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Netd@ys Europe is a European Commission initiative in the area of education, culture and youth for the promotion of the new media. Its goal is to promote the use of the new media in education and culture and to provide participants with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to acquire and to exchange information on a range of subjects.
Netd@ys Europe represents many different projects presented during 'Netd@ys Week', which were held each year during November from 1997 to 2005.
First held in 1997, as part of the European Commission action plan 'Learning in the information society' (1996-1998), has become the world's largest awareness-raising campaign for the new media, in particular the Internet, as teaching, learning and discovery tools and resources in the areas of education, in the broad sense of the word, and culture.
A fundamental principle is that priority is always given to the educational content of projects, rather than technology, and publicising the potential and value of the new media in this area.
Themes of Netd@ys Europe 2000 projects
While being fully aware that the changing role of teachers, trainers and youth workers and improving the quality of life, in particular for disadvantaged people or those living in isolated areas, are thematic priorities of the Netd@ys philosophy, each year the European Commission defines the specific reference themes from which the projects should draw inspiration.
In the spirit of the Netd@ys initiative, the thematic categories may be the following:
- Citizenship: encouraging people to participate actively in society, including the implementation of democracy in Europe, and providing innovative educational and cultural approaches to developing respect for diversity and a spirit of tolerance in society;
- European cultural diversity and identity: fostering a better understanding of Europe's cultural heritage by using new technologies;
- Equality of opportunities: providing those with special needs, the elderly, excluded and isolated with access to a range of cultural and educational information in order to improve the quality of their lives and encourage them to use new technologies;
- Education and training for improving digital literacy: promoting the development, exchange and dissemination of innovative approaches or good practices which will enable more people to use the new media as tools for improving teaching, learning and discovery;
- Outside Europe: continuing to extend the initiative to the wider world, focusing on the countries of central and eastern Europe and the active participation of Australia, Brazil, Canada and Israel.
Netd@ys Europe has gradually been extended to the entire world, opening up to countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel and Switzerland.
Eligibility criteria: Organisations
Netd@ys Europe is open to any organisation sympathetic to the philosophy and objectives of the initiative (e.g. educational establishments, training centres, cultural institutions, local authorities, youth associations, etc.).
7. The initiative also permits and promotes partnerships between organisations in the areas of education, training and culture and private-sector companies, non-profit-making associations, etc.
While Netd@ys is open to people of all ages, it focuses chiefly on young people aged between 15 and 25.
Eligibility criteria: Projects
The projects should demonstrate examples of using online technology in learning, teaching and discovery. They can take place at any time of the year, but a special activity must be arranged for the Netd@ys week, which will act as a showcase for all the projects.
The projects can be local, regional or national. Projects which comply with all the Netd@ys criteria may apply for the Netd@ys label. The Netd@ys label is not only a quality label - it also makes it possible for a project to be widely known: all the labelled projects are mentioned on the Netd@ys site.
Any project receiving a Community subsidy will have to satisfy strict criteria concerning its content and management. It must also have a European dimension and be carried out in cooperation with a network of partners from at least three EU countries and the European Economic Area (EEA) and the EU candidate countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia). The Community subsidy may not exceed 50% of the total cost of the project and can only be used for certain activities.
Projects without a Community subsidy
The opportunity to participate in Netd@ys does not depend on financial support from the Commission. Proposals for projects without a Community subsidy can be submitted at any time up to the first day of the Netd@ys week.
All projects which comply with the general Netd@ys principles are be registered with the European Commission as official 'Netd@ys', a recognised quality mark that helps promote projects and contributes to their success. Participating organisations can register their project on the Netd@ys site and look for partners working on the same topic in other countries.
Role of the European Commission
In addition to providing financial support, the Commission provides encouragement, organisation and general coordination. It provides a general framework for raising awareness of the promotional activities at European level and facilitates coordination between projects and partners.
Role of correspondents in the participating countries
Since its launch, Netd@ys Europe has enjoyed the support and commitment of the national education ministries. The ministers of the Member States of the European Union, the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), and the EU candidate countries appoint the national Netd@ys correspondents, whose role is to promote, organise and coordinate the projects at national level, link them up with projects in other countries and help them to obtain sponsorship from potential private-sector partners.