Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New EU programme for a "Multilingual Information Society"

The proposed Multilingual Information Society (MLIS) programme was formally adopted by the Council of Industry Ministers of the European Union (EU) on 8 October 1996. The proposal had formerly received the unanimous support of the European Parliament and the other EU instituti...
The proposed Multilingual Information Society (MLIS) programme was formally adopted by the Council of Industry Ministers of the European Union (EU) on 8 October 1996. The proposal had formerly received the unanimous support of the European Parliament and the other EU institutions, consulted earlier this year, who underlined the importance of this initiative in addressing a need felt by citizens across the Union.

The MLIS programme will run for a period of three years (1997-1999), with a budget of ECU 15 million. The objectives of the programme include:

- Encouraging publishers and other suppliers of dictionaries, authoring and translation services and tools for a range of languages to make them available via networks;
- Increasing the awareness of business of the need to be responsive to the language characteristics of their markets in Europe and abroad, and to allow citizens to ask for services in their own languages.

The programme will, in particular, support projects that can act as multipliers for Community investments. Europe has a solid scientific and technological base in the field of language engineering/processing which has been strengthened by Community research and development programmes. The European market, however, lags behind when it comes to exploiting the advances made by research in this area. A concentrated effort needs to be made to speed up the process of getting new language processing technology onto the market.

The first call for proposals under this programme is likely to be launched towards the end of 1996. This will address, in particular, the "translation sector" and "language use in the business environment". The results of the projects financed will be systematically compiled and presented as a collection of best practice.
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