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[FYI] (Fwd) EP Resolution on the information society

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 29 Jun 1998 17:50:36
To:            ecup-list@kaapeli.fi
From:          Barbara Schleihagen <Eblida@nblc.nl>
Subject:       EP Resolution on the information society
Reply-to:      ecup-list@kaapeli.fi

Dear All,
For information a European Parliament resolution, adopted at last
plenary session in Strassbourg.

Below a copy of the English text, for other European languages please
visit the European Parliament's web site at:
http://www.europarl.eu.int/plenary/en/default.htm (search under
"activities" in the "plenary sessions" part for "minutes - part II by
document number B4-0582).

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen

Resolution on the information society, the management of the Internet
and democracy

The European Parliament,

A. having regard to the immense opportunities for the exchange of data
and knowledge offered by information and public service networks, as
well as the economic opportunities in terms of jobs, exports and
combating regional isolation,

B. whereas the European Union must help to strengthen a framework
within which political, legal, social, economic and cultural measures
must be implemented that will ensure that the development of the
information society benefits all members of society,

C. whereas freedom of expression is one of the foundations of
democratic societies; whereas interactive use of the new facilities
made available by the information society, in particular the Internet,
could open the way to strengthening democracy by increasing

D. whereas public access to the activities and acts of the bodies of
the European Union, States and territorial public entities is a
constituent element of democracy,

E. whereas globalization of the Internet requires an international
regulatory framework based on fair competition and favouring both the
rapid expansion of private investment and safeguards for public and
individual interests, including the protection of cultural and
linguistic diversity and the protection of human dignity and minors,

F. pointing out that access for all citizens to these new technologies
will be essential in order to prevent socio-economic exclusion,

G. whereas it is important that these developments do not further
isolate the developing world,

H. whereas it is essential to ensure that these new communication and
information services benefit all the countries of Europe and all their

I. whereas certain American universities with the support of the US
government and business sectors have taken the initiative to develop a
new, faster and more powerful network called Internet 2,

J. having regard to the need to avoid uniform content, with the aim of
respecting and promoting the cultural and linguistic diversity of the
peoples of Europe,

The European Parliament,

1.     Calls on the Union and the Member States to make a political
commitment to building a European information society, encouraging the
development of the new technologies and the new communication and
information services, for the benefit of both the private and the
business market;

2.     Calls on Member States and governments to include a civic
studies component in the syllabuses of their education and training
systems to enable the general public to develop skills of critical
analysis in confronting the super-abundance of information delivered
by the mechanisms of the information society;

3.     Calls on Member States and the Commission to realize the
potential for using the new technologies for educational purposes, in
particular for developing continuing and distance education,
language-learning, the networking of educational and training
establishments, so as to promote virtual mobility and exchanges of
information and experience in this area;

4.     Considers that the EU should aim to lead the field in certain
key areas; in particular, EU ICT policy should devote more attention
to voice and language technology in order to turn existing know-how
and experience of multilingualism into a global competitive advantage;

5.     Invites the Commission to carry out a study on the impact and
potential of the new technologies which are in the process of being
introduced into European society and also of those which have yet to
be implemented, such as Internet 2;

6.     Calls on the Commission to draw up a draft recommendation aimed
at ensuring public access to these new services that takes into
account in particular access and financing arrangements
(free-of-charge Internet access points for access to institutional or
public-service information), together with efforts to educate users in
compliance with democratic values and raise public awareness of them;

7.     Calls on all political and legislative bodies to use the
Internet as a means of making the public aware of decisions being
taken, thus strengthening public awareness of the political process;

8.     Calls on Member States to ensure that the new facilities are
used to promote freedom of speech and information, exchanges between
cultures, education and civic participation in public life, in
particular in relation to EU enlargement or international contacts
with countries whose peoples live under authoritarian and repressive

9.     Stresses once again the need to open, as soon as possible,
free-of-charge Internet access points to familiarize the public with
this new tool and give people the skills required to have access to
institutional or public service information (in schools, libraries and
neighbourhood centres);

10.     Calls on the Council and the Member States to reassert the
need for an international approach to ensure the development of new
technologies and new information services;

11.     Calls on the Commission to keep Parliament regularly informed
of the progress of discussions in international organizations and of
the evolution of any proposals by the US in the field; calls on the
Member States to coordinate their positions on the subjects to be
discussed at the conference on electronic commerce to be held in
Ottawa in October 1998, namely data protection, the management and
implementation of fiscal regulations, consumers' rights and electronic

12.     Calls for promotion of the audiovisual networking of all the
acts of European Union bodies and national and territorial bodies in
their entirety, and in particular for on-line audiovisual transmission
of sittings of the European Parliament and of the public sittings of
the other institutions;

13.     States its firm intention to make all its legislative
documents and ongoing work and petitions accessible through the

14.     Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the
Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member
States and of states applying for accession, the Committee of the
Regions and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Grootscholten, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl