Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

EU adopts new Safer Internet Programme: € 55 million to make the Internet a safer place for children

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The EU will have a new Safer Internet Programme as of 1 January 2009. Following the overwhelmingly positive vote on 23 October in which the European Parliament expressed its support for the new Safer Internet Programme (IP/08/1571), the Council of Ministers has adopted today the new Programme. The new Safer Internet Programme covering the period 2009-2013 had been proposed by the European Commission on 28 February 2008 (IP/08/310) to protect children in the ever more sophisticated online world and empower them to safely use web services like social networking, blogging and instant messaging. While 75% of children (aged between 6 and 17 years) are already online and 50% of 10-year-olds have a mobile phone, a new Eurobarometer survey published today shows that 60% of European parents are worried that their child might become a victim of online grooming (when an adult befriends a child with the intention of committing sexual abuse) and 54% that their children could be bullied online (harassed on internet sites or via mobile messages). The new Safer Internet Programme will fight grooming and bullying by making online software and mobile technologies more sophisticated and secure. From 2009-2013, the EU will spend € 55 million to make the Internet a safer place.
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