More than 50 Members of the European Parliament will inaugurate a new, independent, nonpartisan policy network in Brussels, Belgium, today called the European Internet Foundation, designed to help mobilize political leadership for the network society – including politicians, business people, and members of academia – growing across Europe. Membership is open to all currently serving MEPs.
While the initiative has the support and involvement of the European Commission, it will remain independent of the commission or other public funding. A full-time secretariat will be established during the course of this year.
The foundation’s goals – which are to identify emerging policy priorities and help frame policy options – will be pursued through live debates, briefings, and special projects focusing on issues such as e-democracy, the new economy and social change. The group, however, will not take positions on specific issues.
The foundation also launched a Web site yesterday (www.EIFonline.org.), which allows members to propose their own priorities and build wider participation in the network society policy debate.
Start-up financial support comes from some of Europe’s leading e-companies. But membership will be open to any enterprise or interest group on a progressive fee basis.
The foundation currently benefits from relationships with the Transatlantic Policy Network, which will serve as the foundation’s political bridge for the growing E.U./U.S. e-policy debate; the Global Business Dialogue and the Global Cities Dialogue.