Digital & Media Archives

  • Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID)


    Minute tags embedded in many different physical devices link up the material world with the information super-highway. Technological obstacles, regulatory issues and privacy concerns must, however, be dealt with before the technology can be implemented to its full potential. 

  • Telecoms and Internet regulation review


    The European Union has embarked on a broad review of the telecoms and Internet sector in an attempt to adapt legislation to the latest technological developments. EU institutions reached a broad agreement in April 2009, but a highly political fight over the protection of Internet users' rights in France has put the entire reform on ice, holding it hostage to an unpredictable horse-trading process.

  • Personalised healthcare

    Health 09-06-2008

    The European Commission is promoting hi-tech solutions to prevent chronic diseases and meet the health challenges of the 21st century. 

  • Web 2.0: New opportunities, new risks


    New user-friendly technologies have made the Internet more interactive, turning millions of users into content creators and increasing the services available online. The changes introduced have created a kind of second-generation Internet - the so-called Web 2.0.

  • Blogs: Filling the EU’s ‘communication gap’?

    Public Affairs 26-03-2008

    Recent years have seen the emergence of a wide variety of blogs on EU affairs, and even European commissioners have begun to post daily messages on their websites under José Manuel Barroso's tenure. But will blogs really lead to more intelligent European debate? 

  • eCommerce: A market without borders?

    Brexit 21-01-2008

    Although eCommerce in Europe doubles every three years, sales remain primarily at national level due to low consumer trust in cross-border purchases. The European Commission and the European Parliament are carrying out legislative reviews of the EU's eCommerce Directive to address shortfalls.

  • Electronic Health Records


    Patients' health records saved in databases could boost the efficiency of health markets in the EU but pose major challenges regarding interoperability and safeguarding patient privacy. 

  • Lead markets – gateway to growth?

    Innovation & Industry 16-12-2007

    Lead markets are markets in which EU industry can develop a global competitive advantage provided that it gets support from the public sector as regulator, customer and facilitator.

  • Galileo

    Security 12-12-2007

    The Galileo satellite navigation system is the European civil alternative to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS, both funded and controlled by military authorities.

  • Internet Security


    Security in the online world is essential for the internet to realise its economic potential - but experts agree that there is no simple solution to a problem that has multiple dimensions: technological, societal, economic and psychological.

  • e-Skills

    Innovation & Industry 07-09-2007

    In a joint effort, industry and the EU seek to make as many EU residents as possible computer-literate. They profit professionally and in their private lives, and the potential benefits for the economy are huge. 

  • eGovernment


    The aim of eGovernment - one of the key objectives laid out in the Commission's i2010 Action plan - is to bring administrations closer to citizens and businesses by providing online public services; a goal that was to be achieved by 2005.

  • e-Accessibility


    The information society should be open to all and not discriminate against people with physical and sensory disabilities or senior citizens. In a joint effort with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the EU is attempting to ensure that all citizens can use computers and the internet to realise their potential.

  • EU Broadband policy

    Science & Policymaking 03-07-2007

    The widespread introduction of broadband at affordable prices is one of the chief objectives of the EU's i2010 action plan. Broadband technology allows users to access the Internet at high speeds via their telephone lines (DSL), cable, wireless mobile technologies and satellites. Moreover, the deployment of next generation networks, based on optical fibres, is set to put a new range of super-fast Internet services withing everyone's reach .

  • i2010


    The Commission’s i2010 programme aims to promote convergence in information and communication technologies by 2010, an ambition that Brussels considers vital to the overall objective of boosting innovation and jobs.

  • Communicating science

    Innovation & Industry 14-05-2007

    There is a general lack of understanding of how advances in science and technology affect our lives. Against this background, controversial or sensational reporting on food safety, GMOs, bird flu, global warming or, for example, stem cell research can leave citizens confused and frightened and science misunderstood. This is why scientists are increasingly asked to communicate their work to a wider audience and science communicators and the media to act as the responsible bridge between the scientists and society.

  • Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights


    In the face of the rising counterfeiting and piracy across Europe, the Commission is proposing a historical but controversial Directive that would - for the first time ever - force member states to adjust their penal codes and establish harmonised criminal sanctions against IPR-infringers.

  • Interoperability of ICT systems


    In order to face the challenges of global competitors and boost the growth potential of Europe's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, hardware and software products, systems and networks need to work smoothly together. 

  • Mobile phones and health


    The explosion in the use of mobile phones during the past decade has been accompanied by much debate on their potential side-effects. A number of studies have been carried out in an attempt to ascertain whether using mobile phones has an adverse effect on health. While it is difficult to disprove health risks, industry points out the inconclusiveness of the majority of studies undertaken thus far.

  • Television Without Frontiers / Audiovisual Without Frontiers


    The EU institutions have found agreement on amendments to the Television without Frontiers (TWF) Directive, the central piece of EU TV regulation. They propose to apply certain provisions of the Directive to some internet-based services and to partially lift regulations on advertising and product placement.

  • Community Patent

    Innovation & Industry 08-12-2006

    Despite widespread support for the idea of an EU-wide patent that would save companies the cost and effort of having to apply for protection under different national patent regimes, MEPs and member states have been unable to find a system that obtains all around consensus. 

  • 2nd telecoms package [Archived]

    Competition 19-11-2006

    The liberalisation of the European Telecoms in 1998 marked a milestone for the sector and anticipated the opening up of markets worldwide. However, the technological developments pushed the European authorities to carry out a reform of the common rules. The result was the second telecoms package adopted in April 2002.

  • 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)

    Science & Policymaking 18-11-2006

    The EU's Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (2007-2013) is designed as a key contribution to the EU's strategy for growth and jobs.

  • Bridging the ‘digital divide’: EU policies


    Widespread access to modern information and communication technologies (internet, TV, telephone) is considered to be a driving factor behind the EU's efforts to become the world's leading knowledge-based economy (Lisbon strategy). However, poverty or lack of basic ICT skills still prevent this ambition from turning into reality, while at the same time effectively barring businesses from potentially highly lucrative markets in the EU-15 as well as in the new member states. Addressing this so-called 'digital divide' could therefore become a key element in the EU's Lisbon strategy for long-term economic growth.