More than one hundred targeted stakeholders from the public, private and third sector, including the academia, congregated at the 2012 European Congress on E-Inclusion (ECEI12) last 5-6 November in Brussels.
This edition was designed to build on the momentum created last year by further expanding the participation and engagement of key library and related stakeholders in the pan-European conversation on e-inclusion and broader socio-economic impact of e-Inclusion actors.
Telecentre-Europe announced at ECEI12 its upcoming online survey commissioned by JRC-IPTS (EC) as part of MIREIA project to map the intermediaries operating in the e-Inclusion sector across EU27, and participated in a workshop on Partnership Funding.
On Day One the conference focused on the contribution of public libraries providing Internet access and training to Europe 2020 Growth Strategy’s primary focus is to deliver smart, sustainable and Inclusive growth.
Detlef Eckert, Director Media & Data, DG Connect, European Commission, highlighted the opportunity for e-Inclusion actors to contribute to the recently announced Connecting Europe Facility, particularly in connection with the provision of digital services and training related to e-ID, electronic health care, Europeana, eJustice., eProcurement and customs-related services.
On the basis of an extensive desk research on policy papers, Dan Mount, Head of Policy at Civic Agenda EU (conference organizer), call the attention to the few places where public libraries role is explicitly recognized in European policy, prompting the libraries to engage more in the different stages of the policy cycle (which had been one of the topics of discussion in ECEI11).
On Day Two the conference focused upon exploring examples of good practice in relation to the generation of successful e-inclusion partnerships. During a plenary session Gabriel Rissola, Managing Director of Telecentre-Europe, announced the imminent launch of MIREIA online survey, planned for 2nd January 2013. The survey will collect information from a range of e-Inclusion intermediaries and actors like telecentres, public libraries or community centres, meeting a sample of at least 2.500 e-Inclusion providers across all Member States of the European Union.
That session was an excellent occasion to learn from Maria Antonia Carrato Mena, President of NAPLE, about public libraries contribution to a variety of policy goals systematically illustrated by meaningful cases taken from NAPLE members. After the session, NAPLE was invited to become a dissemination channel of MIREIA survey.
Telecentre-Europe community members contributed extensively to the conference. Helen Milner, Chief Executive, UK Online Centres (TE member), showed how her network’s economic impact and contribution to Europe’s Growth Strategy looks like through a combination of case stories and statistics.
Rafal Kramza, President of FRSI (TE member), presented the Library Development Program that reached more than 3.300 public libraries from rural areas and villages in in Poland, and also moderated one of the parallel workshops.
Susanne Bernsmann, Project Manager at Digital Opportunities Foundation in Germany (TE member), presented their Digital Literacy 2.0 project. And Gabriel Rissola together with Melissa Pailthorp, Senior Manager for Community Affairs, Microsoft, contributed with food for thinking to the Workshop on Partnership Funding chaired by Jan Braeckman, Managing Director at Bibnet (Belgium) aimed to look at how public libraries and their partners can position themselves to best take advantage of different funding opportunities from the EU, National Governments, Foundations and Private sector.
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