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Internet Policy in the EU

Latest news and information on the Internet policies of the European Union.

Study of Gambling Services in the Internal Market of the European Union
To obtain a detailed overview of the legal and economic aspects of gambling and games of chance, the Commission asked the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law to carry out a study into the sector. The study is the result of close to two years work and provides an analysis of the legal regimes governing gambling and games of chance in the European Union.

i2010 - A European Information Society for growth and employment
The "i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment" initiative was launched by the Commission on 1 June 2005 as a framework for addressing the main challenges and developments in the information society and media sectors up to 2010. It promotes an open and competitive digital economy and emphasises ICT as a driver of inclusion and quality of life. The initiative contains a range of EU policy instruments to encourage the development of the digital economy such as regulatory instruments, research and partnerships with stakeholders.

Search for information technology companies in Europe
Information Technology companies in Europe

Fighting Spam in the EU
The EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive applies to the processing of personal data in connection with the provision of public electronic communication networks and service and thereby requires the Member States to create obligations for anyone involved in the forms of processing addressed by the Directive.

.eu Internet Domain Name
.eu was put in the root zone of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) in March 2005 which means that, technically speaking; it has been in existence since then.

Data protection in the EU
Concerns about personal data collection on the Internet are increasing. Developments in the European Union fo create of a frontier free Internal Market and the EU's so-called 'Information Society' have greatly increases the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU.

Media policies in the EU
The audiovisual sector provides one million jobs in the European Union. It involves big commercial interests and issues of cultural diversity, public service and social responsibility. Each national EU government runs its own audiovisual policy, while the Union sets rules and guidelines where common interests, like open EU borders and fair competition, are concerned.

Data protection in the EU
Developments of a frontier free Internal Market and of the so called 'information society' increase the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU. In order to remove potential obstacles to such flows and to ensure a high level of protection within the EU, data protection legislation has been harmonised. The Commission also engages in dialogues with non-EU countries in order to insure a high level of protection when exporting personal data to those countries. It also initiates studies on the development on European and international level on the state of data protection.

eContentplus programme
The eContentplus Programme is a multiannual Community programme to make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable. The 4-year programme (2005–08), proposed by the European Commission, will have a budget of EUR 149 million to tackle organisational barriers and promote take up of leading-edge technical solutions to improve accessibility and usability of digital material in a multilingual environment.

Electronic commerce and the European Union
The e-business concept goes well beyond e-commerce (buying and selling on-line) as it also encompasses the integration of ICT into business processes of enterprises. In this context managerial innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are as important as technological breakthroughs. The related policy challenge is therefore to help European enterprises, notably SMEs, to adapt themselves to structural changes, such as those fostered by the diffusion and pervasiveness of new technologies. It implies legal, technological, business and human challenges. EU main policy challenges are now to improve the managerial understanding of e-business and the availability of e-business solutions, as well as to promote networking and co-operation initiatives.

Safer Internet in the EU
The EU Safer Internet plus programme aims to promote safer use of the Internet and new online technologies, particularly for children, and to fight against illegal content and content unwanted by the end-user, as part of a coherent approach by the European Union.

Fighting Spam in Europe
Article 13(1) of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive requires Member States to prohibit the sending of unsolicited commercial communications by fax or e-mail or other electronic messaging systems such as SMS and MMS unless the prior consent of the addressee has been obtained (opt-in system).

Privacy Protection in the EU
The EU regulatory framework for electronic communications comprises a series of legal texts and associated measures that apply throughout the 25 EU Member States. The goals of the new framework are to encourage competition in the electronic communications markets, to improve the functioning of the internal market and to guarantee basic user interests that would not be guaranteed by market forces. The framework provides a set of rules that are simple, aimed at deregulation, technology neutral and sufficiently flexible to deal with fast changing markets in the electronic communications sector.

Europa
EUROPA is the portal site of the European Union. It provides up-to-date coverage of European Union affairs and essential information on European integration. Users can also consult all legislation currently in force or under discussion, access the websites of each of the EU institutions and find out about the policies administered by the European Union under the powers devolved to it by the Treaties.

VAT: special arrangements applicable to services supplied electronically
The objective is to create a level playing field for the indirect taxation of digital electronic commerce for EU and non-EU businesses and to make compliance for non-EU businesses as easy and straightforward as possible. The changes modernise the existing VAT place of supply rules for services to accommodate the electronic business environment and to provide a clear and certain regulatory environment for all suppliers, located within or outside the EU.

Digital Agenda for Europe
The Digital Agenda is Europe's strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020. It outlines policies and actions to maximise the benefit of the Digital Revolution for all. To achieve these goals, the Commission will work closely with national governments, concerned organisations and companies. An annual Digital Assembly will bring stakeholders together to assess progress and emerging challenges.

eCommunications - Networks and Services
Services or networks that transmit communications electronically, whether it is wireless or fixed, carrying data or voice, Internet based or circuit switched, broadcasting or personal communication are all covered by a set of EU rules that became applicable on 25 July 2003. The legal framework is aimed at developing and reinforcing the single market, promoting competition and safeguarding public and user interests in the electronic communications sector.

Copyright and neighbouring rights in the EU Internal Market
There has been significant harmonisation of the substantive copyright law in the European Union to reduce barriers to trade and to adjust the framework to new forms of exploitation. Common ground is also needed with respect to the rules on the enforcement of rights, i.e. on access to justice, sanctions and remedies regarding infringements. In order to grasp the full potential of marketing intellectual property rights in the Internal Market, the EU Commission believes that complementary measures on the management and licensing of these rights may also prove necessary. The Internal Market DG's task is to enforce the "acquis" on copyright and related rights; to advance it further and to modernise and adapt it to new developments in technology or the markets concerned as this is an evolving scenario.

European Data Protection Supervisor
The EDPS is an independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy and promoting good practice in the EU institutions and bodies. It does so by: * monitoring the EU administration's processing of personal data; * advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy; and * co-operating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection.