European Parliament Research Initiative

From September 1995 until November 1998 the ITA participated together with 15 partners from ten EU states in this project within the ACTS (Advanced Communication Technologies and Services) programme.


EPRI-WATCH offered an interactive multimedia information and communications service to members of the European Parliament, national parliaments, and policy-makers in local and regional governments. The aim of this service was to integrate the results of the ACTS programme and the consequences of other initiatives concerning the information society in a wider social and political context and to represent adequately the specific interests of the user groups concerned. The use of advanced multimedia communications tools and services permitted interaction between politicians and scientists in a common information and communications environment. The participants should be motivated to exchange ideas and opinions and to develop concepts together. At the same time the potential of the latest communications technologies could be investigated so that political decision-makers were able to obtain a "real" picture of advanced technologies and services.

The two main aims of EPRI-WATCH were to test and simulate the use of new communications services by parliamentarians, regional politicians and experts who prepare political initiatives by adapting state-of-the-art technologies to their requirements; and to stimulate and intensify the exchange of information between experts responsible for technical development and research and key figures in political debate on the consequences of the information society on a European, national and regional level. For this purpose workshops and conferences on regional, national and European level were organised to accompany technically mediated communication.

The primary tasks of the ITA consisted in selecting the subject areas, e.g. the impact of the information society on employment and working conditions, on regional development, or on small and medium enterprises, and the elaboration of information derived from technology assessment. The ITA was responsible for the provision of contents on two themes: "Employment and the Information Society" and "Electronic Government".

As an interactive multimedia information and communication service EPRI-WATCH was only made accessible online. Additional information is available directly from the EPRI-WATCH-Server. Since the end of the project contents are not updated anymore. As no new subscriptions are processed, access to the services of EPRI-WATCH is not possible.

01/1995 - 12/1998