The Lisbon Declaration on Digital Rights is the “kick-start” for a future Charter on Digital Rights and seeks to affirm Europe as a “space of confidence, trust and balance between economic and technological development and ethical principles,” said the Portuguese Secretary of State for the Digital Transition, André de Aragão Azevedo.
The document, which is presented today, aims to strengthen the human dimension in the digital eco-system, as stressed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a message sent to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU. “I thank the Portuguese Presidency for having made a fair and inclusive transition a priority. Today it contributes to the debate with the Lisbon Declaration, appealing to the EU governments to commit to a digital transition that seeks to strengthen the human dimension.”
The “Lisbon Declaration – Digital Democracy with a Purpose”, which was approved by the 27 Member States, (the annexed “Framework for Fundamental Digital Rights” was only approved by 17 MS) affirms commitment to respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms in the areas of the new technologies, data, product and digital service flows and use of personal data, in the context of a digital transition that could, the declaration acknowledges, aggravate existing inequalities.
Pointing out that Portugal had already approved (last April) the first Charter of Digital Rights, which has since been signed into law by the Portugal’s President, the Secretary of State for the Digital Transition emphasised that the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU wants “the Portuguese and European agendas aligned on this joint commitment to the ethical dimension in the digital era”.
In the words of André de Aragão Azevedo, the declaration provides “the European economic model” and furthers “trust-based partnerships with other countries and continents that share European principles and values”.