Brussels, 27 February 2008
Today, the European Commission proposed a new Safer Internet programme to enhance the safety of children in the online environment. Encompassing recent communications services from the Web 2.0, such as social networking, the new programme will fight not only illegal content but also harmful behaviour such as bullying and grooming. With a budget of €55 million, the programme, which builds further on the successful Safer Internet programme started in 2005, will run from 2009 to 2013.
“Safer Internet is a good example of a European programme that has direct consequences on citizen’s daily lives: As more and more European children and adolescents use online technologies at home or at school, they, their parents and their teachers need to be informed about the opportunities and risks they face," said José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. "The European Commission, with the new Safer Internet Programme, wants to pursue its efforts towards creating a safer online environment for our children by promoting self-regulatory initiatives and greater awareness in society. Where there is illegal content online, rapid and determined action by public authorities will be ensured by strengthened reporting systems.”
“The EU has greatly contributed to making the Internet a safer place for children in the past years, but the job is not finished yet," added EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding. "Rather, the need for action is increasing, in response to new uses of the technology. I am convinced that the new Safer Internet Programme will make Europe a model as regards the protection of minors from online and mobile abuses."
The proposed new programme will:
Today's proposal takes into account the results of a public consultation on Safer Internet and online technologies for children which ran from April to June 2007:
It also includes recommendations made by children themselves at the European Youth forum organised by the European Commission for Safer Internet Day 2008 (see IP/08/207).
In addition to the Safer Internet Programme, other political initiatives have taken place with leading mobile phones operators' agreement of February 2007 to develop self-regulatory codes to protect minors using mobile phones (see IP/07/139). More recently, the mobile industry also announced it would shut off all access to child pornography on mobile phones.
For more information: