Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

To encourage, at European level, a favourable environment for the development of the Internet industry by promoting safer use of the Internet


The action lines of the programme, in conjunction with the proposal for a Council Recommendation on the protection of minors and human dignity, are a way of implementing a European approach to safer use on the Internet, based on industry self-regulation, filtering and rating and awareness. The action lines have the following objectives:

- Incite industry and users to develop systems for self-regulation;
- Pump prime developments through demonstration;
- Alerting and informing parents and teachers;
- Fostering cooperation and the exchange of experiences and best practice at European and international level;
- Cross-European cooperation between the different industries and users;
- Ensuring compatibility between approaches taken in Europe and elsewhere.


Four action lines:

- Creating a safer environment;

- Development internationally compatible and interoperable filtering and rating systems, which:

. Demonstrate the potential and the limitation of such systems;

. Encouraging the establishment of internationally compatible systems and familiarising users with the use of them.

- Encouraging awareness actions;

. Dealing with any uncertainty about how to deal with all aspects of network communications and making parents, teachers and children aware of the potential of the Internet. The aim is to gain the trust and confidence of parents and teachers, by showing how the internet can be used safely and without exposure to undesirable content. These activities will take advantage of awareness-raising activity carried out under other programmes, particularly INFO2000;

. Specific actions aimed at teachers will include the preparation and distribution of specific information and multimedia material to a large cross-section of members of the profession. Special netdays will be organised ¿ aimed at increasing user awareness ¿ in collaboration with industry. There will also be awareness-raising activities for journalists. Special web pages will be created and maintained through the European data network of schools.

- Support actions;

. Assessing legal implications, focussing on: Legal instruments needed to classify authors, providers and senders of emails; Which provisions in criminal law in the Member States need to be 'approximated'; How quickly formal requests for judicial assistance need to be processed; and the Extent to which changes are needed to police law in Member States to allow preventative action in relation to Internet content which is subject to prosecution;


The Commission will be assisted by an advisory committee made up of Member State representatives and chaired by a Commission representative. It will make sure that the programme actions are appraised, monitored and, subsequently, evaluated to ensure that Community aid is used efficiently.

For the most part, the selection of shared-cost projects is based on the usual procedure of calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The main criterion for supporting projects which demonstrate the benefits of filtering and rating will be the extent to which they encourage integration of rating into the content creation process and demonstrate the benefits of those technical solutions. Emphasis will be placed on usefulness and practicality in 'real-world' situations, involving a large number of typical users.

At the end of the two years of the programme, the Commission will submit an evaluation report, agreed by the advisory committee, to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The evaluation report will cover how the programme's action lines have been implemented and the general findings on all categories of illegal content on the Internet.
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