This glossary includes words, phrases and abbreviations used on this website and elsewhere by DG CONNECT. It reflects the diversity of our activities, covering a wide range of scientific, technological, policy and regulatory domains.



The single European emergency number to dial free of charge in case of an emergency across the European Union (EU). Any citizen in the EU should be able to reach emergency services when dialling 112, either from their fixed or from their mobile phone. European citizens are increasingly travelling to other countries, for business or pleasure. There was a need for a single number across the EU that citizens would be able to remember even under the pressure of an emergency situation. Instead of having to remember different numbers in different countries, citizens now need only one, wherever they go in the EU. Even though 112 has been operational for a number of years already, its existence needs to be better promoted among citizens. Current technological possibilities allow for better caller location for 112, therefore Member States should implement more accurate caller location for the benefit of citizens.


116 Missing Children

116 + 3 digits are easy-to-remember and free-of-charge phone numbers to assist children and adults in need. The European Commission has reserved five short numbers with a single format 116 + 3 digits for helplines that should be accessible to everyone in Europe. The 116 numbers designated so far are: 116 000 = missing children hotline; 116 006 = helpline for victims of crime; 116 111 = children’s helpline; 116 117 = for non-emergency medical on-call services; 116 123 = emotional support helpline. The selected services tie in with wider EU objectives aimed at improving the wellbeing of European citizens, such as the European strategy for children’s rights in the case of 116 000 and 116 111.




The fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G and preceding 5G. A 4G system, in addition to the usual voice and other services of 3G, provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Even though 4G is a successor technology of 3G, there can be signification issues on 3G network to upgrade to 4G as many of them were not built on forward compatibility.




The fifth generation mobile networks. It refers to the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. 5G does not describe any particular specification in any official document published by any telecommunication standardization body.


5G Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP)

A €1.4 billion joint initiative between the European ICT industry and the European Commission to rethink the infrastructure and to create the Next generation of communication networks and services that will provide ubiquitous super-fast connectivity and seamless service delivery in all circumstances. 5G will enable among others:

  • Providing 1000 times higher wireless area capacity and more varied service capabilities compared to 2010.
  • Saving up to 90% of energy per service provided. The main focus will be in mobile.
  • Communication networks where the dominating energy consumption comes from the radio access network.
  • Reducing the average service creation time cycle from 90 hours to 90 minutes.
  • Creating a secure, reliable and dependable Internet with a "zero perceived" downtime for services provision.
  • Facilitating very dense deployments of wireless communication links to connect over 7 trillion wireless devices serving over 7 billion people.
  • Enabling advanced user controlled privacy.




Seed accelerators are a modern, for-profit start-up incubators. They are selected through an open application procedure, targeting start-ups consisting of small teams. They are eligible for funding, mentoring, training and events for a limited period (usually 3 months), in exchange for equity. While traditional business incubators are often government-funded, generally take no equity, and focus on biotech, medical technology, clean tech or product-centric companies, accelerators are privately-funded and focused on mobile/Internet start-ups.


Access (to equipment, facilities, services etc.)

The making available of facilities and/or services to another undertaking, under defined conditions, on either an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, for the purpose of providing electronic communications services, including when they are used for the delivery of information society services or broadcast content services. It covers inter alia: access to network elements and associated facilities, which may involve the connection of equipment, by fixed or non-fixed means (in particular this includes access to the local loop and to facilities and services necessary to provide services over the local loop); access to physical infrastructure including buildings, ducts and masts; access to relevant software systems including operational support systems; access to information systems or databases for pre-ordering, provisioning, ordering, maintaining and repair requests, and billing; access to number translation or systems offering equivalent functionality; access to fixed and mobile networks, in particular for roaming; access to conditional access systems for digital television services and access to virtual network services.


Access point

A physical point, located inside or outside the building, accessible to undertakings providing or authorised to provide public communications networks, where connection to the high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure is made available.


Access segment

‘Last mile’ segment connecting the backhaul network with the end-user premise (more on eur-lex).


Active Assisted Living (AAL), Active Ageing

(A combination of) intelligent systems, assistive products and services, integrated into the preferred living environment, to compensate predominantly age-related functional limitations and support an independent, active and healthy course of life. The AAL JP is a joint EU and Member States' programme (art 185 TFEU) providing funding for projects to increase the autonomy of predominantly older people. The aim is to enhance the quality of their lives by the use of ICT products and the provision of remote services.



The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) defines advertising in television as any form of announcement whether in return for payment or for similar consideration by a private or public undertakings in connection with trade, business, craft or profession in order to promote the supply of goods or services.


Advertising spot

Advertising spots on television may not exceed 12 minutes per hour. In line with the Commission's position, the Court adopted a wide and uniform interpretation of the notion of ‘advertising spot’ in line with the purpose of the AVMSD, which is to protect the viewer from an excessive amount of advertising. The Court found that an advertising spot is any type of advertising broadcast between programmes or during breaks, unless it is covered by another form of advertising expressly governed by the AVMSD.



In the context of Europeana, an organisation that collects metadata from a group of content providers and transmits them to Europeana. Aggregators gather material from individual organisations, standardise the file formats and metadata, and channel the latter into Europeana according to the Europeana guidelines and procedures. Aggregators also support the content providers with administration, operations and training - Europeana Aggregators’ Handbook (2010).


All European Academies (ALLEA)

The federation of 52 academies in more than 40 countries from the Council of Europe region. Member Academies operate as learned societies across all fields of natural and social sciences and the humanities. Founded in 1994. More on ALLEA.

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)

Out-of-court system for resolving disputes between consumers and traders. The ADR Directive will ensure that consumers can turn to quality alternative dispute resolution entities for all kinds of contractual disputes that they have with traders. According to the ODR Regulation, an EU-wide online platform will be set up for disputes that arise from online transactions. The platform will link all the national alternative dispute resolution entities and will operate in all official EU languages.

Member States will implement the ADR/ODR rules by July 2015. The ODR platform will be operational in January 2016.

More on the Digital Agenda actions.


Annual Growth Survey (AGS)

The European semester starts when the European Commission adopts its Annual Growth Survey (usually towards the end of the year) which sets out EU priorities for the coming year to boost growth and job creation.



Set of software that a researcher runs on a computer to answer a research question. Grid applications typically fall into a couple of categories: (1) simulations that model a natural process and are used by researchers to prepare for or compare to data, and (2) analysis programs for experimental data. An application executes computational jobs and/or manages data.


Application Programme Interface (API)

Also known as middleware, it is the underlying technical facility for features such as the Electronic Programme Guide, hard disk Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and any interactive television service, whether enhanced broadcasting carousel-based services derived from teletext or fully interactive services using a return-channel. APIs can be grouped into two types, those which are more intensively computational, based on an execution engine and those which are declarative, based on presentation engines.



