Brussels, 10 January 2011
Digital Agenda: "
Comité des Sages
" calls for a "NewRenaissance" by bringing Europe's cultural heritageonline
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.The 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
,to help cultural institutions make the transition towards the digital age.
Neelie Kroes said: "I sincerely thank the three "
" for their constructivesuggestions on how we can trigger a "Digital Renaissance" in Europe. Bringing ourmuseums' and libraries' collections online not only shows Europe's rich history andculture but can also usher in new benefits for education, for innovation and forgenerating new economic activities. It will put high quality content on the net formany generations."Androulla Vassiliou added: "The Group has balanced the interests of creators withthe imperatives of a changing environment in the digital era. We need to find waysand means to do so in all the areas where the cultural and creative industries areconfronted with the challenges of moving into the digital age. Culture and heritage inthe digital era represent a set of opportunities for European economies andsocieties."The report, called "The New Renaissance", key conclusions and recommendationsare:
central reference point for Europe'sonline cultural heritage. Member States must ensure that all material digitisedwith public funding is available on the site, and bring all their public domainmasterpieces into Europeana by 2016. Cultural institutions, the EuropeanCommission and Member States should actively and widely promote