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AGENDA/10/5

Brussels Friday 5 February 2010

Top News from the European Commission

8 February to 7 March 2010

Background notes from the Spokesperson's service for journalists.
The European Commission reserves the right to make changes

Tuesday 9 February: Safer Internet Day - Think before you post! 2

Thursday 11 February: 112 day – the single European emergency phone number 4

Tuesday 9 February: Safer Internet Day - Think before you post!

The news:

On Safer Internet Day, the European Commission will announce if major internet companies have acted on their commitment to improve the safety of under-18s who use social networking sites. An EU-wide campaign to encourage teenagers to "Think before you post" will also be launched.

Social networking sites count today 41.7 million users in Europe. It is mostly young people, children and teenagers who register with social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Dailymotion, and they use these new creative opportunities to express their identity. However, they do not always realise that the personal information they post such as pictures and videos remains online and can be accessed by anyone, exposing them to risks such as cyber bullying or online grooming. Children and teenagers must be empowered to manage and control their online identity in a responsible way.

The seventh Safer Internet Day will focus on the topic "Think before you post!" A campaign will be launched in more than 60 countries across the world aiming to make young people aware that they can control their online identity by using the privacy settings offered by social networking sites, selecting friends online that they can trust, and publishing photos after thinking carefully about the consequences.

At last year's Safer Internet Day, 18 leading web firms signed a European agreement brokered by the Commission to improve the safety of under-18s who use social networking sites. Two more signatories joined the agreement in 2009. On 9 February, the Commission will publish a report on how these "Safer Social Networking Principles of the EU" have been implemented by the companies.

The background:

Safer Internet Day aims at promoting a safer use of the internet, online technologies and mobile phones, and the fight against illegal or harmful content and conduct.

The INSAFE network that coordinates the participation of EU and third countries in Safer Internet Day 2010 has been established by the Commission's EU Safer Internet Programme to raise awareness of online uses and risks while addressing children, parents, schools, and media. In December 2008 the EU adopted a new Safer Internet Programme for 2009-2013 which dedicates € 55 million to make the internet a safer place for children,

The event:

Safer Internet Day will be celebrated on 9 February 2010 in all EU countries and almost 40 countries around the world.

The report on the implementation of the "Safer Social Networking Principles of the EU" will be presented by the Commission at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on that day. Individual evaluation reports per company will also be available, as well as an animated, downloadable video clip reminding you to "Think before you post".

  • Video and photo coverage from Strasbourg.

The sources:

MEMO/09/58 - Safer Internet Day 2009: EC starts campaign against cyber-bullying

IP/09/232 - Social Networking: Commission brokers agreement among major web companies

IP/08/1899 - EU adopts new Safer Internet Programme: € 55 million to make the Internet a safer place for children

European Commission's website on Safer Internet:

European Commission's website on Social Networking:

INSAFE website:

Commissioner Reding's website:

The contacts:

Martin Selmayr +32.2.2981230 Martin.Selamyr@ec.europa.eu

Mina Andreeva +32 2 2991382 Mina.andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 11 February: 112 day – the single European emergency phone number

The news:

11 th February (11-2), is 112 Day, to raise awareness of the single emergency number for all EU countries. The European Commission will present its latest evaluation of EU countries' efforts to increase people's awareness of 112 and handle 112 emergency calls in a multi-lingual and effective way.

The single European emergency number works in all EU Member States but not all Europeans are yet aware of it. When travelling across Europe, you can dial 112, from a mobile phone or a fixed line, and you will be put in tou ch with the emergency services.

Last year, only 24% of Europeans questioned in an opinion poll could spontaneously identify 112 as the number on which they can call emergency services anywhere in the EU. 28% of them also declared that they have had language problems when calling 112 while in another Member State.

The background:

The single European emergency number 112 was launched in 1991. It provides a single number to call in case of emergency in the EU, making emergency services especially more accessible to travellers. 112 emergency services can be reached free of charge throughout Europe, from fixed or mobile phones. Member States must also provide citizens with information about the existence and purpose of 112. Telecoms operators are obliged to give caller location information to the emergency services to allow them to locate accidents and find the victims in time.

The event:

The European Commission will present its latest evaluation of EU countries' efforts to increase people's awareness of 112 and handle 112 emergency calls in a multi-lingual and effective way.

112 Day will also be marked in many European countries with awareness campaigns and events. The '112 website' will also be revamped for 112 Day.

The sources:

MEMO/09/60 - 112, the single European emergency number: Frequently Asked Questions

IP/09/240 - Commission says EU single emergency number must get multilingual

European Commission's website on pan European services, including 112:

112 website:

Kids' corner:

112 on Facebook:

The contact:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 29 941 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu




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