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European Commission prepares for Info Society summit
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Saturday, 31 May 2003
The European Commission has adopted a communication clarifying the EUs position and objectives for the forthcoming world summit on Information Society (WSIS). The United Nations summit, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 10-12 December, aims to help countries understand the socio economic benefits of incorporating information society into national policies more fully. The summit will be an opportune moment for the EU to provide insight into its information society policies, share its experiences and undertake a commitment to assist developing countries and emerging economies in this field. A political declaration and plan of action will be adopted during the summit, with a view to developing a common approach to information society. In an effort to help shape the declaration and action plan, the Commissions communication outlines some basic guidelines: The communication states that fundamental human rights, namely the right to education, the right of access to information and the right of freedom and expression should be at the core of the summits declaration and action plan. Following on from these basic rights, the communication underlines the need for political support to invest in human development and capacity building.

Furthermore, progress towards information society can only be achieved with the right tools. In light of this, the summits declaration should focus on importance of developing coherent regulatory frameworks involving all stakeholders, and e-strategies such as e-Government, e-Learning, e-Health and e-Business, notes the communication. The communications guidelines will be debated further during the Telecommunications Council on 5 June, with a view to drafting a common EU position for the summit.
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