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Stimulating the production of European digital content: the eContent Programme (2001-04)
The Community eContent programme (2001-04) - for European digital content on the global networks - part-finances transnational projects on the provision of public information in digital form and multilingual digital content. It stimulates access to and use of high-quality digital products and services. This programme forms part of the eEurope 2002
Council Decision 2001/48/EC of 22 December 2000 adopting a 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.
The production of digital content is a phenomenon which will radically change the conditions of access to knowledge. It constitutes an essential asset for economic growth, enterprise and employment, as it enhances professional, social and cultural development, as well as the creativity and innovative capacity of the citizens of Europe. In this regard, the Council of the European Union adopted the eContent programme for a period of 4 years, to stimulate the development, distribution and use of European digital content and promote linguistic diversity on the global networks.
The objectives of the eContent programme are as follows:
- helping to stimulate Internet use and Internet access for all by increasing the availability of European digital content on the global networks;
- stimulating access to European digital content and promoting more effective use of information held by the public sector;
- promoting cultural diversity and multilingualism in digital content on the global networks and increasing the export opportunities of European content firms through cultural and linguistic customisation;
- creating favourable conditions for the reduction of market fragmentation and for the marketing, distribution and use of European digital content on the global networks to stimulate economic activity and employment.
Lines of action
In order to achieve the objectives of the programme, three types of action will be taken:
- Improving access to and use of public sector information. The programme gives priority to experimental projects that can be used as examples of good practice and which make it possible to identify practical problems in public/private partnerships (adopting common standards, providing reliable public information for businesses and citizens, etc.).
- Enhancing content production in a multilingual and multicultural environment. This is a matter of fostering new partnerships and adopting multilingual and multicultural strategies, and of strengthening the linguistic infrastructure (developing the use of digital technology by language centres, experimenting with IT tools such as translation software and developing new resources, particularly language databases and multilingual glossaries).
- Revitalising the digital content market. The objective in this case is to promote rights trading between players in the digital content market (pilot projects for authorising multimedia rights, establishing rights clearance centres) and to develop a common vision between the public and the private sector (gathering statistics, promoting best practice, etc.).
The programme applies to public information in digital form in areas such as culture, education, social policy, geographical data, business, the environment and tourism. Priority is given to projects addressing less widely spoken European languages and Eastern European languages. Projects using other European languages must be justified in terms of common interest and must have a multiplier effect.
Every legal, private or public person in the eligible countries (European Union, Member States of the European Economic Area and candidate countries) may participate in the eContent programme. Projects must include at least two legal entities, independent of one another, established in at least two different Member States, or in one Member State and one associated country.
Eligibility conditions for projects
In order to qualify for financial assistance within the framework of eContent, projects must help to raise the barriers that prevent the establishment and functioning of the single market in the field of digital content. They must also have a cross-sectoral and transnational element, act as multipliers and be user-oriented.
The financial reference amount for the implementation of the programme is EUR 100 million, allocated as follows:
- shared-cost projects: a maximum of EUR 2.5 million per project and 50% of the costs for a maximum period of 30 months;
- definition-phase projects: a maximum of EUR 0.2 million per project and 50% of the costs for a maximum period of 12 months;
- accompanying measures: a maximum of EUR 1 million per project and 100% of the costs for a maximum period of 36 months.
The programme is based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The European Commission selects projects in consultation with a committee of experts from the Member States.
The last call for proposals within the framework of eContent closed in May 2004.
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Decision 2001/48/EC [adoption: consultation CNS/2000/0128]||18.1.2001||-||OJ L 14, 18.1.2001|
More information on the eContent programme (EN).