Better exchange new laws information society

By EDRi · March 24, 2004

On 22 March, the European Union has signed the Council of Europe’s
Convention on information and legal co-operation concerning ‘Information
Society Services’, without reservation as to ratification.

The aim of this Convention, which was prepared in close co-operation
between the Council of Europe and the European Commission, is to improve
the exchange of information between all 45 countries in Europe about
pending new legislation for the information society. The Council of Europe
will act as a clearing-house for draft legislation and provide a
harmonised approach to the regulation of on-line services at the
pan-European level. Member states of the European Union were already
familiar with this obligation, under the ‘Transparency’ directive
(98/48/EC), that allows the Commission to assess draft national
legislation affecting the information society as to its compatibility with
Community law. The evaluation of this directive in February 2003, was
highly positive, like the evaluation of it’s mother-directive, nor
98/34/EC, that requires member states to give prior notification about any
technical regulation on products. Between 1999 and 2001, the Commission
received 1800 of these notifications, all published on a special
Commission website aimed at enterprises.

Article 4 of the Convention says: “Each Party shall transmit, where
practicable by electronic means, to the Secretary General of the Council
of Europe the texts of draft domestic regulations which are aimed
specifically at ‘Information Society Services’ and which are at a stage of
preparation in which it is still possible for them to be substantially
amended, as well as a short summary of these texts in English or French.
The Parties shall communicate the draft again under the above conditions
if they make changes to the draft that have the effect of significantly
altering its scope, shortening the timetable originally envisaged for
implementation, adding specifications or requirements, or making the
latter more restrictive.”

Council of Europe Convention on information exchange (22.03.2004)

Commission evaluation report ‘transparency’ directive, COM(2003)69 (13.02.2003)

Commission website with notified drafts