C 92/12


Official Journal of the European Communities Action plan on promoting safe use of the Internet


Call for proposals to demonstrate content filtering and rating systems and to prepare awareness actions (1999/C 92/11) The action plan on promoting safer use of the Internet is a multi-annual Community programme covering the period 1999 to 2002, under which several calls for proposals are envisaged. In the framework of the action plan, the European Commission invites proposals covering either of the following two areas: activities with a consortium selected under the first stage or (b) their proposals constitute substantial innovation.

1. The application of filtering and rating systems for Internet content (demonstration projects)

2. To promote awareness of safe use of the Internet (preparatory actions).

The objectives of actions in the second area are to promote awareness actions directed at users, in particular children, parents and teachers, to allow them to use Internet resources provided by industry safely and with confidence. They will stimulate use in the home and schools of Internet services by reducing the cause for concern that may be felt by parents and teachers about the availability of illegal and harmful content. Awareness actions will contribute to the success of the first area by stimulating the application and take-up of filtering and rating systems to guide or control access to Internet services.

The objective of actions in the first area is to permit Internet users (parents, teachers) who have a responsibility for other users (children or pupils) to decide what content they wish the persons for whom they are responsible to be able to access. To realise this goal proposals may be considered that give the user control over the use to which an Internet connection is put. Such proposals may include technologies based on metadata content labels, or characteristics of online content to create ‘filtering and rating systems’ to improve access to appropriate information. Classification of information content may be done by content providers, third-party experts, local administrators, a survey or vote, or by automated tools. Mechanisms may be located on the user's personal computer, on a Local Area Network (LAN) or local proxy server, at an Internet Service Provider, on a remote proxy server, or as part of a search engine or Web site.

The actions in this second area will be carried out in two stages. In the first stage (preparatory actions) the best means of achieving the objectives will be identified and pilot projects will be launched and in the second stage multiplier organisations in the Member States — such as consumer bodies and other relevant associations — will be assisted to implement actions nationally. The present call for proposals is for the first stage.

Community financial support is based on actual costs incurred, normally labour costs and travel costs. The support will be calculated at up to 50 % of those costs. The Community financial contribution under the present programme may not be cumulated with a payment from any other European Community programme or source for the same project. An indicative budget for the support of actions from this call (in million euro) is content selfrating — 1,9, third-party rating — 2,0, awareness actions — 2,5.

The demonstration projects should involve self-regulatory bodies, industry (access and service providers, content providers, network operators, software houses) user, consumer and citizens rights groups and government bodies involved in industry regulation and protection of minors.

The call will take part in two stages. The first stage is intended for the development of prototypes, which will then be evaluated for selection for further funding in a second stage. A limited possibility will also exist for projects not selected in the first stage to be presented. A restricted call for proposals for the second stage is scheduled for March-June 2001. Consortia will only be eligible for the second stage if either (a) they show substantial continuity in membership and

This call for proposals is open to entities, whether private or public, within the European Union. All projects must be transnational in scope and include cooperation between independent organisations established in different Member States. Participation may be open to entities in third countries in the conditions set out in the technical background document.

The Commission is making details of preparatory actions under way available on its Internet site: http://www.echo.lu/iap. Interested organisations may also make public their readiness to collaborate and sketch out potential projects.