The ARTEMIS European Technology Platform was established in June 2004. Its aim was to bring together key players in the Embedded Computing arena across the entire spectrum of industrial sectors by 17 major companies. One of its core tasks was to define a common Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) which acts as a reference for the Embedded Computing domain to attract investment from the stakeholders.

An ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking (JU) was established in February 2008 as a Community body based in Brussels by means of a Council Regulation. It implements significant parts of the Strategic Research Agenda co-funded by industry, research organisations, participating Member States and the Commission's own ICT programme.

Since 2014 ARTEMIS is one of the three industrial associations, together with EPoSS and AENEAS, constituting the ECSEL Joint Undertaking.


ARTEMIS Industrial Association (ARTEMIS-IA):

The activities of the ARTEMIS Technology Platform is continued by ARTEMIS-IA, the ARTEMIS Industry Association. ARTEMIS-IA was established in January 2007 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, by five founding companies: Philips, ST Microelectronics, Thales, Nokia and DaimlerChrysler. ARTEMIS-IA represents the interests of industry and the research community within the Joint Undertaking. This association of about 200 members is the private partner in the ARTEMIS JTI, while the other partners are the European Commission and about 20 Member States. Together they compose the three partners of the JTI partnership. One task of the association is to establish a Strategic Research Agenda which is implemented by the JU and DG CONNECT.


Article 7 notifications

National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) shall make draft measures analysing a relevant market, identifying operators with Significant Market Power or imposing, amending or wihtdrawing obligations, accessible to the Commission, BEREC and the NRAs in other Member States under Article 7 of Directive 2002/21/EC (Framework Directive).


Assisted living

A system of housing and limited care that is designed for senior citizens who need some assistance with day-to-day activities but do not require care in a nursing home. Assisted living can include private quarters, meals, personal assistance, housekeeping aid, monitoring of medications, and nurses' visits.


Assistive Technology (AT)

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities or functional limitations, allowing an individual to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed. ATs include wheelchairs, walkers, personal emergency response systems, prosthesis, computer accessibility enhancing software and many other devices. More on AT.

Associated facilities

Those associated services, physical infrastructures and other facilities or elements associated with an electronic communications network and/or an electronic communications service which enable and/or support the provision of services via that network and/or service or have the potential to do so, and include, inter alia, buildings or entries to buildings, building wiring, antennae, towers and other supporting constructions, ducts, conduits, masts, manholes and cabinets.


Associated services

Those services associated with an electronic communications network and/or an electronic communications service which enable and/or support the provision of services via that network and/or service or have the potential to do so and include, inter alia, number translation or systems offering equivalent functionality, conditional access systems and electronic programme guides, as well as other services such as identity, location and presence service.


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) (ITU-T Recommendations G.99x-series) is a form of DSL where more bandwidth is allocated to download than to upload. This makes it ideal for web browsing and typical Internet usage, where downloading of large files is more important than uploading, because it enables maximum speeds of 8-10 Mbit/s downstream and a maximum of 1 Mbit/s upstream. ADSL is available at a maximum distance of 3 km from the local exchange. It shares a single twisted copper pair with voice, allowing users to use the telephone and surf the Internet simultaneously on the same line.


  • ADSL(G.lite - (ITU-T G.992.2) - G.lite can reach 5.4 km but its maximum download speed is limited to 1.5 Mbit/s while upload speeds are limited to 512 kbit/s.
  • ADSL2/ADSL2+
  • (ITU-T G.992.3/G.992.4) enables improved speed, reach, power consumption and other technical elements over the original version. ADSL2 can deliver 8 Mbit/s ADSL2 - 12 Mbit/s ADSL2+ while extending the reach of the original ADSL by 300 metres.
  • (ITU-T G.992.5) builds further on ADSL2, increasing the bandwidth by extending the usable frequencies on the line. These increases download bandwidth from 8 Mbit/s with ADSL2 to 16 Mbit/s with ADSL2+. These speeds are possible over 1.5 km and higher speeds may even be possible.


Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

ATM is a core connection-oriented protocol used over the backbone of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) defined for carriage of a complete range of user traffic, including voice, data, and video signals, but its use is declining in favour of all IP. The basic transfer frames are of a fixed (53 octets or bytes) length and specifically called "cells" . The performance of ATM is often expressed in the form of OC (Optical Carrier) levels, written as "OC-xxx". Performance levels as high as 10 Gbps (OC-192) are technically feasible with ATM. More common performance levels for ATM are 155 Mbps (OC-3) and 622 Mbps (OC-12).


Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Policy/Framework/Directive

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) is the main legal instrument regulating audiovisual media services at EU level and is implemented in each Member State by national legislation. It entered into force on 19 December 2007 with end 2009 as the deadline for transposition by Member States. All Member States have notified full transposition measures.So far, the Commission sent letters to 27 Member States requesting information about their implementation of the AVMSD. As a follow-up to the correspondence, bilateral meetings with 22 Member States have taken place up to May 2014.



Electronic authentication is the process of confirming a person/entity's identity.


Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI)

The Authentication and Authorisation Services, components for Identity and Privilege Management and the entities responsible for these services - constitute an Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI). In research networks federated AAIs containing multiple Identity Providers, trusted by the members of the federation are common.


Autonomous systems

ICT-based systems which have the ability to properly understand and perceive their environment, translate this perception into meaningful actions and then execute these actions without human supervision. Intelligent robots and cognitive systems are autonomous systems - for example, autonomous cars, monitoring systems or sophisticated trading algorithms on the stock exchange. Many machines or vehicles are already equipped with precursor technology such as autopilots in planes. Autonomous systems have potentially huge positive social effects - e.g., 95% of all accidents are caused by human error, and it is assumed that autonomous cars could reduce this to almost 0%. However, autonomous systems raise questions about liability, privacy and social impact.



Backhaul network

The middle part of a broadband network, connecting the local access to the core internet network. Technically the link from the cable head to the international switching centre (more on eur-lex).


The capacity of a network or other communication channel for transferring data, measured in bps.



For the purposes of the Unbundling local loop Regulation, it means a third party duly authorised in accordance with Directive 97/13/EC(7) or entitled to provide communications services under national legislation, and which is eligible for unbundled access to a local loop. In the context of grants, beneficiary means a legal entity which is a party to this grant agreement concluded with the European Union.


Best Practice Network (BPN)

Within the context of the CIP ICT-PSP programme, Funding instrument supporting the adoption of standards and specifications for making European digital libraries more accessible and usable by combining the "consensus building and awareness raising" function of a network with the large-scale implementation in real-life context of one or more concrete specifications or standards by its members.


