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Brussels, 21 May 2008

Council of Audiovisual Ministers, Brussels, 21 May 2008

The EU "Education, Youth Affairs and Culture" Council will meet on 21-22 May 2008 in Brussels. For the audiovisual items on the agenda on 21 May, the Commission will be represented by Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. The Council is expected to agree on a general approach on the new Safer Internet Programme, thereby facilitating the further proceedings of the first reading of the Commission's proposal in the European Parliament.

Main Audiovisual items in the agenda:

  • The new Safer Internet Programme: agreement on a general approach expected.
  • Single Market for Online Music, Films and Games in Europe: exchange of views on the main challenges of online content.
  • Media literacy in the digital environment: adoption of Council conclusions responding to the recent Commission Communication.

The new Safer Internet Programme


On 27 February 2008, the Commission proposed a new Safer Internet programme to enhance the safety of children in the online environment (IP/08/310). With a budget of €55 million for 2009-2013, the programme builds further on the successful Safer Internet programme started in 2005 and will also encompass recent communications services from the Web 2.0, such as social networking. The proposed new programme will co-fund projects to:

  • Provide the public with national contact points for reporting illegal and harmful content online, in particular on child sexual abuse material and grooming.
  • Foster self-regulatory initiatives in this field and stimulate the involvement of children in creating a safer online environment.
  • Raise awareness of children, parents and teachers and support contact points where they can receive advice on how to stay safe online.
  • Establish a knowledge base on the use of new technologies and related risks by bringing together researchers engaged in child safety online at European level.

These proposals include policy recommendations made by children themselves during a European Youth forum held on Safer Internet Day on 12 February 2008 (IP/08/207).

The proposed new Safer Internet Programme (2009-2013) is expected to be adopted in 2009. Co-funding of projects should begin from 2010.

At this Council

The Council is expected to agree on a general approach on the new proposal establishing a multi-annual Safer Internet Programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies.

Single Market for Online Music, Films and Games in Europe


On 3 January 2008 the Commission adopted its Communication on creative content online in the Single Market (IP/08/5). This Communication followed the public consultation launched by the Commission in July 2006, and is the starting point for new EU actions to support the development of innovative business models, cross-border services and consumer-friendly offers. The Communication announced:

  • The setting-up of the "Content Online Platform", a stakeholders' forum at European level, to initiate collaborative work with all stakeholders on issues where further discussions are needed, such as new business models, piracy and copyright. Consumers will be given a strong voice in this platform.
  • The Commission's intention to prepare a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Recommendation covering the transparency and interoperability of DRMs (digital rights management systems) and the encouragement of innovative and multi-territory licensing regimes for creative content.
  • Activating co-operation procedures ("codes of conduct") between access/service providers, right holders and consumers to ensure adequate protection of copyrighted works, and close cooperation on the fight against piracy and unauthorised file-sharing.

The Commission also launched a public consultation in order to prepare – by the second half of 2008 – an EU Recommendation on Creative Content Online for adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.

At this Council

The Presidency envisages holding an exchange of views on the basis of the following questions to the Ministers:

  • What are the main challenges to be addressed in order to promote the development of creative content on-line? Do Member States have relevant experience to report from their own efforts to meet these challenges?
  • Are there particular areas for which an EU level initiative would have added-value?

Media literacy in the digital environment


Following an EU-wide survey in 2006, the European Commission announced in December 2007 its plans to encourage the development of media literacy and the exchange of good practice across Europe by adopting Communication on media literacy in the digital environment (IP/07/1970).

The Communication adds a further building block to European audiovisual policy by complementing the new Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers Directive (IP/07/1809), and the MEDIA 2007 support-programme for the development and distribution of European films. It also announced a study to be launched in 2008 on how to assess media literacy levels.

At this Council

The Presidency will call on the Ministers to adopt the Council conclusions on the Commission Communication.

  • Also at this Council: The Presidency will debrief Ministers on the state-of-play of negotiations on the Commission's Telecoms reform proposals and inform Ministers about their impact on the audiovisual sector (IP/07/1677).
  • The Commission is expected to present to the Council the Communication on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games (IP/08/618).

A Press Conference is provisionally scheduled after the Council on Wednesday, 21 May, at 18.00 hrs in the Justus Lipsius press room.

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