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European Parliament opinion on the INFO2000 programme

At its plenary session of 28 March 1996, the European Parliament adopted a report on the proposal for a Council Decision adopting a multi-annual Community programme to stimulate the development of a European multimedia content industry, and to encourage the use of multimedia c...
At its plenary session of 28 March 1996, the European Parliament adopted a report on the proposal for a Council Decision adopting a multi-annual Community programme to stimulate the development of a European multimedia content industry, and to encourage the use of multimedia content in the emerging Information Society (INFO 2000).

The proposal is to create a programme supporting development in the multimedia content industry, with ECU 100 million over the four-year period from 1996 to 1999.

The Parliament felt that the proposed budget was insufficient for a four-year programme. It, therefore, voted for the programme to run instead for a period of three years, from 1996 to 1998, with the same budget.

The Parliament also proposed modifications in the priorities of the programme's four action lines, and the distribution of funding between them. According to the Parliament, action line one of the programme (Stimulating demand and raising awareness) should be limited to user groups, thus removing the aspect dealing with the organization of demand which the Parliament feels is a matter for the market. Action line three (Triggering European multimedia potential) would be extended, with a view to emphasizing its impact on industrial policy.

In its report, the Parliament also requests the Council of Ministers to incorporate a number of amendments in the Decision. These include:

- Greater emphasis on Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity;
- Provisions for geographically disadvantaged regions of Europe;
- Encouraging demand for services among certain user groups, such as women and the disabled, as well as associations and NGOs.

The proposal will now be returned to the Council of Ministers for their final consideration before being formally adopted.
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