Executive Summary The third European Congress on E-inclusion (ECEI11) took place on 6th and 7th September 2011 at the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions respectively, bringing together over 100 representatives from across Europe’s e-inclusion and library sectors as well as leading MEPs and European policymakers. The conference was hosted by Civic Agenda, together with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bibnet, the Committee of the Regions, EBLIDA, the European Parliament, NAPLE, JISC TechDis and RegenerateIT. This year’s agenda built on ECEI10 - “Delivering a Digital Europe in Public Libraries” - which was an official EU Belgian Presidency conference on 20th and 21th September in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels. Drawing on last year’s conclusions, ECEI11 aimed to go one step further on the journey to foster a greater awareness and engagement from key European, national and local stakeholders of the transformative impact of public libraries as a development tool that provides access to information and knowledge. The topic of ECEI11 – ‘Transforming Access to Digital Europe through Public Libraries’ – aimed to shine a spotlight on the opportunity Europe has to exploit the potential of its public libraries as sustainable, accessible agencies for all to gain access to ICT and knowledge. The conference programme focused on how libraries must position themselves for the digital age, and sought to demonstrate the vital role of public libraries in EU policy, looking ahead at the EU agenda Europe 2020. This year’s program was divided in two days and two distinctive parts.
Day 1: Building a dialogue with Europe The aim of the first day was to highlight the links between EU policies on e-inclusion and public libraries highlighting where and how libraries can contribute to wider EU policy, strategy and outcomes as well as being linked to investment. Key objectives for delegates participating at the first day of the European Congress on Einclusion 2011 were: • • •
To better understand where areas of library best practice can be ‘uploaded’ at an EU policy level and gain an understanding of how key European decision-making processes operate. To be equipped to begin a dialogue with the EU around the transformative impact of public libraries into European digital government and e-inclusion strategies. To debate and examine the unique value of libraries, looking at how their offer can be clearly defined and articulated at an EU level, to feed into best practice findings at a national level to the Gdansk EU Presidency Conference in October 2011.
At the end of the afternoon there was a VIP European Reception hosted by Linda McAvan, MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside which set in motion a dialogue with EU policymakers. 2
Published on Sep 17, 2011