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"Comité des Sages" calls for a "New Renaissance" by bringing Europe's cultural heritage online

The report of the Comité des Sages (high-level reflection group) on Digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage was delivered today to Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, and Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner responsible for Education and Culture.

Members of the "Comité des sages" are Maurice Lévy (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of advertising and communications company Publicis), Elisabeth Niggemann (Director-General of the German National Library and chair of the Europeana Foundation) and Jacques De Decker (author and Permanent Secretary of Belgium's Royal Academy of French language and literature).

Their report urges EU Member States to step up their efforts to put online the collections held in all their libraries, archives and museums. It stresses the benefits of making Europe's culture and knowledge more easily accessible.

It also points to the potential economic benefits of digitisation, including through public-private partnerships, for the development of innovative services in sectors like tourism, research and education.

The report endorses the Digital Agenda's objective of strengthening Europe's digital library Europeana and suggests solutions for making works covered by copyright available online.

The report's recommendations will feed into the Commission's broader strategy, under the Digital Agenda for Europe, to help cultural institutions make the transition towards the digital age.

The Comité des Sages' recommendations are found at: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/digital_libraries/index_en.htm

The full report, with the executive summary, is now available in all EU languages:
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/digital_libraries/comite_des_sages/index_en.htm

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