Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

British MEP Alan Donnelly (PES) worries about Y2K

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/c European Communities, 1998

Record Control Number : 12289 Date : 1999-02-24

Category : Miscellaneous

General Information :

The Year 2000 Computer Problem - "The Millennium Bug" - represents a critical issue, a considerable risk for consumers and a major challenge for public services, but British MEP Alan Donnelly (PES) will tell the European Parliament on 24 February 1999 that the European Union can help by promoting coordinated actions by national authorities, especially where there is a cross-border and internal market impact.

The Millennium Bug may adversely affect the individual citizen and the Single Market. The problem has been caused in systems that use only two digits to represent the year in date fields. As a result, in many applications, the year 2000 will be interpreted as the year 1900, causing failures in arithmetic computations and data processing.

In a move to alert the business community and citizens of potential dangers ahead, the European Commission has published a Communication outlining the problem. Representing the Economic Committee, Alan Donnelly will express his concern on the issue. Mr Donnelly notes the world-wide cost of software adoption to which potential litigation costs can be added.

He is particularly concerned about the lack of concern from the national authorities in areas such as energy, telecommunications and transport. Additionally, he feels there is a need to raise awareness amongst Europe's citizens. On the external front, there is a need to take into account Eastern Europe and, in particular, the nuclear sector.

>From a legal point of view, Mr Donnelly's draft resolution requests
the Commission to clarify the position regarding existing EU Product Liability Directives with regard to possible claims for compensation in the event of failures caused by the Millennium Bug.

Data Source Provider : European Parliament

Document Reference : Based on a press briefing from the European Parliament's press service

Subject Index Codes : Telecommunications; Innovation, Technology Transfer; Information, Media