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ESC opinion on Information Society Action Plan

The Economic and Social Committee of the European Communities adopted an opinion on the Commission's communication "Europe at the forefront of the Global Information Society: Rolling Action Plan" at its plenary session in Brussels on 9 July 1997.

The Committee confirms the ne...
The Economic and Social Committee of the European Communities adopted an opinion on the Commission's communication "Europe at the forefront of the Global Information Society: Rolling Action Plan" at its plenary session in Brussels on 9 July 1997.

The Committee confirms the need for a European model of the Information Society which not only meets demands for technological development and economic profitability, but also responds to the needs of a democratic society, promotes pluralism and cohesion, and improves quality of life.

In its opinion, the Committee calls on the Commission to take all the measures set out in the rolling action plan which are designed to ensure sound management of universal service, licensing of services and protection of the public's right to privacy. In addition, it also hopes that the legislative framework governing telecommunications liberalization will be in place by 1 January 1998.

According to the Committee, major importance should be given to the role of the public authorities in developing the Information Society. In particular, programmes for the modernization of technology in the public services need to be relaunched and given new impetus, and a wide-ranging training programme for civil servants needs to be undertaken.

The Committee stresses the importance of information and training for both adults and young people, to ensure that they are aware of and make the most of the opportunities offered by the Information Society. It is essential to avoid large sections of the population being unable to take advantage of the opportunities of the Information Society. The Committee is also concerned that sufficient attention is given to ensuring the protection of minors, in terms of content of services and use of the Internet.
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