Better Internet for Kids (BIK)

Strategy for improving the quality of content, opportunity and experience of the Internet for children, taking into account the increasingly young age at which they go online and ensuring that all young adults acquire progressively the appropriate skills to be digitally competent citizens. The strategy also supports measures that protect children online and mitigate their exposure to harmful or illegal content and contact, and fight against the distribution of child pornography.  More on BIK.


Big Data

A phenomenon resulting from 3 factors, commonly referred to as the '3 Vs' (Volume, Variety and Velocity), describing the fact that traditional data-handling and analysing technologies are increasingly challenged by the growth in:

  • volume of data collected and stored,
  • the variety of these data in terms of structure and formats (Excel spreadsheet data vs videos uploaded to Youtube)
  • velocity (more and more data being generated due to Web 2.0 possibilities.

Read more on big data.

Bitstream access
  1. A form of non-physical or virtual network access, included in current Market 5: Wholesale Broadband Access.
  2. A service provided by an operator whereby another operator rents a high speed access link to the customer.

Blocking can take the form of either making it difficult to access or outright restricting certain services or websites on the internet.
For more information, see the Communication on The open internet and Net Neutrality in Europe.

Body of European regulators for electronic communications (BEREC)

BEREC and the BEREC Office were created by Regulation 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 to assist the Commission and the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in the implementation of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, to give advice on request and on its own initiative to the European institutions and to complement at European level the regulatory tasks performed at national level by the regulatory authorities, all in the aim of creating an internal market for electronic communications. BEREC is composed of the 28 NRAs.



(Ro)botnet(work) a group of Internet-connected programmes communicating with other similar programmes in order to perform tasks, often created by malicious hackers. They are used to launch spam e-mail campaigns, denial-of-service attacks or online fraud schemes.



A term applied to high speed telecommunications systems, i.e. those capable of simultaneously supporting multiple information formats such as voice, high-speed data services and video services on demand. The Digital Agenda defines three levels of broadband speeds: 2, 30, and 100 Megabit per Second. More on broadband.

Broadband Guidelines on State Aid

In December 2012, new rules on state aid for broadband were adopted, replacing the 2009 broadband guidelines. The main changes include:

  • express recognition of technological neutrality: Next Generation Access networks can be based on different technologies
  • step change: publicly financed infrastructure can only be allowed if it provides a substantial improvement over existing networks
  • new rules for ultra-fast broadband: aid is allowed also in urban areas but subject to very strict conditions to ensure a pro-competitive outcome
  • reinforcement of open access obligations, and
  • new provisions regarding transparency.


Broadcasting Services

Prior to the AVMSD, any audiovisual media service transmitted to the public as a free-to-air programme or a Pay-TV programme, encrypted or unencrypted, was defined as a broadcasting service. Communication services on individual demand (provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request by a recipient of services) were regarded as Information Society services. The AVMSD covers both television broadcasting services and such on-demand services which are "audiovisual media services".



Call for Proposals

As published in the Official Journal. Opens parts of a work programme for proposals, indicating what types of actions are required.


Call for Tender

As published in the Official Journal. Tenders are special procedures to generate competing offers from different bidders looking to obtain an award of business activity in works, supply, or service contracts.


Caller location

Indicates the geographical location of the calling party.


Calling line identification (CLI)

The sending of the calling party’s telephone number to the called party.


Catch-up TV

On-demand service allowing replay, or delayed viewing of TV programmes (via Internet, cable, DSL Networks, FTTH, satellite, TNT, mobile telephones).



Cluster for Application and Technology Research on NanoElectronics (CATRENE). Co-operative R&D public private partnership for large companies, SMEs, institutes and universities aiming at precompetitive innovations in semiconductor technology and applications thus ensuring Europe's leadership in major technological domains and giving solutions to an ever changing society.


CEF Digital

CEF Digital refers to the part of the Connecting Europe Facility that suppports the deployment of digital infrastructure, i.e. Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) and Broadband networks. This part is covered by a regulation on trans-European networks in the area of telecommunication infrastructure and has a budget of €1.14 billion, out of which €170 million are for broadband activities, while €970 million are dedicated to DSIs.


Centre for Media Freedom and Media Pluralism (CMPF)

The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, is established within the European University Institute in Florence and became operational in November 2011. The CMPF received grants from the European Commission to pilot the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM).


CEO coalition on a safer internet

Launched in December 2011 as a Commission-industry self-regulatory initiative on a voluntary cooperation basis to respond to emerging challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young Europeans go online. ICT Companies which are signatories to the Coalition have committed to take positive action to make the internet a safer place for kids throughout 5 areas:

  • Simple and robust reporting tools for users
  • Age-appropriate privacy settings
  • Wider use of content classification
  • Wider availability and use of parental controls
  • Effective takedown of child sexual abuse material.

More on CEO coalition on a safer internet.


Cinematographic and other audiovisual works

Audiovisual works intended for a first screening in cinemas. Circulation of European cinematographic works is hampered by a number of factors, e.g. the fragmentation of the European market and strong competition from the US. European films rely heavily on public funding. The 2013 Cinema Communication of the Commission lays down the guidelines for granting state aid for films. The Commission Communication on European Film in the Digital area adopted in May 2014 outlines the policy proposed for the adaptation of the sector to the new digital environment.


Citizen Science

A range of new scientific practices, disciplines and paradigms in which citizens and society participate as contributors and direct beneficiaries of scientific knowledge. It falls under the broader topic of Digital Science.


Civil Engineering Infrastructure

Facilities to host electronic communication cables such as copper wires, optical fibre and co-axial cables. It typically refers, but is not limited to, subterranean or above-ground assets such as sub-ducts and ducts (underground pipe or conduit), manholes (holes, usually with a cover, through which a person may enter an underground utility vault used to house an access point for making cross-connections or performing maintenance on underground electronic communications cables and poles for wireless communications).


Cloud certification schemes

Refers to mechanisms, tools or processes that can be used, either through self-certification, with the involvement of an (independent) third party or another trust mechanism, to indicate that a product, service or system relating to cloud computing services meets specific requirements, such as on network and information security or data protection.


Cloud computing

Model for enabling convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Users do not need to invest in their own infrastructures. Storage and processing takes place in the cloud rather than at the user's premises or on the user's devices. Cloud services can rapidly scale up or down according to demand, giving the "illusion of unlimited resources". Computing becomes an operating, rather than a capital expenditure item.

Cloud-based computing can be defined as :

  • automatic: users can unilaterally provision computing capabilities as needed, automatically and without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  • metered: resources/tools are offered on a pay-as-you-use basis.
  • online: capabilities are available from any device using an network connection.
  • shared: providers offer their services to multiple users. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources.scalable/elastic: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically. To the user, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.


