The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has been appointed an official Partner of the Council of Europe (COE) to help shape European policy on digital information and disinformation.

The induction – which took place at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg – will ensure the views of PR agencies are represented at the highest levels of European government.

Representatives from ICCO will attend quarterly meetings – alongside platforms including Google and Facebook, technology developers, as well as other industry associations- to support the Council’s efforts to promote respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the internet.

The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation, responsible for upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union.

ICCO Deputy CEO, Rob Morbin said:

“The Council of Europe’s decision to induct ICCO is a powerful endorsement of the strategic value of public relations. ICCO’s partnership with the Council is testament to the growing respect businesses and Institutions hold for PR and communications.

I’m proud that ICCO will play a prominent role in shaping the Council’s policy on digital information. Our members are responsible for the way in which information is communicated with the public; whether via social media, through the press, or directly from brand platforms. We are committed to implementing the necessary frameworks to ensure new technologies are used ethically.”

ICCO and COE representatives exchanged letters at the ceremony before attending a meeting on the Council’s workplan for digital activity in 2020. The discussion focused on four themes: Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, Hate Speech, and Digital Literacy. ICCO will provide updates and consultation opportunities for its members going forward.

Patrick Penninckx, Head of Information Policy, Council of Europe said:

““We are pleased to welcome ICCO as a new partner to the Council of Europe, the expertise offered by their membership will prove valuable as we seek to create standards around new technologies, how they are used by business, and their impact on the public”

About ICCO
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises associations representing 66 countries across the globe: from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms.

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