ECDL National Operators & CEPIS Members Pledge Action in the Digital Agenda for Europe


Informatics association representatives fromAustria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina exchanged experiences, ideas and information on the topic of digital literacy during the 4th Regional ECDL Foundation Forum in Sarajevo on 3rd December 2010.

The forum topic of “The Role of ECDL in Digital Literacy” proved to be very relevant, not only because of the low levels of digital literacy in the countries of mentioned above, but also because the European Commission’s 10 year strategy the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) seeks to maximise the social and economic potential of ICT and refers to digital literacy in particular.

The presentations and discussions of the Forum have produced conclusions and guidelines for increasing digital literacy by means of implementing international ECDL standard as an indicator of the ICT qualification of computer users.

The signatories of this document, informatics associations, are members of CEPIS and ECDL national partners and as such are important stakeholders in implementing the Digital Agenda for Europe.

1. Informatics associations will continue their activities to increase digital qualification by implementing the ECDL standard as an indicator of digital literacy, and in that way contribute to reinforcing human resources and development of the information society.

2. Informatics associations will promote and advocate the significance of ICT certification and establish the mechanisms (politics, strategies and laws) on a national level which will recognize ECDL standard.

3. Forum participants are from countries which differ in their status when it comes to EU membership and as such they have different means and advantages to access foundations which may allocate the necessary funds for implementation of The Digital European Agenda. It is necessary to improve cooperation in project drafting and collective applying to The EU Funds.

4. Forum participants emphasized the necessity to pay special attention (at the national level) to increase digital awareness/literacy of underprivileged groups which could then become involved in the information society more easily.

5. It is a priority to promote developing digital skills programs in the education system which will prepare younger generations for the future labour market (that demands more and more educated and competent users of ICT). Within the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission plans to use funds to provide support in investing in human resources, especially in improving the educational system.

6. The economic crisis has contributed to unemployment problems. The reasons for laying people off were, among others, the unwillingness to acquire new skills, such as ICT. Informatics associations therefore are obliged to advocate for training and certifying in accordance with the ECDL standard on a national level.

7. It is necessary to establish a coordinating body out of representatives of member countries in order to develop strategies for increasing digital literacy in the region, to implement measures for drafting advertisements and educational funds, to improve the certifying system, to have collective access to CEPIS and ECDL Foundation and other measures.

8. Forum participants and signatories of this document are expected to have their government understand the significance of digital literacy for economic and social development and that they will adjust their priorities accordinglyand provide the necessary financial help.

Signatories: JISA – Serbian Information Technology Association, HIZ – Croatian Information Technology Association, Slovenian Information Technology Association, Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft, Association of Informatics of Bosnia an Herzegovina, CEPIS.