Cloud Networking

The mechanisms that enable key cloud properties elasticity, scalability, and flexibility of resources that allow the delivery of content, (cloud) applications, and (cloud) services efficiently. Cloud computing also refers to combined on-demand management and control of computing, storage and connectivity resources intra and inter data centres .It is important in the context of design and deployment of software-defined data centres.


Cloud of public services

A collection of public services serving as ‘building blocks’, which can be offered in an open and interoperable way and reused and combined by public administrations and third parties as part of other services. Read the study on cloud and service oriented architectures for egovernment.


Cloud Select Industry Group (C-SIG)

The Cloud-Select Industry Group brings together representatives from more than 50 different suppliers, cloud computing service providers, users and other stakeholders who share most up-to-date knowledge and expertise on both cloud technology, services and market development. The aim was to involve these stakeholders in the design and implementation of the Cloud Strategy within three subgroups that were created following its adoption: (i) on certification, (ii) on service-level agreements, and (iii) on code of conduct. The subgroups collaborate on a continuous basis, while the last stock-taking meeting of the C-SIG took place on 19th May 2014.


Cloud standards

A standard is a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Following the request from the European Commission, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) launched the Cloud Standards Coordination (CSC) initiative in a fully open and transparent way, open for all stakeholders. The CSC has published a report that maps out the cloud standard landscape in Europe and suggests recommendations for the industry.

Read the Cloud Standards Coordination report.



The process of jointly creating concepts and documents by cross-organisational teams in which participants contribute according to their interests and expertise, rather than their position or hierarchy in the organisation. A co-creation approach focuses not just on understanding present challenges, but also on creating new futures with people, not for them.



The provision of physical space and technical facilities necessary to reasonably accommodate and connect the relevant equipment of a beneficiary.



For the European Commission, it refers to a use of different modes on their own and in combination in the aim to obtain an optimal and sustainable use of resources.



The AVMSD contains measures to encourage the production and distribution of European works both in linear and on-demand services. The term "European work" is defined in Article1(n) AVMSD. It includes works produced within the framework of bilateral co-production treaties between Member States/the EU and third countries if the Community co-producers supply a majority share of the production cost and control the production.


Coaxial Cable

Shielded and insulated copper cable, mainly used by cable TV companies and also for computer networks. Coaxial cable is supposed to minimise interference with electrical and radio transmissions.


Code of Conduct (C-SIG subgroup)

A set of rules and specifications on data protection that can be used on a voluntary basis by cloud service providers to show their customers that they meet these rules and specifications that are based on the European Data protection Directive (95/46/EC) and its national transpositions. More on the C-SIG subgroup.


Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA)

A digital cellular technology that uses spread-spectrum techniques. CDMA does not assign a specific frequency to each user. Instead, every channel uses the full available spectrum. Individual conversations are encoded with a pseudo-random digital sequence. CDMA is a military technology first used during World War II by the English allies to foil German attempts at jamming transmissions. The allies decided to transmit over several frequencies, instead of one, making it difficult for the Germans to pick up the complete signal.


Codes of conduct against advertising for "unhealthy" food and beverages in children's programmes

The AVMSD obliges Member States and the Commission to encourage media service providers to develop codes of conduct regarding advertising for 'unhealthy' food and beverages in children's programmes. Self-regulatory practices have been promoted at EU level through the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Significant progress has been made, but further work is needed. The Commission will support the development of a definition of stricter age and audience thresholds and more consistent nutritional benchmarks across companies.


Cognitive systems

Artificial systems that can perceive their environment, understand the situation and execute tasks efficiently even in challenging conditions. Such systems, including robots, smart spaces and sensor networks, are robust, intuitive to use and capable of adapting to users and changing situations. They can work with various degrees of autonomy, in isolation or in cooperation with people. The next generation of such ICT systems and products with more intelligence has a huge potential impact on many sectors, from industrial production to personal assistance.


Collaborative service production

Any public service that is electronically provided by government, citizens, NGOs, private companies and individual civil servants, in collaboration or not with government institutions, based on government or citizen-generated data. More on cloud-public-services.


Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS)

ICT systems leveraging the emerging "network effect" by combining open online social media, distributed knowledge creation and data from real environments ("Internet of Things") in order to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation. The Collective Awareness Platforms are expected to support environmentally aware, grassroots processes and practices to share knowledge, to achieve changes in lifestyle, production and consumption patterns, and to set up more participatory democratic processes.

Common specifications

In the context of CIP ICT PSP, these are a specific set of requirements that are common and necessary for the implementation or deployment of an interoperable solution between different countries. These requirements may include functional, operational, technical, legal and organisational aspects.


Communication Committee (COCOM)

This committee assists the Commission in carrying out its executive powers under the regulatory framework and the Regulation on the .eu Top Level Domain. The Cocom exercises its function through advisory and regulatory procedures in accordance with the Council Comitology Decision. Furthermore, the Cocom provides a platform for an exchange of information on market developments and regulatory activities.


Community Media

Community media are non-profit and accountable to the community that they seek to serve. Their content is created by members of the community. Community media are editorially independent from government, commercial and religious institutions and political parties. They are a distinct group within the media sector alongside commercial and public media.


Competition and media

Competition plays an important role in the media sector. Merger control helps to ensure cultural diversity while taking into account the need to have European media companies of a sufficient size to compete at a global level. Regarding the application of State Aid rules, the European Commission has taken initiatives in the field of public service broadcasting and cinema.


Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) has supported innovation activities with three main priorities: (1) wider access and better use of ICT, (2) increased use of renewable energies and energy efficiency, and (3) eco-innovation. The programme also provided better access to finance and delivers business support services in the re­gions. The CIP ran from 2007 to 2013 with an overall budget of € 3,621 million. Some of the CIP results, in particular from the Large-Scale Pilots, will be rolled out as infrastructures under Connecting Europe Facility.


Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Organization devoted to ensuring that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist cyber attacks on networked systems and to limiting damage; it also ensures continuity of critical services following successful attacks, accidents, or failures.


Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)

A service organisation that is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and responding to computer security incident reports and activity. Their services are usually performed for a defined constituency that could be a parent entity such as a corporation, governmental or educational organisation, a region or country, a research network or a paid client.


Conditional Access

Any technical measure and/or arrangement whereby access to the protected service such as Pay-TV is made conditional on prior individual authorization. Directive 98/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 1998 aims to provide a minimum level of protection against piracy of conditional access services within the EU. The Directive prohibits the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of pirate smart cards and other devices that could circumvent conditional access. In addition, Articles 5 and 6 of the Access Directive (Electronic Communication Package) offer National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) different options for regulating the provision of conditional access services to broadcasters.


Confidentiality of communications

The EU legal framework protects the confidentiality of communications made over a public electronic communication network. Therefore, listening into, taping and storage of communications by persons other than users without the consent of the users concerned is prohibited.


