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Newsletter Section 4

Around Europe

Meeting of Round Table #8

18 September, 1996
(Mick Farmer)

The Information and Computing Technology (ICT) Round Tables provide a forum for different members of the European Community to voice their views on the way the European Commision (EC) should provide information concerning ICT issues and to provide input to the EC on the future of ICT within Europe.

Round Table #8 (RT #8), chaired by EurOpen, is targeted at ICT user groups around Europe. Delegates come from many different countries, and I attend on behalf of the UKUUG and EurOpen.

Recently, RT #8 has concentrated on developing a mechanism whereby the various user groups can keep each other informed of their activities. This is seen as a way of encouraging collaboration between user groups and also as a way of avoiding duplication of effort. At our last meeting, RT #8 completed its work on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a document to be signed by user groups stating that they are willing to take part in the process of making their activities more widely known. To date, 52 user groups have signed the MOU, representing a wide range of interests across Europe.

The first half of this meeting was concerned with publicising our efforts and ways of making the user groups more visible across Europe. To this end, EurOpen is hosting a World Wide Web (WWW) site for the Round Table initiative with links to numerous EC activities. A number of EC web pages now have links to the EurOpen WWW site. We agreed to develop the EurOpen site by providing links to organisations that have signed the MOU and to encourage participating user groups to provide translations of important documents into their native languages. The EC has agreed to provide translations of some of their top-level documents. EurOpen has volunteered to help with translations by involving the various national user groups.

The second half of the meeting was spent discussing and planning possible training events that we could hold helping people with the logistics of developing a WWW site, including such topics as TCP/IP access mechanisms in different countries and simple web page design using the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). We hope to host such an event the day before our next scheduled meeting in Brussels next January.

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