Brussels, 14th February 1996
The Rome Conference
- Objectives and issues
- Structure of the event
- Draft Programme
- Research and Information Technologies
- Regulatory framework and development of communication networks for economic co-operation (only in french)
- Needs in the field of education and training (only in french)
- Participating countries in the Barcelona Conference
- Telecommunications in the Mediterranean
The Rome Conference
On 30-31 of Mai 1996, the Italian Government and the European Commission, together with the support, indicated by the Italian Presidency, of the Consortium Nettuno, shall organize an international conference on the creation of the Information Society in the Mediterranean countries.
This conference has been conceived as one of the follow-up actions of the Barcelona Conference which took place on 27-28 November 1995, which gathered the 27 Foreign Ministers to decide upon the creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This event involves the participation of Ministers responsible for Education, Research and Telecommunications, entrepreneurs, university researchers and all operators who are somehow associated to the building up of the Information Society in the Mediterranean region.
The Barcelona Declaration and the accompanying Action Plan concentrate on the creation of more efficient information and communications infrastructures so as to facilitate and intensify euro-mediterranean exchanges and access to the newly born Information Society. With this perspective, Ministers have foreseen that a Euro-Mediterranean Conference would take place in 1996 to pave the way to realisation of pilot projects which are to show the Information Society's concrete advantages.
The final goal of the Conference is to enable partners to :
- increase governmental (both national and transnational) and social actors' awareness of the Information Society's implications and highlight how growth and competition may be remarkably fostered by the diffusion of New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) at all social levels.
- identify the Information Society's issues regarding regulatory framework, infrastructures, training, information and projects which are essential to the development of the Information Society in the Mediterranean countries. And to suggest concrete forms of co-operation between European Union's institutions and enterprises and the Mediterranean ones so as to progress more quickly in the global modernisation process.
- illustrate potentials of new telematics and informatics technologies in the fields of learning, training and education, and research in relation to the demands of the region. And to stimulate rethinking on specific needs of the Euro-Mediterranean area in those fields.
- give a critical assessment on actions which have been undertaken so far, and evaluate whether or not the present financing methods are appropriate in relation to present needs or whether suggestions concerning programmes' goals or an optimisation of ressources are necessary.
Within the framework of the Conference, participants will work out action lines and select a number of initiatives to be developed in the context of the partnership and on methodological bases referring to regulatory premises and development of communication infrastructures, and development of applications connected to research and perspectives in education and training.
In particular, the following goals are to be attained:
- Spread of information on the Information Society's concrete benefits
- Creation of an open context for partnership between participants in those fields which are potentially booming and which play an important role for the development of economic and cultural exchanges.
- Focus action on training on NICT for decision-makers, university environment, trainers and final users.
- Identification of representative (or meaningful) pilot projects.
The Rome International Conference will be presented by three single issue workshops :
- a workshop on research and information technologies to be held in Sophia Antipolis on the 1st and 2nd April 1996. The main topic will be research networks and their role in the organisation of distant working , access to ideas and information and practical modes of such developments in the fields of health, tourism, culture, industry and trade, etc.
- a workshop on education and training which is to be held in Brussels on the 2nd and 3rd May 1996 with the support of the Consortium Nettuno. Its main issues will be several aspects of training, feasible approaches to assessment of needs and priority guidelines to be possibly taken into account for implementation of pilot projects.
- a workshop on a development-oriented regulatory framework. This workshop is organized in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and with the support of the Fondazione Ugo Bordoni. It will take place in Palerme on the 6th and 7th May 1996 and will essentially deal with regulatory bases of the Information Society (the progressive liberalisation process, services' interoperability, provision of open network service, rules, etc.) and new opportunities for entrepreneurs and telecommunications operators. Discussion on the latter will take place in the context of a round table.
Participants to the workshops will be invited as independent experts, even though they may be working in administrations. Invitations will be sent by the workshops' organisors insofar as research and education are concerned and by the Commission in the case of Palerme's meeting.
Each workshop will have a President who will be chosen among representatives of Non-European countries and a Rapporteur whose task will be to report conclusions of sessions.
According to the nature of the workshop, conclusions may include priority action lines or guidelines for research and studies, political recommendations or devices bound to develop in application actions.
A meeting is envisaged on the 8 and 15 May, probably in Tunisia, aiming at drawing up the Conference "theme paper", which will essentially constitute the basis of the debate in Rome.
The Rome Conference will take place on 30 and 31 May 1996 in S. Michele's complex. Invitations will be sent by the Italian Presidency with reference to the Commission.
The Conference's audience will consist of :
- 27 official delegations, made up of a Minister and two High Officials per country, will be invited.
- "Experts" (workshops)
- A list of participants of about 200 people
Working languages will be English, French, Italian and Arabic. The Conference documentation will be published by the Consortium Nettuno.
iii) Representatives of Third Countries
1) First session
The creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Information Society : infrastructures, initiatives, regulatory principles.
a) Report workshop in Palermo concerning:
- The regulatory framework for the creation of the Information Society in the Mediterranean countries.
- assessment of the Euro-Mediterranean region's need for infrastructures.
- Economic operators' expectations (entrepreneurs) in relation to the
development of communication services in the Mediterranean.
b) Round Table:
Premises for the creation of the Information Society, needs as far as communication infrastructures and human resources are concerned.
2) Second Session:
The creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Information Society : applications in the fields of education and training:
- specific contributions of education and training as fundamentals for the creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Information Society
- General perspectives in the field, lessons from the Tunisia's workshop and proposals for the future
a) Report workshop in Tunisia concerning :
Education and training in relation to the Information Society's opportunities.
Identification of needs;
Proposals for methodological approaches;
Exchanges of information and experiences on projects of transnational co-operation.
b) Round Table:
Promotion of initiatives aiming at providing suitable solutions in the field of education and training. Guidelines for co-operation actions, for instance pilot projects to cope with the Mediterranean region's shortages.
3) Third Session
Research and Information Technologies, priority application fields.
a) Report workshop Sophia-Antipolis concerning:
- new opportunities in the area of research for integration of Information Technologies (satellite, mobile telephones, IP networks);
- Examples and proposals for pilot projects in priority application fields
(telemedecine, management of natural ressources...). Demonstrations.
b) Round Table
- The role of research in the spread and enhancement of technological transferts, innovation and production.
4) Conclusions: "Action Plan":
- Is it really necessary to give certain Community actions new orientations?
- Creation of fora for negotiations, Working Group and/or Observatory;
- Crucial points for new partnerships.
The Information Society in the Euro-Mediterranean context