This manifesto was developed by the participants of three international seminars within the scope of CDN’s project “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity”.

We demand that states throughout Europe facilitate faster and more reliable Internet connectivity for everyone, especially those in the most remote areas.

The Internet should be accessible and affordable to all. Considering that we
pay for the Internet service we receive, governments should have the responsibility of providing free Internet points and public Wi-Fi for those who cannot afford to pay for private Internet service.

Most importantly, the Internet should be recognized as digital commons. That means a free, accessible, and open common ground for all citizens to communicate, share, and profit from available resources. Access to Internet should be ensured based on the principle of non-discrimination and it should be recognized as a public good.

Recognizing that equal access to information is a human right and that there is so much information online, as young people from Council of Europe member states, Belarus, and Kosovo, we urge the members of the Council of Europe to take immediate action to ensure equal access to the Internet for all the people in the member states.

We also urge the Council of Europe member states to enable women and
LGBTQI+ individuals to enjoy universal, acceptable, affordable, unconditional, open, meaningful, and equal access to Internet as an equal stakeholder group. Online harassment (violence published as pornographic content, attacks, threats, intimidation and policing) are oriented in large part towards women and LGBTQI+individuals. We call for all Internet stakeholders to recognize gender-based violence and online harassment and take immediate action to end it.

We are reclaiming data ownership for all people and see this process as of
public value. We welcome the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was implemented in the European Union in 2018 and we call for its gradual global adoption.

The expanded policy that we call for has to recognize that the data we create should not be held for private profit only, but should be used in public interest.

Unfair Retaliation against whistleblowers exposing illegal conduct or abuses of law in their workplace should be prohibited.

Both public and private bodies should be obliged to protect whistleblowers;
whistleblowers’ reports should promptly and thoroughly investigated and anonymous reporting should be enabled through international, regional, and national protection mechanisms.

We welcome European Commission’s Whistleblower Protection Proposal,
and call to the European countries to improve implementation of the relevant international instruments, such as the 1998 Declaration on the Human Rights Defenders and the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption.

We are against the forced and false dichotomy of privacy versus security. Governments shouldn’t use security as a smokescreen for personal data collection and there by circumvent the right to privacy.

We have to expose the race to collect data by the police and security services as not only ineffective in providing security but also as an unacceptable way of invading the privacy of citizens.

We demand a world where digital surveillance has no place.

We are against automatic upload filters in the form in which they are now
being imposed on the digital sphere. Internet policy questions are too complex to be solved with automated filtering tools.

Understanding the way that the digital sphere is becoming more automated,we encourage research and development investments in artificial intelligence algorithms that will be transparent, egalitarian, open, and will be founded on the values of human rights.

The judiciary process should always be in place before blocking content in
order to avoid the erosion of fundamental rights like freedom of expression.

Considering the proliferation of electronic devices, we encourage our governments to intensify their efforts in reusing the non-renewable resources required by the information economy.

Highlighting the position of media as part of the society, we believe that the
media, both online and offline, should be free, fair, and independent. Media should provide a comprehensive set of perspectives, ensure a critical approach, apply fact-checking, and be non-partisan. Serving as a public watchdog, media should bear in mind its duties and responsibilities in regards of respecting the ethical norms as well as rule of law and human rights. Recognizing the power of education, we call on the Council of Europe member states to provide a general digital and media
literacy education in schools, starting from primary school and in universities as well as conduct continuous initiatives to enhance the level of digital and media literacy among the general population.

Through artivism – activism done through arts – we have the opportunity to
advocate for a fair, inclusive and sustainable society using universal language that 6 transcends borders: art. We see artivism as a way of acting beyond the traditional paradigms of activism, one that can help us reach broader audiences in the digital era where social media algorithms make it increasingly more difficult to spread messages to diverse audiences. One of the pillars of artivism is that it is open for everyone to practice: artists, activists, or anyone who wants to become engaged in this change-making process.

Artivism is a powerful tool for making a positive social change on a global or local scale and furthermore, it can give voice or visibility to communities that are silenced in other spaces. Appreciation of art must not be a matter of privilege and practicing it should be accessible for everyone – especially in public spaces, as art is part of the commons as well.

Artivism calls for sharing stories and experiences, emotions and solidarity, and we should strive to enable more and more people to practice it, in order to mobilize them for the greater good.