CONNECT Advisory Forum (CAF)

The CONNECT Advisory Forum for ICT Research and Innovation (CAF) is one of the Horizon 2020 advisory groups being in charge of advising the Commission / DG CONNECT on research and innovation policies in ICT (communication networks, computing systems, digital content and related technologies). Beyond the specific responsibility by ICT under the "industrial leadership" priority, the CAF is also asked to contribute to the coherence of ICT research and innovation across the tree pillars of Horizon 2020.



Name of the pilot internal online collaboration platform deployed in DG Connect, in order to maximise sharing of knowledge and expertise across the DG.


Connected Continent

Legislative proposal for a European Telecoms Single Market, adopted by the COM on 9/11/2013. Main elements:

  • Simplification and reduction of regulation for companies
  • more coordination of spectrum allocation to encourage more wireless broadband, more 4G, and the emergence of pan-EU mobile companies with integrated networks
  • standardised wholesale access products: encourages more competition between more companies
  • Protection of Open internet: guarantees for net neutrality, innovation and consumer rights
  • pushing roaming premiums out of the market: a carrot and stick approach to say goodbye to roaming premiums by 2016 or earlier
  • consumer protection: plain language contracts, with more comparable information, and greater rights to switch provider or contract.


Connected TV

Devices that can be connected to the Internet. In a broader sense, the term refers to technical solutions that bring linear TV and the Internet world closer together, e.g. TV sets with added internet connectivity, set-top boxes delivering audio-visual content 'over-the-top', audio-visual services provided via tablet computers or smartphones. More on connected TV.


Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

An EU infrastructure programme supporting the establishment of transport infrastructure, energy infrastructure and digital infrastructure. The total budget available for the period 2014-2020 is €33 billion.


Connecting Europe Facility Digital Services Infrastructure (CEF-DSI)

Digital Services Infrastructure (DSI or CEF-DSI) refers to the part of the CEF funding that would support public interest digital service infrastructure such as electronic health records, electronic identification and electronic procurement.


Contact Committee

To facilitate effective implementation of the AVMSD, the so-called Contact Committee has been set up to allow regular consultation on practical problems arising from the application of the Directive. This committee is chaired by the Commission and made up of representatives of the competent authorities of the Member States. It addresses not only current audiovisual policy but also relevant new developments emerging in this sector (Article 29 AVMSD).


Content-centric networking

Content-centric networking is a term used to refer to Information-centric networking (ICN). Please see glossary entry on ICN.



The result of digital technologies whereby information (voice, text, audio and video) can be converted into digital form and transmitted through different networks and accessed from different end-user terminals. The result is the convergence of ICT, media and telecommunications industry services. Applied to the audio-visual sector, convergence relates to the progressing merger between online and broadcast content. The practical result is online content on the TV screen and broadcast content on the PC, mobile phone or tablet. More on convergence.



Cookies are short text files stored on the users' computer by a website. Cookies are normally used to provide a more personalised experience and to remember the users' profile without the need for a specific login. They can also be placed by third parties (such as advertising networks) in end users´ devices and be used to track users when surfing across different websites associated to that third party.

The EU privacy legal framework requires users' consent to store cookies in their terminal devices (computers, lap tops, smartphones) or gain access to information collected through cookies.


Cooperation and circumvention procedure

The AVMSD provides a mechanism for addressing a dispute between Member States regarding cross-border broadcasts: a broadcaster under the jurisdiction of one Member State (of origin) directs its broadcast wholly or mostly towards another Member State (target). The latter claims that the broadcaster is violating national law. As a first step, a consultation procedure between the two Member States is foreseen. If the result is deemed unsatisfactory by the traget Member State, it may impose binding measures against the broadcaster circumventing its national rules, subject to ex-ante control by the Commission.


Copper anchor

Cost oriented copper wholesale access product which constrains the NGA prices in such a way that NGA services will be priced in accordance with the consumers' willingness to pay for the additional capacity and functionalities an NGA based retail product can provide in comparison with a copper based retail product.



Copyright grants the exclusive right to the author of a creative work (e.g. a piece of music) to license or prohibit the use of the work. Uses include particularly the reproduction, distribution or communication to the public.


Copyright - satellite broadcasting

Satellite broadcasting can deliver content like radio and audiovisual media services without regard to national borders. To facilitate cross-border distribution by satellite, Directive 93/83/EEC clarified that the copyright-relevant act occurs solely in the Member State where, under the control and responsibility of the broadcasting organization, the programme-carrying signals are introduced into an uninterrupted chain of communication leading to the satellite and down towards the earth (the country of origin principle).


Copyright exceptions and limitations

Exceptions and limitations to copyright are provisions in copyright law which allow for copyrighted works to be used without a licence from the copyright holder. The EU Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC provides for an exhaustive list of exceptions and limitations.


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The responsibility of enterprises to manage their impacts on society, by maximising the positive effects and mitigating the adverse ones. More specifically, CSR is defined by the European Commission as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society" (COM (2011) 681). The Commission encourages that enterprises "should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders".


Council of Europe (CoE)

Founded in 1949 as an intergovernmental organization with 47 member countries. Based on the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, nearly 200 European Conventions have been adopted by the Council of Europe on topics ranging from human rights to the fight against organized crime and from the prevention of torture to data protection or cultural co-operation. The key legal instruments for the audio-visual sector of the Council of Europe are the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) and the European Convention on Audio-visual Heritage. The ECTT is now outdated as negotiations to align it with the AVMSD have been put on hold.


Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR)

CENTR is an association of Internet Country Code Top Level Domain Registries such as .uk in the United Kingdom and .es in Spain. Full Membership is open to organisations, corporate bodies or individuals that operate a country code top level domain registry. CENTR is the largest ccTLD representative body in the world with over 52 full members and one of the main EU stakeholders in the Internet governance debate. DG CNECT is an observer.


Country code top-level domain (ccTLD)

Internet top level domain generally used or reserved for a country (a sovereign state of a dependent territory). .nl.


Country of origin principle

The rule that an audiovisual media service must only be regulated by the Member State where its provider is established, as defined by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

Only exceptionally can a receiving Member State limit reception or retransmission of services, following the procedure foreseen in the AVMSD ,for example when the service breaches domestic rules on the protection of minors or hate speech. The principle applies to both linear and on-demand audiovisual media services.


Coworking space

Coworking involves a shared working environment, often an office and communications infrastructure, typically attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently and who end up working in relative isolation. In most cases, these professionals work for a technology startup. More about the Coworking Assembly.


Creative Commons Licenses

Models released by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation. Many of the licenses, notably all the original licenses, grant certain "baseline rights", such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work without changes, at no charge. Creative Commons licenses are currently available in over 70 different jurisdictions worldwide. Licenses for jurisdictions outside the United States are under the purview of Creative Commons International.


