The Commission has recently approved the first report on Community measures affecting tourism (COM(94) 74 final). The report, drawn up in accordance with Council Decision 92/421/EEC, provides an overview of a large range of measures carried out up to December 1993 as part of various European Union policies, programmes and measures that have an impact on tourism. These include the impact of research and development policy on tourism. The context and main objectives of the Commission's work in each of the areas are outlined in order to highlight the thinking behind them and the expected impact on tourism. Details are also given of the EU resources that have been and will be allocated to them. The EU has already set out the broad framework for improving access to information by using and improving communications technologies and strengthening the orientation of the European information market. Tourism is well represented in this framework. Tourism-related projects use this field in order to develop already existing technology or promote the research stage of potentially commercial applications, in particular as regards providing information to the tourist through the use of new technological means. The report examines this general framework in relation to the following areas: - Research and development: The aim here is to improve the development of telecommunications technology in Europe through scientific research, including programmes promoting new technological applications for specific projects in a pre-competition, pre-commercial stage. - Establishment of an internal information market: This covers EU programmes and actions which are commercially oriented and use already existing technology at national or EU level to develop the European information market by means of overcoming barriers and stimulating European initiatives. - Initiatives linked to regional development: These are EU initiatives implemented through the Structural Funds, promoting already existing technology and adapted to the needs of the EU regions. The implementation of such initiatives comes under the responsibility of the Member State concerned. - The Community Action Plan to assist tourism: The aim is to provide a long-term common approach to European tourism and improve the quality and competitiveness of the European tourism product. The plan specifies support for transnational initiatives which contribute to the improvement of tourist information, in particular those using new technology, for the purpose of best providing updated information to the tourist. The report was examined at the next informal meeting of the Council of Ministers responsible for tourism, which took place in Athens on 15 April. A report on this meeting will be available in June.