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Information and Communications Technology

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made towards the targets for e-inclusion set by the Riga Ministerial Declaration in June 2006. (248740)

I have been asked to reply.

The Riga Declaration set the target that, to convincingly address e-Inclusion, the differences in Internet usage between current average use by the EU population and use by older people, people with disabilities, women, lower education groups, unemployed and “less-developed” regions should be reduced to a half from 2005 to 2010.

The European Commission is monitoring progress against the targets for all EU member states, publishing the first baseline analysis based on 2006 data ‘Measuring progress in e-lnclusion—Riga Dashboard' in 2007 which can be found on the internet at

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/einclusion/docs/i2010_initiative/rigadashboard.doc

Member states are due to make their first progress report to the European Commissions High Level adhoc e-Inclusion Group by summer 2009.

The following table from recently published independent UK research as a proxy suggests progress in the UK on inclusion as follows:

Proxy data based in Oxford Internet Institute surveys

Percentage

Some of the Riga Target Groups

Regular internet use 2005

Regular internet use 2007

Average use - Population

60

67

aged 55-64

53

58

aged 65-74

31

37

Women

57

65

Rural

60

66

Unemployed

46

48

Inactive (retired)

30

31