Critical Information Infrastructure (CII)

In its Green Paper on a European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), the European Commission captured the concept of CII as being all "ICT systems that are critical infrastructures for themselves or that are essential for the operation of critical infrastructures (telecommunications, computers/software, Internet, satellites, etc.)". A similar definition was also proposed by OECD: "those interconnected information systems and networks, the disruption or destruction of which would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security, or economic well-being of citizens, or on the effective functioning of government or the economy".


Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP)

The Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) policy proposed by the Commission focuses on prevention, preparedness and awareness and defines a plan for immediate actions to strengthen the security and resilience of CIIs across Europe.


Critical Infrastructure (CI)

An asset, system or part thereof located in Member States which is essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, such as health, safety, security, economic or social well-being of people, and the disruption or destruction of which would have a significant impact in a Member State as a result of the failure to maintain those functions.

Cross-border by default:

Actions should not create new barriers to the internal market.


Cross-border Digital Public Services

Online government services made available to individual users and businesses across the border in the EU internal market.


Cross-border Digital Public Services are eGovernment services which are:

  • provided by or on behalf of European public sector entities
  • at local, regional, national, or supra-national level
  • by means of interoperable trans-European telematic networks
  • in order to perform public administration tasks
  • that are capable of meeting a service demand of public entities, citizens, and/or businesses other than those which are native to the public sector entity’s geographic level through nationality, registration or incorporation.



A collective effort by many individuals who network and pool their resources to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations, often over the internet. Individual projects and businesses are financed with small contributions from a large number of individuals; innovators, entrepreneurs and business owners utilise their social networks to raise capital. More on crowdfunding.


Cyber security

Cyber security commonly refers to the safeguards and actions available to protect the cyber domain, both in the civilian and military fields, from those threats that are associated with or that may harm its interdependent networks and information infrastructure. Cyber security strives to preserve the availability and integrity of the networks and infrastructure and the confidentiality of the information contained therein. The term cyber security also covers prevention and law enforcement measures to fight cybercrime.


Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

System featuring a tight combination of, and coordination between, the system’s computational and physical elements. Today, a pre-cursor generation of cyber-physical systems can be found in areas as diverse as aerospace, automotive, chemical processes, civil infrastructure, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, entertainment and consumer appliances. This generation is often referred to as embedded systems. In embedded systems, the emphasis tends to be more on the computational elements, and less on an intense link between the computational and physical elements.



Cybercrime commonly refers to a broad range of different criminal activities where computers and information systems are involved either as a primary tool or as a primary target. Cybercrime comprises traditional offences (e.g. fraud, forgery, and identity theft), content-related offences (e.g. on-line distribution of child pornography or incitement to racial hatred) and offences unique to computers and information systems (e.g. attacks against information systems, denial of service attacks and malware).



Dark fibre

Unlit fibre without transmission systems connected (more on eur-lex).



Performance Management system, showing a graphical presentation of DG Connect's key performance indicators. The dashboard is structured on the basis of four pillars that represent how DG Connect adds value: Innovating, Leveraging Europe, Managing Knowledge, Communication & Engaging. Its benefits include the ability to focus on continuous learning, to identify good practices and make successes more visible, to identify and correct problems, to link organizational activities to overall strategy.


Data Access and Interoperability Task Force (DAITF)

A new international initiative for Data Initiated in Europe, DAITF aims to create an open forum for discussing and agreement on data- related standards, APIs, policy rules, and data interoperability mechanisms, from the very basic integration layers (AAI, PIDs, registries, etc.) to the semantic and regulatory levels. DAITF will integrate its bottom-up activities under the RDA (Research Data Alliance) governance structure.


Data breach

The unintentional release of secure information to an untrusted environment.


Data Compression

Reducing the physical size of a given amount of data; loss-less compression schemes such as ZIP allow the data to be decompressed to its original form without any information loss. It can be thought of as simply compacting data by removing redundant sequences. Lossy compression schemes such as JPEG reduce data size by removing parts of the information set that are not vital for proper image viewing. The quality of picture from lossy schemes deteriorates as the level of compression increases. Most video codecs use lossy data compression, including DivX, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WM9/VC9, MPEG 4 AVC/H.264. The conversion of analogue signals to digital signals that may or not be of similar quality requires less bandwidth for transmission. This allows for the same slice of radio frequency spectrum to carry more television channels in digital format than in analogue format.


Data protection and Privacy

Data protection refers to personal data, gathered and processed in a safe and secure manner. Legal provisions are laid down in EU legislation (95/46/EC Directive and 2002/58/EC Directive as amended in 2009). New DP legislation is under consideration by European Parliament and Council.

Privacy is the prerogative of indviduals to be left alone, out of public view, and in control of the collection and sharing of information about themselves (informational privacy). For the FP7 PRESCIENT project (, the research consortium has identified seven types of privacy: of a person, of thought and feelings, of location and space, of data and image, of behaviour and action, of communications, and of association, including group privacy.

The concepts of data protection and privacy therefore overlap, but do not coincide.The right to privacy is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 12), the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (art 7,8) as well as in the European Convention of Human Rights (Article 8).


Data sovereignty

Concept that data is kept under the jurisdiction of the state of its owner, to guarantee data protection rights and obligations.


Data value chain

Underlying concept to describe the idea that data assets can be produced by private actors or by public authorities and exchanged on efficient markets like commodities and industrial parts (or made available for reuse as public goods) throughout the lifecycle of datasets (capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis and visualization). These data are then aggregated as inputs for the production of value-added goods and services which may in turn be used as inputs in the production of other goods and services.


Data- and text-mining

Automated research technique in the digital environment for the purpose of discovering and extracting knowledge from unstructured data. Via keyword searches, lexical analysis tools and mining algorithms, text- and data mining enables researchers to structure the content of scientific (numerical) databases or written publications after their preferences and for their own research purposes. It allows also for retrieving and extracting relevant information and automatically gaining structured results without having to browse each and every scientific work found in a simple keyword search. It is growingly applied in many different areas, from market and business intelligence to science and engineering (bioinformatics, genomics, medicine, education).


Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe (DANTE)

DANTE plans, builds and operates advanced networks for research and education. It is owned by European NRENs (national research and education networks), and works in partnership with them and in cooperation with the European Commission. DANTE provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the development of the global research community. See also GEANT.


Denial of Service attack (DoS attack)

Any attack which causes a service to become unavailable for legitimate clients. A distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is one in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service for users of the targeted system. The flood of incoming messages to the target system essentially forces it to shut down, thereby denying service to the system to legitimate users.



The construction and operation of the application to offer the services in a real life environment.


