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i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs
i2010 is the European Commission’s new strategic framework laying out broad policy guidelines for the information society and the media. The purpose of this new, integrated policy is to encourage knowledge and innovation with a view to boosting growth and creating more better-quality jobs. It forms part of the revised Lisbon Strategy.
Communication from the Commission of 1 June 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled “i2010 - A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Through i2010 the Commission is taking an integrated approach to the information society and to audio-visual media policies in the European Union. It aims to coordinate the actions undertaken by Member States to facilitate digital convergence and to respond to the challenges associated with the information society. In developing this strategy, the Commission has drawn on wide stakeholder consultation concerning previous initiatives and instruments such as and the Communication on the eEurope and the Communication on the future of European regulatory audio-visual policy.
The Commission proposes three priorities for Europe’s information society and media policy to be achieved by 2010: creating a Single European Information Space; promoting innovation and investment in research into information and communication technologies (ICT); achieving an inclusive European information and media society.
A Single European Information Space
In order to foster an open and competitive internal market for the information society and the media, the first objective of i2010 is to establish a Single European Information Space offering affordable and secure high-bandwidth communications, rich and diverse content and digital services. The Commission aims to achieve four main objectives:
- to increase the speed of broadband services in Europe;
- to encourage new services and on-line content;
- to promote devices and platforms that “talk to one another”; and
- to make the Internet safer from fraudsters, harmful content and technology failures.
In order to create the Single European Information Space the Commission intends to:
- review the regulatory framework for electronic communications; this includes defining a strategy for efficient spectrum management;
- create a consistent internal market framework for information society and media services by:
- modernising the legal framework for audio-visual services, starting by revising the Television Without Frontiers Directive (2005);
- making any necessary adaptations to the Community acquis affecting information society and media services (2007);
- promoting fast and efficient implementation of the existing and updated acquis.
- continue to support the creation and circulation of European content such as the eLearning and eContentplus programmes and their successors;
- define and implement a strategy for a secure European Information Society, mainly by raising awareness of the need for self-protection, being vigilant and monitoring threats, and responding rapidly and effectively to attacks and system failures;
- identify and promote targeted actions on interoperability, particularly digital rights management.
Innovation and investment in research
In order to boost innovation and investment into ICT research, the Commission wants to encourage world-class performance in research and innovation in ICT by closing the gap with Europe’s leading competitors by:
- increasing Community ICT research support by 80% by 2010 and inviting Member States to do the same;
- prioritising the key technology pillars of the 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development (FPRD), such as technologies for knowledge, content and creativity, advanced and open communication networks, secure and dependable software, embedded systems and nanoelectronics;
- launching research and deployment initiatives to overcome key bottlenecks such as interoperability, security and reliability, and the management of identity and rights, which require both technological and organisational solutions;
- defining complementary measures to encourage private investment in ICT research and innovation (2006);
- making specific proposals on an “information society for all” in the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion for the period 2007-13;
- defining e-commerce policies aimed at removing technological, organisational and legal barriers to ICT adoption with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- developing tools to support new patterns of work that enhance innovation in enterprises and adaptation to new skill needs.
Inclusion, better public services and quality of life
The Commission wishes to boost social, economic and territorial cohesion by establishing an inclusive European information society. It intends to promote growth and jobs in a manner that is consistent with sustainable development and that prioritises better public services and quality of life. To achieve its aim of an inclusive information society, offering high-quality public services and improving quality of life, the Commission plans to:
- issue policy guidance on e-accessibility and broadband coverage to make ICT systems easier to use for a larger number of people (2005);
- propose a European initiative on e-inclusion, addressing issues such as equal opportunities, ICT skills and regional divides (2008);
- adopt an Action Plan on eGovernment as well as strategic guidelines to encourage the public services to use ICTs. It will launch demo projects to test, at an operational scale, technological, legal and organisational solutions to bringing public services on-line;
- launch three flagship ICT initiatives to improve quality of life: caring for people in an ageing society, safer and cleaner transport (and, in particular, the “intelligent car”) and digital libraries to encourage cultural diversity.
The Commission intends to develop proposals to update the regulatory frameworks for electronic communications, and information society and media services. It also proposes using the Community’s financial instruments to stimulate investment in strategic research and to overcome bottlenecks obstructing ICT innovation. Lastly, it aims to support policies to address inclusion and quality of life.
Member States, through the National Reform Programmes, have committed themselves to adopting information society priorities in line with the Integrated Guidelines for growth and jobs by mid‑October 2005. They aim to:
- ensure rapid and thorough transposition of the new regulatory frameworks affecting digital convergence with an emphasis on open and competitive markets;
- increase the share of ICT research in national spending to develop modern, interoperable ICT-enabled public services;
- use investment to encourage innovation in the ICT sector;
- adopt ambitious targets for developing the information society at national level.
Member States have reported on their achievements within the framework defined by the review of the Lisbon Strategy.
The Commission will also ask other stakeholders to take part in dialogue in support of developing the information society. The Commission will target industrial partners in particular to encourage them to raise investments in research and new technologies in this field.
To ensure that all stakeholders are involved, the Commission proposes using the open method of communication, which includes an exchange of good practices and annual implementation reports in respect of the Lisbon objectives.