The European Commission's contribution to the eEurope Action plan has placed emphasis on a cheaper, faster more secure Internet, investing in skills and access and stimulating the Internet's use. These three pillars form the basis of the plan to see a more connected Europe by 2002. Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner responsible for the Information Society, said of the plan: 'The key aim of eEurope 2002 is to ensure that Europe benefits fully from the economic and social advantages which the Internet and related technologies can bring. Other regions of the world are already experiencing Internet-led growth. The Commission's proposals should ensure that, by 2002, Europe will be at the forefront of this wave.' The Commission wants to see not just benchmarking for the progress made, but also a breaking down of the barriers between Member States. The role of the Internet in education, research and development, government and trade should be improved, while the Internet has to become more widely available at a lower price and more versatile in a secure manner. The Commission's contribution is a follow up to the eEurope initiative which was initially launched at the end of 1999, with its importance being ratified in March this year by the European heads of state at the Lisbon European Council. The next event at which the progress of eEurope is discussed will be the meeting of the European leaders at the Feira summit on 19 and 20 of June.