The European Commission is preparing to update its Information Society Action Plan, "Europe's way towards the Information Society", adopted on 19 July 1994. In the light of recent global developments, the Commission intends to update, reinforce and readjust actions already undertaken and to incorporate the Information Society dimension in policy areas which were not originally addressed in the Action Plan. The legislative framework for the Information Society is now being reformed, leading to full liberalization of telecommunications by 1 January 1998. In addition, awareness of the issues surrounding the development of the Information Society is now much higher, following Commission actions and the G7 conferences in Brussels in 1995 and South Africa in 1996. Most of the measures outlined in the 1994 Action Plan have also already been realized or are in the process of being launched. As a result, the measures undertaken as a result of the Action Plan over the past two years mean that the Commission now has a clearer picture of the needs of its Information Society policy. It has identified four major areas for priority action: - Improving the business environment; - Investing in the future; - People at the centre; - Meeting the global challenge. The Commission has adopted three consultation documents and a draft Directive to address these areas. These documents will be forwarded to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions for their opinions. The Commission aims to revise and update the Action Plan, on the basis of these opinions, in time for the Dublin European Council on 13 December 1996. In addition, an Information Society Council will be held on 8 October 1996.
Policy making and guidelines
31 July 1996