The Forum on Information and Democracy is an independent international organization which will gather States, civil society, media and digital platforms to discuss through regulation and self-regulation solutions to ensure democratic safeguards in the digital era. It is part of the International Initiative on Information & Democracy led by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Alongside its partners from civil society and gathering different types of stakeholder (States, online service providers, media organization and civil society), RSF is leading the creation of a new entity: The International Forum on Information & Democracy..
This new organization will be run by civil society organisation in order to ensure its independence both from States and private entities. It will have the following mandate:
- Evaluatethe means, norms and architectures of the global space of information and communication
- Investigate platforms compliance with principles of the Partnership and its implementation.
- Formulate non-binding recommendations to States and Online Service Providers (i.e. digital platforms) to regulate this global space by norms or good practices.
- Facilitatethe emergence of self-regulatory solutions by and for the actors in this space
- Sustainljournalism with supportive solutions and forward-looking policy recommendations on viable business models in the information industry.
The Forum is a Paris-based non-profit organization created and governed by independent organizations from civil society and academia.
It received the support of the G7 leaders and has been welcomed by a coalition of 30 States through the signature of the International Partnership on Information & Democracy during the UN General Assembly (September 26th, 2019).
It is tasked to implement the principles from this intergovernmental agreement.
Recommendations are prepared by the Working Groups with the support of the Secretariat prior to validation by the Steering Committee. Then, recommendations of the Forum can be issued to different groups of stakeholders.
- States joining the Partnership on Information and Democracy will receive recommendations to better regulate the global space of information and communication.
- Online Service Providerswill receive recommendations on ways to implement regulations or to initiate auto-regulations based on the Partnership’s principles.
- Media organizationswill be informed of all policy recommendations (regulation/autoregulation) issued by the forum to comment on them, as well as provide with their outlook on the implementation plans responding to such recommendations.
- Other non-governmental organizations and civil society at large will participate in the process of the Forum, in particular to comment the recommendations and their implementations by relevant stakeholders.
All stakeholders will be gathered in an annual plenary meeting. This meeting is meant to release the annual policy report of the Forum with its main recommendations and to announce measures adopted by the States or the Online Service Providers based on recommendations of the Forum.
Composed of international experts, the different WORKING GROUPS of the Forum will provide:
- Principles and safeguards for policy recommendations addressed to public policy-makers.
- Self-regulatory standards and best practices addressed to the private sector (platforms and media outlets).
- Facilitation and promotion of projects and solutions related to the Forum’s recommendation.
- The annual policy report of the Forum, which will monitor:
- The means, norms and architecture of the global space of information and communication;
- The compliance of platforms with the principles of the Partnership;
• Inauguration of the Forum on Information & Democracy - 12th November 2019
• Gather the stakeholders which will take part in the activities of the Forum.
• Define the work plan with the participation of the International Commission on Information & Democracy
• Create the first working groups with international experts from various fields. Their work will be facilitated by the permanent secretariat of the Forum.
• Organize the first annual plenary by the end of 2020 to gather all the stakeholders for a review of recommendations and commitments.