Go to main content
Important legal notice

EUROPA - Europe's Information Society Thematic Portal

Navigation path: European Commission > Information Society
Language navigation: de en es fr it pl

Home | News | Calendar | Library | RSS | XML | Search | Contact | Help

Alternate presentations: Default layout Alternate layout, printer-friendly and allows font resizing

Information Society Policies > Overview

Information Society Policies at a Glance

The Information Society will affect most aspects of our lives, so European policies range from the regulation of entire industrial sectors to the protection of each individual's privacy. 

Cover of i2010 video brochure
i2010: Europe's policy framework for the Information Society
View all videos

The policies are grouped as follows - you can also jump straight to the relevant sites using the tabs below:

Today, Europe's Information Society policies are brought together under the i2010 Initiative: the EU framework for addressing the main challenges and developments in the information society and media sectors in the years up to 2010. The initiative promotes an open and competitive digital economy, research into information and communication technologies, as well as their application to improve social inclusion, public services and quality of life.

The EU's international Information Society policies span all of these areas, and so are set out in the International Relations site.

As all policies are interrelated, of course, some may appear in more than one section. An A-Z list of all EU Information Society policies, finally, is also available.

Further Details and Quicklinks

  • Regulating Markets
  • Stimulating the IS
  • Exploiting the Benefits

Europe's Information Society has grown partly due to European initiatives such as the creation of the Single Market, the adoption of harmonised standards and telecommunications liberalisation. Under i2010's Single European Information Space pillar, the Commission combines regulatory and other instruments to create a modern, market-oriented regulatory framework for the digital economy.


Read the Regulating Markets Overview, or jump straight to the following sites:


Transmission: Regulating the Networks

Content: Regulating what flows through them


Policies to stimulate the sector range from helping European industry develop new products and technologies to stimulating the appearance of new services. Under i2010's Investment and Innovation in Research pillar, the Commission is focusing both on the EU’s research and development instruments and setting priorities for cooperation with the private sector to promote innovation and technological leadership.


Read the Stimulating the Information Society Overview, or jump straight to the following sites:

  • Research: Europe must master these increasingly complex technologies, so the EU is both funding cross-EC research to pool Europe’s research resources and helping forge a common European strategy towards ICT research - see the Research & Innovation Theme for more details.
  • Infrastructure:
  • Content & Services: Stimulating the sector is also a question of stimulating the supply of content and services which make the Information Society valuable:
    • Cultural Heritage: Europe's cultural heritage is a potentially massive source of content. Digitising it would both stimulate the development of the Information Society and make this unique cultural heritage available to more people. See the Digital Libraries Initiative and the Lund Principles and Action Plan.
    • Secure European Information Society Strategy: the Information Society cannot grow to its full potential unless users, companies and governments enjoy reliable networks; high levels of protection for personal data and from malicious attacks.
    • RFID: a wide-ranging public debate on the opportunities and challenges posed by Radio Frequency Identification technology is underway;
    • Public Sector Information: stimulating the development of advanced services based on publicly created information;
    • VAT on electronic services cover VAT arrangements applicable to radio and television broadcasting services and certain electronically supplied services;
Exploiting the Benefits

A range of policies also aim to ensure that Europe exploits the possibilities offered by the Information Society, improving both public and private services for all Europeans. Under i2010's Inclusion, better public services and quality of life pillar, the Commission is developing an inclusive European Information Society, supported by efficient and user-friendly ICT enabled public services.


Read the Exploiting the Benefits Overview, or jump straight to the following sites:

More Policies: Overview | Regulating the Market | Stimulating the Sector | Exploiting the Benefits | A-Z

Last Updated March 2007

More on this subject

  • Visit the newsroom for all the latest news.

Home | News | Calendar | Library | RSS | XML | Search | Contact | Help