Europeana participates in Licenses for Europe


Europeana has been invited to participate in a European Commission initiative called 'Licences for Europe'.  The initiative is led by Commissioners Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) and seeks to deliver practical industry-led solutions for making more content available online.  Tthe Europeana Network, is invited to provide their thoughts following the programme's first meetings, and their own comments.  Organisations who wish to play an active role in the workgroups are invited to express their wish.

Following a report by the Commission in 2012 on content in the digital single market, the initiative seeks to address specific issues relating to making content available online, by engaging in a stakeholder dialogue through four work streams:

1.  Cross-border access and the portability of services,
2.  User-generated content and licensing for small-scale users of protected material,
3.  Audiovisual sector and cultural heritage institutions, and
4.  Text and data-mining for scientific research purposes.

The working groups are composed of representatives from the relevant industries. Each group will meet once a month, providing interim reports in June, and submitting final recommendations in November. The launch and first meeting of each of the groups took place at a plenary on 4 February.

Europeana staff participated in two of these these first workgroups (2 & 3) to better understand the scope and participation required of the cultural heritage sector in the longer-term.  The discussions in each group varied in terms of productivity and focus, with no two groups advancing their discussions equally: for example, some groups focused on discussing the relevance of the issue, while others were able to identify actions that they could take to understand the issue and solutions.  Generally, however, we found that the terms of reference for each group did not always encourage a free and open debate on the underlying issues, and that the cultural heritage sector was not sufficiently and directly represented across the working groups compared with the number of commercial rights holders present.

Europeana is taking steps to recommend action on these points, as well as the need for greater transparency of each group’s progress so that it can be made available to a wider audience.  You can find more general information about the 'Licences for Europe' initiative at and the EC report 'on content in the Digital Singel Market' here: 

Europeana intends to continue to represent the Europeana Network in these initial working groups and will provide further information about this participation in the coming weeks.  To ensure Europe's cultural heritage sector is well represented, we are keen to hear from Network members who also wish to actively participate in any of the four working groups.

More info: