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emigrants (especially those from Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). They move from one EU country to another (in particular the U.K., Germany and Spain) for educational, financial or social reasons.
Bulletin 12 January/February 2011
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
The mission of an information society backed by ICT
As knowledge and innovation are the main drivers of development and sustainable growth, it is therefore necessary to develop an information society, based on modern technologies. The European Union wants to build this society not only in homes but also in public institutions and the small and medium-sized business sector.
It is difficult to imagine a modern economy without information and communication technologies, as they make up a quarter of the growth in GDP and 40% of E.U. productivity. The development rate of some Member States of the European Union is strongly determined by their spending on Rand D of modern technologies. Thus the EU authorities aim at levelling the chances of citizens from new members states and those from the original union, in order to increase competitively, stimulate employment and by extension support the European economy. To provide coherent development of a digital economy, the EU authorities need to work not only on digital, but also on political convergence, in order to achieve the desired results. The whole policy was developed within the framework of the i2010 strategy, whose priorities include supporting an integrated approach to the information society and media in the policy of the European Union. Europe, which is currently facing a crisis, with a rapidly ageing population, wants to support development of a knowledge-based society, mainly through lifelong learning and the promotion of the use of modern technologies in various environments, as a way to improve the economic situation as well as the general quality of life.
The priorities of the European policy concerning development of an information society and the media:
i icreating a uniform European information space supporting an open and competitive internal market in the areas of information society and media i isupporting innovations and research in the field of ICT, aimed at supporting growth and the creation of new and better jobs i building an inclusive European information society that would contribute to development and the creation of new jobs, in accordance with the rules of sustainable growth, with a higher quality of public services and life as priorities.
The influence of information and communication technologies on society is growing every year. However, more than a half of the EU inhabitants either do not benefit fully from these technologies or is completely deprived of them. Improving social, economic and territorial cohesion through greater accessibility of ICT-related products and services, also in less welldeveloped regions, is an economic and social necessity. The i2010 strategy puts particular emphasis on general participation as well as equipping all citizens with basic digital skills. These skills are the source of unlimited opportunities for lifelong learning and support mobility. ICT have an under-exploited potential to improve the quality of life. Moreover, a large sector of society, mainly from poorer regions of the European Union does not know what modern technologies are and how can they be used. Research results indicate, however, that ICT not only contribute to the growth of employment and professional skills and competence, but also may improve health of individuals. Lifelong improving and development of general and professional skills of individuals supports
social cohesion and therefore improves well-being and the quality of life. The use of modern technologies in education enables easy and efficient development, regardless of people’s age. Taking into account demographic challenges that Europe is facing, ICT may help to improve the efficiency of public health care and social security systems. An important role of modern technologies is supporting cultural diversity in Europe through greater access to the cultural heritage and works of art for a wider public. But that is not all: a wide range of communication tools supports intercultural dialogue and integration into European society. This in turn has an important influence on the mobility of EU citizens, and mobility for ageing citizens of Europe is crucial for the condition of the community’s economy. The important contribution of ICT to the improved quality of life is often underestimated and technologies are accepted only on a limited scale. In order to make ICT more visible, the EU Commission suggests developing model ICT initiatives in areas of the most important social challenges. In the beginning, these initiatives should be focused on three priorities: the needs of an ageing society, safe and ecological transportation and cultural diversity. Providing care and assistance for ageing society will be the subject of the first initiative; it will include technologies supporting good living conditions, well-being and the health of citizens as well as enabling them to maintain an independent life. The second initiative will be connected with smart vehicles, i.e. cars that would be more innovative, ecological and safer, and it will aim at dealing with issues
connected with environment protection and safety, resulting from growing traffic density on the roads. Digital libraries making multimedia resources more accessible and user-friendly will be the subject of the third initiative. It will be based on the rich cultural heritage of Europe and will bring technological development as well as new business models to the fields of multiculturalism and multilingualism. The products of the E-bridge to mobility project are based entirely on modern technologies, therefore they make Europeans more aware of the importance of modern technologies, especially for elderly people, who are at greatest risk of digital and social exclusion. The products were prepared in such a way, that after creating an account on the 2mobility.eu web page each beneficiary is able to use them to learn foreign languages and acquire knowledge about every day life and culture of the EU’s inhabitants.
Products of the project:
Language course: Courses of: English, Spanish and German Mobiles: Applications for mobile phones (3 language versions: EN, ES, DE) Basic Legal Forms: Basic legal information about 3 countries: the UK, Spain and Germany Screensavers: Screensavers for computers (3 language versions: EN, ES, DE) Pictionary: Language in pictures: English, Spanish German
Certain products which make up the course can be used with a computer, the Internet and mobile phones. Their greatest advantage is that they can be used anywhere and at any time. They do not impose any limits and provide perfect support for every mobile European. The E-bridge 2 mobility project is consistent with the i2010 strategy and, first of all, it brings the idea of a modern information society to life, providing support for two main social groups, who are a subject of special concern for the European Commission: the young and the elderly. In the coming years Europe will invest a lot in education and development of young people, in order to meet the economic challenges of Europe and keep up with the changes. The elderly are an important issue of contemporary Europe that is facing a challenge of mobilizing and activating the oldest members of European society.
The „E-bridge” partners:
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