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Brussels, 7 November 2001

Commission to fund hotlines to promote safer internet

The European Commission issued a new call for proposals on 1 November for actions to raise awareness of safer use of the internet. The call is for broadly-based projects intended to promote awareness of safer use of the Internet. Preference will be given to proposals characterised by a definite transnational dimension. The indicative budget available for this call amounts to € 4.2 million. To be eligible, proposals must reach the Action Plan office at the European Commission by 31 January 2002.

Proposals are also invited under the open call for hotlines, particularly from new hotlines in Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal. The deadline for the next evaluation is 31 January 2002.

The call is under the Safer Internet Action Plan, running for 4 years 1999 - 2002 with a total budget of € 25 million.

The Action Plan has already financed 9 European awareness projects, which recently presented new findings, one of the most striking being the lack of knowledge many parents have about the internet when compared to their children; according to an Irish survey, only 23% say they know more than their children. Forty percent of children who use the internet at home usually access it alone.

Other projects funded include

  • hotlines to report illegal content (particularly child pornography). The European network of hotlines currently covers 11 countries with associates in the USA and Australia.

  • content rating systems and filtering software to help parents and provide a safer internet environment for children to surf and chat. 13 projects are running or under negotiation.

Further details at

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