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Brussels, 5 September 2003

EU acts to make Internet and mobile phones safer

The European Commission has published a call for proposals to help make the Internet a safer place. € 11.7 million of EU funding is made available to promote safer use of the Internet and new online technologies including mobile phones.

This call will establish a European network of safer internet awareness centres and will continue to support for two more years the existing network of hotlines that allow users to report illegal content. Other areas covered include a study on children's use of new media, quality labels for Web sites and benchmarking of filtering systems.

The EU's Safer Internet programme covers the internet and new online technologies, including mobile and broadband content, online games, peer-to-peer file transfer, and all forms of real-time communications such as chat rooms and instant messages. It is particularly designed to help protect children and young people from being exploited.

The closing date for proposals is 14 November 2003.

The work programme 2003-2004, call text, guide for proposers, forms and model contract is available on the Europa server (see below).

An information day on the call for proposals will be held in Luxembourg on Friday, 12 September, 2003.

The Safer Internet programme has been running since 1999. In its first four years, 37 projects involving more than 130 partners from 17 European countries were given funding. The European Parliament and Council recently agreed to a two-year extension and further funding.

The European Commission is also making preparations to propose a follow-up programme covering the period 2005-2008 (“Safer Internet plus”). A public consultation will take place in Luxembourg on Friday 12 September, following the information day.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

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