eEurope – An Information Society for All

eEurope was launched in December 1999 to ensure
the EU fully benefits from the changes the Information Society
is bringing. eEurope’s key objectives are to bringing
every citizen, home and school, every business and
administration, into the digital age and online. It plans to
create a digitally literate Europe, supported by an
entrepreneurial culture ready to finance and develop new ideas.
eEurope also wants to ensure the whole process is socially
inclusive, builds consumer trust and contributes to social
cohesion.

In December 1999 the Commission launched the 
e

Europe initiative to bring the benefits of the
Information Society to all Europeans. This was followed
in June 2000 by the 
e

Europe 2002 Action Plan, agreed by heads of State and
Government in Feira setting out a roadmap to
achieve 
e

Europe's targets.

At the Seville Council (21 June 2002), heads os
states endorsed the objectives of the
Commission's 
Action Plan for 
e

Europe 2005

as "an important contribution to the [EU's] efforts
towards a competitive, knowledge-based
economy", and called upon "all
institutions to ensure that it will be fully implemented
by the end of 2005". Until 
e

Europe's aims are achieved the EU's priorities will stay
focussed on a sound legal framework for converged
communications services and e-commerce, innovative and
qualitative content for new interactive services and
creating a skilled population.

To achieve the above objectives the 
e

Europe action plan has 10 action lines 

 

The 
Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations
of Europe (UNICE)

in February 2002 called on ministers to redifine Europe's
future strategy for the Information Society beyond 2002,
as UNICE believes that a lot remains to be done: cheap,
fast and secure Internet access for all is not yet a
reality in Europe. It therefore urges Member States to
take appropriate actions to: promote the take-up and
roll-out of broadband in Europe, demonstrate their
commitment to effective and full liberalisation of
telecommunications, stimulate full participation by SMEs
in the e-Economy, seek to increase Internet penetration,
provide stakeholders in e-commerce with legal clarity and
security, improve the security of information
infrastructures and combat computer-related crime while
refraining from doing so at the expense of industry
and/or at the expense of fundamental rights such as the
right to privacy. 

The 
EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce
(AmCham)

overall is positive about 
e

Europe, but encourages the Commission and Member States
to show the political will to achieve the set goals, to
commit the necessary financial resources, to consider the
international dimension of their policies, to maintain an
open and transparent decision-making process and adopt a
flexible regulatory approach that is technology
neutral.

The 
European Information and Communications
Technology Industry Association (EICTA)

in addition to the 10 priorities of the 
e

Europe programme suggests to emphasize the importance of
R&D as a key driver of industry competitiveness
worldwide.

By 2005, Europe should have:

  • Modern 
    online public services

    (e-government, e-learning and e-health services)

  • A dynamic 
    e-business

    environment

relying on:

  • Widespread availability of 
    broadband

    internet access at competitive 
    prices


  • secure

    information infrastructure

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