• Structural Funds: European Regional Innovation Awards for nine regions
    Press release22 April 2004

    The winners of the first 'European Regional Innovation Awards' competition were announced today in Brussels. The winning regions with the most innovative projects were presented with their awards during a plenary session of the Committee of the Regions held in the European Parliament. The competition was organised by the European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy and was targeted at regions who are experimenting with new ideas and new ways of promoting innovation at the regional level through the Regional Programmes of Innovative Actions which are co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. One of the themes covered was "e-Europe-Regio: the information society at the service of regional development".

  • Developing Africa's infrastructure: Commission invests over EUR 230 million in transport and internet access
    Press release22 April 2004

    As part of its ongoing commitment to fighting poverty and promoting economic development in Africa, the European Commission today approved programmes amounting to over € 230 million to rebuild key roads, improve the way roads are maintained and to help bridge the digital divide in several African countries. Key sections of trunk roads in Mali, Niger and Uganda will be improved or rebuilt, while a regional information and communication technology programme in Eastern and Southern Africa will widen access to the internet, increase connection speeds, and support national authorities in developing information technology policies.

  • The future of European audiovisual policy
    Speech22 April 2004

    Westminster Media Forum, London, 22 april 2004

  • Electronic communications: EU ministers take stock of progress in stimulating demand for higher speed Internet connections ("broadband")
    Press release22 April 2004

    Fresh impetus for the drive to roll out high-speed broadband connections, and boost the quality of the content and services they carry to businesses and citizens across Europe, should come from a Ministerial Conference held by the EU's Irish Presidency in Dundalk on 22 April. Developing content and services to stimulate the take-up of broadband connections is viewed as vital to the take-up of information and communication technology, and hence to competitiveness and productivity growth, across the EU. A little over a year after the first EU-level discussions on broadband issues, Member States will compare progress in rolling out broadband networks at home. They will also discuss issues hampering the development of innovative content with CEOs spanning the broadband value chain across Europe.

  • Baltic IT&T 2004 Forum: eBaltics
    Event21 April 2004 to 23 April 2004

    This year’s Forum will emphasize services for the citizens: eGovernment, eHealth, eSkills, mobile data services. The discussion of the Geneva World Summit on Information Society on Internet governance and regulation will take place at the regional level. New opportunities offered by the availability of EU funds and programmes for cross-border cooperation will be considered. A Conference on human language technologies within the Baltic perspective will take place in conjunction with the Forum, with emphasis on multilingual language resources and speech processing.

  • New Directions for ICTs in FP7: Grand challenges for basic research
    Event21 April 2004 to 22 April 2004

    In preparation of the 7th Framework Programme, the Future and Emerging Technologies Unit of the DG Information Society is organising a 2-day workshop targeted at leading scientists, industrialists and policy makers. There will be parallel thematic sessions on Strategy and Policy for ICTs, Components Research, Systems Research and Intelligence and Cognition Research.

  • Six Member States face Court action for failing to put in place new rules on electronic communications
    News article21 April 2004

    After nine months of delay and two warnings, the Commission has decided on 21 April to take six Member States - Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement fully new rules on electronics communications. At the same time progress is being made; since the Commission's first warning last autumn, Spain and Portugal have adopted the necessary national measures and so they are not included in today's decisions. The Netherlands voted its new legislation yesterday and France may finalise its national measures in the very near future. Account will be taken of such progress, but this step sends a clear signal to all Member States: businesses and citizens in their countries cannot afford further delay in these important reforms.

  • Healthcare cooperation: Patients to benefit from new Commission proposals
    Press release21 April 2004

    The European Commission proposes a number of initiatives which aim to encourage co-operation among Member States to raise standards of accessible, high quality healthcare which is at the same time financially sustainable. Healthcare is regularly identified as one of the most important issues for Europe's citizens. While responsibility for healthcare rests with Member States, there are a number of common challenges, such as the ageing society, increased needs and demands from citizens and rapid technological change. The Commission's proposals are aimed at individuals. They include efforts to promote practical co-operation on the access to healthcare in another Member State. They should also empower patients by giving them better information on how to obtain treatment across borders and by making the most of technology to improve the quality, availability and effectiveness of care. They also benefit the healthcare profession, by proposing the development of centres of excellence, and mapping out how to harness new technologies. Finally the Commission addresses co-operation at government level, by proposing a framework for Member States relating to reform and modernisation of healthcare, long-term care and social protection.

  • The Commission puts industry centre stage and reinforces competitiveness in an enlarged European Union
    Press release21 April 2004

    After relaunching of the debate on the role of industrial policy in December 2002, the European Commission sketches the contours of an industrial policy for an enlarged European Union in a Communication adopted on 20 April. This responds to the concerns raised by the European Council and also responds to concerns about the risk of deindustrialisation and how we can anticipate and address on-going structural changes within European industry. The Commission calls for action in three areas: a better regulatory environment for business, including action to avoid over-regulation at EU or national level, better mobilising all EU policy to boost competitiveness particularly through action in areas like research, training, competition rules and regional aid, and working with individual sectors to develop polices responses which match specific needs, move up the value chain, anticipate and accompany structural transformations.

  • International Conference on ICT Solutions for Mediterranean SMEs
    Event20 April 2004 to 22 April 2004

    In the framework of the Universal Forum of Cultures, to be held in Barcelona from 9th of May to 26th of September 2004, the project ICT Solutions for Mediterranean SMEs, ICTMEDSME, will organise an International Conference in order to discuss the present situation of the Small and Middle-sized Enterprises of the Mediterranean within the Information Society.