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IP/03/1218

Brussels, 9 September 2003

Protection of minors: the Commission is organising a meeting of experts on television, Internet and video game violence.

At the initiative of Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Audiovisual Policy and Youth, the Commission is organising a meeting of scientific experts in Brussels on 10 September to provide input to its debate on protecting young people against television, Internet and video game violence as part of the review of the "Television without Frontiers" Directive and the 1998 Recommendation on the protection of minors in audiovisual information services. At the end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004, the Commission will present a communication on the future of Community audiovisual policy, which will look into whether there is a need for new Community measures on the protection of minors. One of the priorities of the 1998 Recommendation was to call upon Internet access providers to introduce codes of practice.

"The European Commission hopes that this meeting of some of Europe's best experts, psychologists, sociologists, criminologists and education specialists will produce a scientific opinion on the extent and forms of violence in the media and their consequences for young people, the respective roles of regulation and self-regulation, and education in critical use of the media, as a basis for finding working solutions in an area of major concern to politicians, parents and experts" Viviane Reding said, adding that "the 1998 Recommendation is being applied satisfactorily. It has led to new codes of practice, information campaigns and action plans against illegal content, including the Community "Safer Internet" programme launched in 1999".

20 experts from Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Malta, Poland and Spain will exchange news, experience and ideas at the three round table meetings, which will focus on the extent and effects of violence in the media, viewer education and the role of co-regulation and self-regulation.

Background: a summary of current provisions on the protection of minors in the media can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/regul/review-twf2003/twf2003-theme4_en.pdf

Protection of minors and human dignity in audiovisual and information services -website address:  

http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/regul/new_srv/pmhd_en.htm


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