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Action 79: Propose a sustainable model for financing the Europeana digital library

By 2012 propose a sustainable model for financing the EU public digital library Europeana and digitisation of content.

What is the problem? Lack of sustainable financing for the Europeana service

For the moment there is no sustainable funding model for the central Europeana service providing access to Europe's digital cultural heritage.

More generally, the digitisation, online access to and digital preservation of a large part of Europe's cultural heritage is hindered by the lack of sustainable financing, as well as by the fragmentation and complexity of the current licensing system.

Why is the EU Action required? It is necessary to find a solid and sustainable funding model for the Europeana service providing access to Europe's cultural heritage, and to complement digitisation and preservation efforts by Member States.

Europeana – Europe's digital library - aims to give access to Europe's vast cultural resources to all Europeans.Europeana should be strengthened through sustainable financing and a favourable legal framework. Moreover, increased public funding is needed to finance large-scale digitisation, alongside initiatives with private partners provided that they allow a general accessibility of Europe's common cultural heritage online. Europe’s cultural heritage should also be made better accessible to all Europeans by advancing and using modern translation technologies.

In January 2011 the 'Comité des Sages' on bringing Europe's cultural heritage online' presented its final report "A New Renaissance" to the Commission. This report includes forward-looking recommendations on Europeana and on the funding of digitisation and digital preservation of cultural heritage.

This action is closely related to other DAE actions, namely Action 2 on "orphan works and out of print works".

What will the Commission do?

By the end of 2011:

  • The Commission will issue a Communication to Council and Parliament to 1) report on the development of Europeana and give an overview of progress in the Member States; 2) take a position on the recommendations of the ´Comité des Sages'; 3) outline the next steps from the side of the Commission.
  • The Commission will work with Member States in the context of the Member States' Expert Group on Digitisation to 1) further discuss a sustainable financing model for Europeana, taking into account the recommendations of the "Comité des Sages" 2) consolidate a roadmap for the Member States content contribution to Europeana (which may in turn have an impact on the funding of digitisation).

By the end of 2012:

  • The Commission will have proposed a sustainable model for financing Europeana and digitisation of cultural heritage.