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Brussels, 27 March 2006

[Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]

High Level Expert Group to advise European Commission on how to build the European Digital Library

After having spelled out the Commission’s plans for a European Digital Library at the beginning of this month, Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding today chaired the first meeting of the High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries. The group will advise the Commission on how to tackle key challenges in making Europe’s cultural heritage available online.

“Our goal is to make Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage available to all European citizens and researchers for their studies, work or leisure,” Commissioner Reding commented. “With its immense expertise and knowledge, this group can make an essential contribution to the European Digital Library”.

In today’s meeting, the group discussed the Commission's vision for the European Digital Library (see IP/06/253) and set up a framework for future discussions. The group also had a first exchange of views on copyright issues. In a recent online consultation, right-holders supported the adequacy of the present copyright rules and the need to fully respect and enforce them, while cultural institutions highlighted a number of problems in the present copyright framework that could potentially undermine efficient digitisation and digital preservation.
The High Level Expert Group has 20 members, together possessing a wide range of expertise and knowledge. They are experts from libraries, archives, museums, content providers, industry (e.g. search engines, technology providers), research organisations and academia. Members are appointed in a personal capacity and have a two-year renewable mandate.

Useful links:
List of members with CVs:

Results of the online consultation:

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