The European Commission, DG XIII, has recently published a series of sectoral reports on the "needs and options for future research in the field of telematics" in the context of the proposed Fifth RTD Framework Programme. Within the proposed Fifth Framework Programme, the fields covered by the existing Telematics Applications programme (1994-1998) will be addressed within the new "Creating a User-friendly Information Society" programme. The Commission intends the Fifth Framework Programme as a whole to be much more focused on addressing the needs of European citizens and society. Existing work carried out within the Telematics Applications programme is already focused on developing applications for new technologies to meet societal needs, and this is likely to form a major part of the new programme. Independent experts have prepared reports for the Commission on possible directions for research activities in key sectors of the telematics field. These reports give recommendations on possible research action lines, and on their implementation. In addition, they highlight key technologies to be addressed, and outline some possible objectives and benefits of the proposed research actions. The reports published so far address the following areas: - Public administration and government; - Transport; - The integration and independence of disabled and older people; - Environment telematics research; - Knowledge and skills acquisition in the education and training sector; - Healthcare.