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European Commission launches two new advisory groups on the information society

The European Commission has approved a proposal by Commissioner Bangemann to set up two new independent bodies to advise on the measures Europe should take in preparation for a fully fledged information society.

The two advisory bodies, the Information Society Forum, represen...
The European Commission has approved a proposal by Commissioner Bangemann to set up two new independent bodies to advise on the measures Europe should take in preparation for a fully fledged information society.

The two advisory bodies, the Information Society Forum, representing industry and society, and a High Level Group of Experts, will be expected to contribute to the European Commission's preparations for the economic and social changes anticipated in Europe resulting from the current information revolution.

The aim of the Information Society Forum will be to contribute to open debate and reflection on the challenges of the information society. It will also recommend priority projects to be implemented by the Commission. The Forum will draw on contributions from the following groups:

- Network operators;
- Trade unions;
- Industry representatives;
- Parliamentarians.

The aim of the High Level Group of Experts will be to provide an early input to the EU's discussions on the information society. The Commission's action plan on the information society recognizes the need to evaluate the impact of new technologies on society. In order to be able to exploit the new possibilities offered by information and communications technologies, and to prevent the development of a two-tier society, the Commission will draw on additional external expertise.

The experts for this Group will be selected in agreement with the Commissioner responsible for social policy (Mr. Flynn), the information society (Mr. Bangemann), research and education (Mrs. Cresson), regional policy (Mrs. Wulf-Mathies), and the internal market (Mr. Monti).

The first step for this Group will be to prepare reports on the social and societal aspects of the information society, in particular with reference to the six priority themes mentioned in the Commission's report on the information society to the European Council at Essen in December 1994. These are:

- Impact of the introduction of new information and communication technologies on employment;
- Impact of new technologies on work organization;
- Consequences of the information society on the cohesion of Europe's regions and towns;
- Opportunities offered by new technologies for adaptation of education systems to the needs of the information society;
- Opportunities offered by new technologies for improving management of systems devoted to healthcare and the quality of life;
- Opportunities offered by new technologies for improving the labour market situation and developing human resources.
DE

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