Safer use of the Internet is being encouraged by the European Commission through ten projects financed under a four-year action plan costing 25 million euro. The funding will provide for measures to deal with illegal and harmful content on the Internet. A new call for proposals for awareness actions and hotlines is already underway. Projects in the pipeline cover three action lines of the action plan: a European network of hotlines allowing citizens to report illegal content on the Internet; rating and filtering mechanisms to aid parental control; and awareness measures making teachers, parents and children aware of the potential of the Internet. Two reports on parental control technologies were issued by the Commission on 15 June, concluding that further work is needed to improve these technologies. The reports cover the two main types of technologies currently available - content filtering based on self-labelling and on third party rating. A further call for proposals will be launched at the end of 2000, concentrating on close to market solutions in the area of third party rating. Commissioner for the Information Society Erkki Liikanen said the reports 'support the approach which the Commission has adopted to deal with the potentially harmful content on the Internet. 'The Commission supports the principle of user empowerment and user choice to help parents ensure that their children can use the Internet safely. 'The Commission will further support work being carried out in parallel under the recommendation on protection of minors and human dignity to enhance user empowerment and parental control in digital broadcasting.'