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Safer Internet programme 2009-13

The online environment is becoming more and more accessible and, together with bringing benefits, it exposes users to a wide range of risks. Minors are becoming increasingly active as users, but are also particularly vulnerable. The “Safer Internet” programme intends to improve the online safety of children by tackling not only illegal material, but also harmful conduct.

ACT

Decision 1351/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a multiannual Community programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies.

SUMMARY

The “Safer Internet” Community programme is hereby established for the period 2009-13. It pursues the objectives of the “Safer Internet Plus” programme launched in 2005.

The programme aims to improve the safety of children in the online environment and focuses on two objectives:

  • to increase the knowledge of the use of new technologies by children;
  • to identify and combat the risks to which they are exposed.

The programme is aimed not only at illegal and harmful content, but also at harmful conduct.

Actions

The programme is implemented through the following four courses of action:

  • raising public awareness. Actions to raise awareness are particularly aimed at children, their parents and teachers. It is a matter of improving the distribution of sufficient information to the largest number of users regarding the risks and ways to prevent them. These actions comprise the development and dissemination of cost-effective awareness-raising tools and points of contact enabling people to obtain advice on these issues;
  • combating illegal content and harmful conduct. These activities aim to reduce the volume of illegal content online and to tackle the distribution of child sexual abuse material, online bullying and grooming. The programme provides for publicly accessible contact points on a European scale to effectively report this type of abuse. It also aims to tackle harmful conduct by dealing with the psychological and sociological aspects, whilst favouring the application of technical solutions. Furthermore, the programme promotes cooperation at national, European and international level, encouraging relevant stakeholders to share information and best practices;
  • promoting a safer online environment. These activities aim to encourage self- and co-regulatory initiatives amongst stakeholders. They are designed to encourage the participation of children to shape a safer online environment;
  • establishing a knowledge base. This knowledge base will be made up of the known and emerging use of the online environment by children and of the risks and consequences inherent in such use. This knowledge base will be set up in cooperation with specialists in the area of online safety of children at European level.

Implementation

The following legal entities may take part in the programme:

  • European Union (EU) Member States;
  • European Free Trade Association countries that are party to the European Economic Area Agreement;
  • accession and candidate countries to the EU as well as countries of the western Balkans and the European neighbourhood in accordance with the agreements governing their participation in Community programmes;
  • any third country that is party to an international agreement with the Community.

The Commission has responsibility for the overall implementation of the programme and for the preparation of the annual work programmes, for which it is assisted by a management committee.

The programme has been allocated an overall budget of 55 million euros for the period 2009-13.

Background

The “Safer Internet” programme is consistent with and complements other policies, programmes and Community actions, particularly the "i2010  A European information society for growth and employment" initiative, the Community programmes for technological research and development and the Daphne III programme.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1351/2008/EC

24.12.2008 – 31.12.2013

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OJ L 348 of 24.12.2008

Last updated: 26.05.2009
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