The Recommendation aims at bringing out the full economic and cultural potential of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage through the Internet. It is part of the Commission’s strategy for the digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation of Europe's cultural and scientific heritage as set out in the Commission Communication ‘i2010: digital libraries’ of 30 September 2005, COM(2005)465 final.

The digital libraries initiative aims at enabling all Europeans to access Europe's collective memory and use it for education, work, leisure and creativity. The efforts in this area will contribute to Europe’s competitiveness and will support European Union action in the field of culture:

  • The online presence of material from different cultures and in different languages will make it easier for citizens to appreciate their own cultural heritage as well as the heritage of other European countries. The recommended measures will contribute to presenting Europe’s rich and diverse heritage on the Internet and to protecting cultural assets from irretrievable loss.
  • Beyond its fundamental cultural value, cultural material is an important resource for new added value services. The measures recommended will contribute to enhancing growth in related high value-added sectors such as tourism, education and media. High-quality digital content is a key driver for large scale industrial activities (hence the interest on the part of major search engines). Digitisation and digital preservation are knowledge-intensive activities that are likely to grow considerably in the coming years.

The measures put forward in the Recommendation should lead to a more coordinated approach in the Member States to key issues for digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation, and help create a multilingual common access point to Europe's distributed digital cultural heritage.

Please note that the texts of the Recommendation published below are provisional and subject to amendment. Only the versions that will be published in the "Official Journal of the European Union" in the coming weeks are authentic.

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