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IST Programme Key Action II: New Methods of Work and Electronic Commerce

This Key Action is a part of the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) specific programme.

The IST Programme is implemented through yearly workprogrammes. The current workprogramme has a number of topics, called Action lines, for which calls for proposals are issued.

If you are doing research and development work related to new methods of work and electronic commerce, or if you are interested in the results of such research, visit the Key Action II Web Site to find out how this Key Action can be of help.


This Key Action on New Methods of Work and Electronic Commerce aims to develop Information Society technologies and policy to enable European workers and organisations to increase their competitiveness in the Global Information Society, whilst at the same time improving the quality of the individuals' working life, and consumer confidence.

Although many aspects of the work have their "roots" in the previous activities of ACTS, ESPRIT and Telematics Applications, the overall Key Action is one of the innovations of the new IST Programme. Not only does it bring together the closely related developments of New Methods of Work, Smart Organisations, Electronic Commerce and Trust, but by setting objectives in terms of these developments it draws together many different areas of technology development and social change. The aims of the Key Action are set out in the Co-Decision of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, and are reproduced below:

"The aim of this work is to develop information society technologies to enable European workers and enterprises, in particular SMEs, to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace, whilst at the same time improving the quality of the individual's working life, through the use of information society technologies to provide the flexibility to be free from many existing constraints on both working methods and organisation, including those imposed by distance and time. Specific attention will be paid to the social implications of new working methods, in particular their impact on equal opportunities and quality of life. It covers both the development and the trading of goods and services, in particular in the electronic marketplace, and takes into account the different requirements and capabilities of the individual worker, consumer and of businesses and organisations, and includes the related training. Considerations of the global context, in particular the rapid evolution of the marketplace, and socio-economic factors will guide the work, and the objective will be to develop and demonstrate world-best work and business practices, exploiting European strengths such as electronic payments, smart cards, mobile systems, software for business process modelling and enterprise management and consumer protection."