Written by Maria Niestadt.
The way children use digital technologies has changed a lot over the past decade. Most children go online using a smartphone, and do so almost twice as much as 10 years ago. They also use the internet at an earlier age than did children 10 years ago. Although the internet provides many opportunities for kids to learn and explore, to be creative or to interact with their friends and family, it also entails many risks such as cyberbullying, age-inappropriate content, disinformation and sexual abuse.
On 11 May 2022, the European Commission published a new European strategy for a better internet for kids (BIK+). The strategy builds on its predecessor with the same name, adopted in 2012. The new strategy contributes to the vision for the EU’s digital transformation by 2030 and reflects the principle, ‘Children and young people should be protected and empowered online’.
The BIK+ strategy is built around three topics focused on children: safe digital experience, digital empowerment and active participation. It includes concrete actions that the Commission plans to support such as media literacy campaigns and the EU code of conduct on age-appropriate design to ensure privacy, safety and security for children online.
Within the European Parliament, the file has been attributed to the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). The committee plans to deal with this file together with the proposal for a regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. It plans to submit to the Commission a question for oral answer with debate in plenary followed by a resolution. The Commission plans to carry out an evaluation of the strategy every two years and publish regular reports.
Read the complete briefing on ‘The new European strategy for a better internet for kids (BIK+)‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.