Patrick Penninckx has spent the last 30 years at the Council of Europe, focusing on transformation processes in the organisation, developing partnerships with other international organisations and national partners.

Currently heading the Information Society Department under the Directorate General Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Patrick coordinates standard-setting and co-operation activities in the fields of media, internet governance, data protection and cybercrime. He is also responsible for projects related to public-private partnerships and cooperation with business partners.

He is a confirmed keynote speaker in international conferences and colloquia organised by governments, parliaments, international organisations (OSCE, United Nations, UNESCO) and regional organisations throughout the world (OAS - Organization of American States, Organisation Internationale de la francophonie), civil society, the academic world, independent authorities, press councils, representative organisations of journalists and business. He acquired broad experience in the law-making field, in the development of hard and soft law at pan-European level on issues such as the protection of journalists, the role of internet intermediaries, development of public service media, promotion of quality journalism and other areas as well.

P. Penninckx led the Information Society Department in a large number of studies on most contemporary topics, such as filtering and blocking of illicit content on the internet, self-censorship of media and journalists and chilling factors to freedom of expression, disinformation, the role of the media in times of crisis, quality journalism and investigative journalism, as well as media literacy. His professional focus encompasses areas such as freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, sound internet governance, international standards in data protection, action against cybercrime and the impact of AI on human rights.

Following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the Information Society Department focused its work on journalism in times of war and conflict. P. Penninckx launched actions in support of war Reporters, Ukrainian journalists and public service media.

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videos - interviews & speeches

"Why quality journalism matters?"

Patrick Penninckx on the international conference in Ljubljana

Media pluralism in the digital environment

Video message (24 May 2019)

"Governing the Game Changer"

Conference in Helsinki on 26-27 February 2019

What are the current threats and challenges for media freedom and journalism?

Patrick Penninckx explains the work carried out by the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society.

Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

Webinar organised by The European Law Students' Association

Media Freedom Conference organised in Gdansk, Poland

Interview with Patrick Penninckx

Online violence against women increasingly targets female journalists

Media and information freedom

Council of Europe at ICCO Global Summit 2020