Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Multiannual Community programme to stimulate the development and use of European digital content on the global networks and to promote linguistic diversity in the Information Society 2001-2005

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 100 million
The programme aims essentially to development and use certain categories of European digital content and to promote linguistic diversity in the Information society through a multitude of existing and new delivery channels, including fast growing and emerging services and platforms such as mobile internet.


Services and products based on digital content are playing an increasingly important role in the emerging "new economy". The impact of digital services and products is enormous on the economy and society.
The size of the overall content sector is estimated at EUR 412 billion, or 5% of the European GDP, ahead of both telecommunications (EUR 221 billion) and the hardware/software (EUR 189 billion) sectors. This translates into some four million Europeans employed in this sector.

The window of opportunity for the European content industries, brought about by the transformation of the Internet into a mass medium, is still open. This was emphasized by the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000, which agreed the new strategic goal of the Union for the next decade: to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy.
In order to achieve this goal, the Commission proposes EU action in three crucial areas:

_ Stimulating the exploitation of public sector information;
_ Enhancing linguistic and cultural customization;
_ Supporting market enablers.


The proposal is based on 4 action lines:

_ Stimulating the exploitation of public sector information: public sector information has an enormous exploitation potential that is not yet fully used at the moment.
Based on the INFO2000 experience, this action prepares an economic base for the follow up of the Green Paper, demonstrating and exploring the practical difficulties of public-private partnerships in this field. Experimental projects will be financed, bringing together public and private parties to exploit public sector information with a European interest and scope, including cross-lingual access.

_ Enhancing linguistic and cultural customization: the following action aims to provide an integrated approach to the emergence of multilingual services on the networks for text, voice and image applications. It stresses the need for cultural adaptation of products beyond the linguistic aspects in order to gain market shares in third countries. The issue will be tackled by fostering the adoption of language strategies and partnerships between language and content market players.

_ Supporting market enablers: a list of actions is proposed in order to facilitate access to the available forms of investment capital and means to trade rights online for multimedia production. This is intended to speed up new initiatives and investments. It is proposed to redress the mismatch between existing financial resources and the use the content sector makes of them. The EC will act to provide a bridge between companies in the digital content area and potential investors. The actions will build on expertise present in business universities and training centres, as well as deploying distance learning facilities, and organizing seminars and conferences to encourage the exchange of information and best practice.

_ Support actions: the programme execution will be supported by actions aiming at the dissemination of the results (e.g. publications, world wide web sites, conferences showcasing projects) as well as strategic operations (e.g. studies and fora) bringing together different parts of the content and languages markets.


The Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of the programme and its coordination with other Community programmes and will draw up a work programme every two years.
The Commission shall be assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission, while regularly informing the latter body of progress in the implementation of the programme as a whole.

After three years and at the end of the programme, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions an evaluation report on the results obtained in the implementation process. The Commission may present, on the basis of those results, proposals for adjusting the orientation of the programme.

Participation in the programme may be opened to:

_ Legal entities established in EFTA States that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA);
_ Candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs);
_ Cyprus, Malta and Turkey;
_ Legal entities established in other third countries and to international organizations, where such participation contributes effectively to the implementation of the programme, and taking into account the principle of mutual benefit.
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