Deposit of audio-visual works

A copy of the audiovisual work has to be registered and deposited with a national heritage institution. The aim is to preserve and safeguard Europe's audiovisual heritage effectively and promote cultural diversity. The European Convention for the protection of Audiovisual Heritage of the Council of Europe provides for compulsory legal deposit. In 2005, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Recommendation to Member States on Film Heritage which recommends systematic collection of film heritage.


Derogation from the obligation to ensure freedom of reception

The AVMSD establishes the principle that Member States must ensure freedom of reception and may not restrict retransmission on their territory of AV media services from other Member States (Article 3(1)). However, following a detailed procedure, they may suspend retransmission of a television broadcast from another Member State if they consider that it manifestly, seriously and gravely infringes on rules for the protection of minors or incitement to hatred. A Member State can also restrict the retransmission of on-demand audiovisual media services under certain conditions (Article 3(4) AVMSD).


Digital Agenda Assembly (DAA)

The Digital Agenda Assembly took place in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This conference on the Digital Agenda provided an opportunity for dialogue between the Commission and stakeholders on the most pressing issues for the development of the digital economy. The 3rd edition of the DAA took place on 19 and 20 June in Dublin 2013 and was co-organised with the Irish Presidency with a focus on growth and jobs.


Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE)/Digital Agenda Review

The Digital Agenda is the European Union's strategy which ensures that digital technologies, including the internet, are used to stimulate Europe's economy and help Europe's citizens and businesses to get the most out of these technologies. It is the first of the seven flagships initiatives under the "Europe 2020" strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Launched in May 2010, the Digital Agenda contained 101 actions, grouped around seven priority areas. In 2012, the DAE went through a review which identified areas where more focused action is needed to create growth and jobs in Europe - it added 31 actions.


Digital by default

Public services should be easy to use, when possible delivered in digital form, while still enabling other channels for those who are disconnected by choice or necessity.


Digital Champions

Appointed by EU Member States following a request from President Barroso (14 February 2012). The primary task of a Digital Champion is to work with citizens, communities and businesses to exploit the growth potential of the digital economy. They can do this by helping individuals to enhance their IT skills, by ensuring that the public sector becomes more efficient and customer-friendly and by helping businesses to embrace new technologies which will allow them to be more productive and competitive at home and across borders. By ensuring regular contact between the Champions, the European Commission provides a platform to discuss and compare action at grass-roots level, and mobilises citizens and businesses to take advantage of the digital economy.


Digital dividend

The radio spectrum freed up as a result of the migration of terrestrial TV broadcast from analogue to digital technology, which uses the spectrum more efficiently. It is a unique and one-off opportunity to boost the capacity for providing new and innovative broadcast and wireless communication services. The first step relates to the 800 Mhz band (790 MHz to 862 MHz) while a second phase, following the decision by WRC 12 to open the band to mobile communications, would cover the 700 MHz band. More on the digital dividend.


Digital economy & jobs

The digital economy is a major source of global growth. In Europe, we must create the right conditions for exploiting this source of growth. This will in turn boost competition, trigger investments and innovation resulting in better services and more choice for consumers and create new jobs.

The digital economy currently represents 7% of EU GDP and is a major source of yearly employment growth (4.1 %). ICT contributed to 1/3 of EU GDP growth between 1995 and 2007. There are more than 4 million ICT workers across many sectors in Europe, but the potential is much greater.


Digital ERA

Seamless online space for the circulation of knowledge and technology. The objective of Digital ERA is to make it possible that all researchers in Europe could benefit from Digital science.


Digital health literacy

A person’s ability to search for, successfully access, comprehend and assess health information from electronic sources, and enable the person to attempt to address a particular health problem.


Digital Innovation Hubs

Digital innovation hubs are ecosystems that consist of SMEs, large industries, startups, researchers, accelerators, and investors. They aim to create the best conditions for long-term business success for all involved.

Digital libraries

For the purposes of the CIP ICT PSP work programme, digital libraries are organised collections of digital content made available to the public by cultural and scientific institutions (libraries, archives and museums) and private content holders (e.g. publishers) in the EU Member States or Associated Countries. They can consist of all kinds of "physical" material that has been digitised (books, audiovisual or multimedia material, photographs, documents in archives, etc.) and material originally produced in digital format.


Digital patient

A digital representation of an individual inluding all health related information, which can be incorporated into a decision support tool for clinicians. This includes computer modelling and simulation, as well as the development of applications to process information and to create knowledge, making better disease prediction and treatment possible. The tool covers medical decision and self-management for the entire patient management chain, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.


Digital Public Services

Digital public services are public services delivered electronically via the internet.


Digital Rights Management (DRM)

DRM systems work by identifying digital content that contains intellectual property. They enable right holders to enforce their rights in the digital environment and allow the management of rights and payments in a wide sense.


Digital Science

Digital Science (also Open Digital Science) is about the way research is carried out, disseminated, deployed and transformed by digital tools, networks and media. These issues are often also covered by concepts such as e-science, e-infrastructures, open science, science2.0, web science, or internet science. Digital science work in CONNECT aims to have a holistic perspective that covers considerations of all these aspects, and reflects the need for policy efforts in order to harness the potential of Digital science for European society and its economy.

Digital science relies on the combined effects of technological development and cultural change towards collaboration and openness in research. Digital science makes scientific processes more efficient, transparent and effective by new tools for scientific collaboration, experiments and analysis and by making scientific knowledge more easily accessible.


Digital Scoreboard

The Digital Scoreboard assesses progress with respect to the targets set out in the Digital Agenda. In addition, it provides analysis and detailed data on all the policy areas covered by the Digital Single Market.

Digital Service Infrastructure (DSI)

EU-level infrastructure to deliver networked services electronically, typically over the internet, providing trans-European interoperable services for citizens, businesses and/or public authorities. A DSI is composed of a core service platform and generic services. The core service platform is an EU-level central hub to which national infrastructures are linked through gateway services called generic services. National infrastructures of Member States are so to say interconnected via the core service platform and thereby create a European DSI.


Digital Single Market

The Digital Single Market could be defined operationally as “an area where individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.”

The notion of Digital Single Market does not represent a new concept outside the traditional concepts of the Treaties. It primarily reflects new developments and the “reality” of the Single Market that is undergoing digital transformation. The overall objective should be a “single market ready for the digital age”, where the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is enhanced by digital technologies.


Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL)

Broadband technology using existing copper twisted pair wiring and do not require new cabling. DSL utilizes different frequencies to split voice and data services over the same standard phone line. DSL speeds are influenced by the distance between the subscriber and the local exchange, the gauge of the phone wire, and the type of DSL technology.


Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV or DTT)

Technological evolution and advance from analogue terrestrial television, which broadcasts land based (terrestrial) signals. The purpose of digital terrestrial television, similar to digital versus analogue in other platforms such as cable, satellite, telecoms, is characterized reduced use of spectrum and more capacity than analogue, better-quality picture, and lower operating costs for broadcast and transmission after the initial upgrade costs.


