Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 162 million

Official Journal Reference

C 200 of 1996-07-10
To develop, within the ADAPT initiative, a proactive social policy for the emerging European Information Society.


At its meeting on 8 May 1996, the Commission decided to introduce a new priority within the Community initiative on the adaptation of the workforce to industrial change (ADAPT) focusing on the development of the Information Society.

The purpose of the action is to contribute to the development of a proactive social policy for the emerging European Information Society within the established objectives of the ADAPT initiative. These are:

- To assist workers, especially those threatened with unemployment as a consequence of industrial change, to adapt to the increasingly rapid changes in the organization and structure of employment;

- To help enterprises increase their competitiveness, mainly by encouraging organizational adaptation and non-physical investment;

- To prevent unemployment by improving the qualifications of the workforce;

- To facilitate the development of new jobs and new activities.


Eligible measures:

- To evaluate and anticipate labour market developments related to the emerging Information Society, in particular anticipating:
. Obsolescence of certain areas of skill and facilitating the development of new competences;
. Emergence of new industries and information-intensive sectors and occupations, especially those where employment is likely to grow;
. Employment effects of the Information Society within industrial sectors and on labour market trends;
. Barriers to the development of the Information Society, in particular attitudinal, social, political and legal/regulatory barriers;

- To develop active strategies to help the labour force adapt to the new demands of the Information Society and to encourage the gearing of IT products to the needs of potential users. This may be achieved, inter alia, by:
. Facilitating experiments and pilot schemes to provide workplace-based training and life-long learning opportunities for workers who need to adapt to the Information Society;
. Promoting experimentation with new telematics-based employment services which facilitate wider and more user-friendly access by those requiring these services;
. Helping local labour organizations to be more responsive and flexible in the context of the Information Society;

- To develop and experiment policies and schemes which will support the adaptation of work organization and employment practices to the Information Society and to identify ways to improve both the quality of working life and business efficiency, through:
. Enhancing the skills of management regarding the introduction of new information and communication technologies, especially in relation to SMEs seeking new opportunities within a global marketplace;
. Rapid diffusion of best practice in applying these technologies in the workplace through the support of information exchange networks between enterprises, and between the public and private sectors;
. Increasing the ability of workers to participate in the redesign of organizational structures in relation to the Information Society;
. New institutional approaches to the development of skills and competences, such as private-public cooperation in the design and delivery of new concepts for learning and continuing education (e.g. open and distance learning and retraining).


ADAPT-bis is implemented under the Community Initiative on the adaptation of the workforce to industrial change (ADAPT) which was established in 1994. ADAPT-bis (building the Information Society) covers the planning period 1996 to 1999.

Proposals for support under ADAPT-bis are submitted by the Member States in the form of supplements to their existing ADAPT operational programmes or of global grants. In the case of global grants, Community assistance may be given directly to decentralized organizations responsible for implementation, including those responsible for managing transnational actions and designated by the Member States concerned.

The total additional contribution from the Structural Funds for the ADAPT-bis initiative is estimated at ECU 162 million, of which ECU 51 million will be allocated to Objective 1 and 6 regions.

The distribution of financial resources between the Member States is to be based on the relative severity of structural problems including, in particular, relevant unemployment levels as well as the quality of the proposals submitted for operational programmes and global grants.
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