Cyber-bullying -an EU-wide problem requiring an EU-wide solution

Labour MEP for Ireland South, and former nurse and midwife, Phil Prendergast usedcelebrations for European Safer Internet Day (Tuesday, February 5th 2013) to call for a coordinated EU Programme to tackle cyber bulling and an increase in funding for the European Union’s Safer Internet Programme, which currently receives €55 million from 2008-2013.

 

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms. Prendergast said “Cyber-bullying is an EU problem that needs an EU-wide solution. Children all across Europe are currently experiencing bullying online and suffering in silence with potentially devastating and tragic consequences, as we recently saw in Ireland.

 

“The current EU budget to promote safer internet practices is €55 million across the six years from 2008 to 2013. A mere 10% of this funding is allocated to promoting a safer online environment. This is clearly inadequate, especially in the current online environment where we see crisis levels of cyber-bullying, not just in Ireland, but across the European Union.

 

“We need an increase in the amount of overall funding, but also we need for a greater percentage of that funding to be used to promote a safer online environment for young people. We need to train young people to spot when people are being bullied, and then to give them the tools to help them respond in an orderly and structured way.

 

“I welcome recent initiatives, particularly from the Daphne programme which recently rolled out a pilot programme across a limited number of Member States. I am calling for this programme to be extended to all Member States as soon as possible.

 

“The internet doesn’t respect Member State boundaries and hence I believe we need a full-scale European response to cyber-bullying if we are to end this plague.”

 

 Safer Internet Day Website http://www.saferinternetday.org

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