference, Chair of the Digital Citizen Working Group