EP Resolution on the information society


Subject: EP Resolution on the information society
From: Barbara Schleihagen (Eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: ma 29 kesä   1998 - 17:50:36 EEST


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

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

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
citizens,

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 regimes;

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 signatures;

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 Internet;

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.

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EBLIDA
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
http://www.kaapeli.fi/~eblida/



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