Digital Transmission

Digital transmission means that the original source is converted into and transmitted as a series of digits in binary code (i.e. 0s or 1s). The string of binary digits can be compressed (Data compression) and then re-expanded on arrival, thus economising on transmission capacity. For example, whereas cable TV networks can usually only deliver some 30 to 40 channels using analogue transmission technology, digital cable networks can offer not only hundreds of TV channels but also interactive services, voice telephony and fast Internet access. There is a trade-off to be made between the number of channels and the quality level desired.


Digitisation of cinema & cultural material

Digital technology is a new opportunity to produce and distribute films more efficiently. Distributing a digital film copy can be up to ten times cheaper than a traditional 35 mm print; digital cinema could therefore make it easier for European films to be seen by global audiences. Distribution via VOD can offer additional chances. However digital screening equipment for cinemas is expensive. Therefore in Europe, the digitisation process of cinemas is still ongoing. Digital tools are also used for special effects and 3D films.


Disability - Access for people with a visual or hearing disability

The AVMSD (Article 7) intends to facilitate the access to audiovisual media services for people with visual or hearing disabilities. Member States shall encourage media service providers under their jurisdiction to ensure that their services are gradually made accessible to people with a visual or hearing disability. Some of the means envisaged to this end are subtitling, sign language and audio description.


Distributed computing

A model where hardware and software systems contain multiple processing and/or storage elements that are connected over a network and integrated in some fashion. The purpose is to connect users, applications and resources in a transparent, open and scalable way, and provide more computing and storage capacity to users.

In general terms, distributed computing refers to computing systems to provide computational operations that contribute to solving an overall computational problem. A computational problem is divided into several tasks, each of which is solved by one or more computers. Such distributed computing system is a system of multiple computers that communicate through a network. A computer program running in a distributed fashion is a distributed program.

See also Grid computing and Cloud computing.


Domain Name Registry

An organisation that manages the registration of Domain names within the top-level domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain. It is potentially distinct from a domain name registrar.


Dual tone multi frequency (DMTF)

The signal to the phone company that you generate when you press an ordinary telephone's touch keys. DTMF has generally replaced loop disconnect ("pulse") dialling. With DTMF, each key you press on your phone generates two tones of specific frequencies. So that a voice can't imitate the tones, one tone is generated from a high-frequency group of tones and the other from a low frequency group.



Underground pipe or conduit used to house (fibre, copper or coax) cables of a broadband network (more on eur-lex).



e ID, Authentification & signature (eIDAS)

Regulation on "electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market" adopted in April 2014


e-commerce (electronic commerce)

Generic term used to describe trade over the internet. The activities concerned include selling goods online, offering online information or commercial communications, providing tools allowing for search of products and services, access and retrieval of data. According to the e-commerce Action Plan from January 2012, the growth rate of e-commerce at national level is high but this new vector remains marginal at only 3.4% of European retail trade. It is less advanced than in the United States or Asia-Pacific and tends not to go beyond national borders; cross-border activity remains low. The Digital Single Market sets targets for e-commerce performance which are defined as: 50% of population should be buying online by 2015. 20% of population should be buying online at cross-border by 2015; 33% of SME's should conduct online purchases by 2015. There is no legal definition of the term "e-commerce" in EU law; however, the e-commerce directive (2000/31/EC) refers to the definition of "information society services" provided in directive 98/34/EC.



The comprehensive ICT infrastructure that is needed to enable the complex, multi-disciplinary and globalised practice of modern science. It capitalises on advances in ICT and integrates hardware for computing, data and networks, observatories and experimental facilities, and an interoperable suite of software and middleware services and tools. Such an infrastructure is necessary in science today to address the need to store, analyse and process unprecedented amounts of (heterogeneous in general) data and information, to enable world-scale scientific collaborations and the access to and sharing of scientific resources and information regardless of their type and location in the world.


e-Infrastructures Policy Forum (e-IPF)

Expert group created by the Commission in 2010. It provides a forum for debate and information exchange with a view to align national and EU policies and promote an enhanced cooperation between national e-Infrastructures. e-IPF brings together policy-makers from ministries and funding agencies of the Member and associated countries and is chaired by the Commission.


e-Infrastructures Reflection Group (e-IRG)

Founded in 2003 to define and recommend best practices for the pan-European electronic infrastructure efforts. It consists of official government delegates from all the EU countries. The e-IRG produces white papers, roadmaps and recommendations, and analyses the future foundations of the European Knowledge Society. See also e-Infrastructures.



Pan-European in-vehicle emergency call. In case of a serious accident, the system will call the 112 emergency number and transmit the accurate location throughout the EU of the incident to the emergency response centres (Public Safety Answering Point PSAP).


Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA)

EPA are trade and cooperation agreements between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States. They include a Cultural Cooperation Protocol on cultural goods and services and the audiovisual sector. The EPA Cultural Protocol represents a tool for the EU to implement the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. In the audiovisual area, this Protocol provides the framework for implementing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive in relation to preferential treatment for market access (through the European works promotion requirements) granted to audiovisual co-productions between EU and third countries producers. The first full regional EPA, which includes such a Cultural Protocol, was initialled with the Caribbean region at the end of 2007.



The ECSEL Joint Undertaking is established within the meaning of Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on 'Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership' for a period up to 31 December 2024.

The ECSEL-JU replaces the previous ENIAC and ARTEMIS Joint Undertakings in the fields of nanoelectronics and embedded systems. ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking merged into the ECSEL Joint Understaking on 27 June 2014.



Infrastructure for the transfer of documents (or data) between two entities or systems electronically. The infrastructure provides for safe and traceable transfer of information. It can also include additional services such as acknowledgement of receipt. In collaboration with DIGIT, with the financial support from CEF, the Commission is launching an eDelivery cross border service reusable in multiple contexts.



The mechanism for exchanging attributes among identity federations for cross-border access to IT ressources (inter-federations of identity) based on SAML v2 ( website).



The wifi federation mechanism enabling seamless roaming from one wifi infrastructure to another one. Used in research and education institutions (website).



A 56-month project that continues the transition of EGI to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure started in EGEE-III. It sustains support for Grids of high-performance and high-throughput computing resources, while seeking to integrate new Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs), i.e. Clouds, SuperComputing, Desktop Grids, etc., as they are required by the European user community (website).

Central coordinating organisation of the EGI which provides a coordinating hub for European DCIs, working to bring existing technologies into a single integrated persistent production infrastructure for researchers within the European Research Area.



Use of ICT tools and systems to provide better public services to citizens and businesses. ICTs are already widely used by government bodies and businesses. eGovernment means much more than just the ICT tools; effective eGovernment also involves rethinking organisations and processes and changing behaviour so that public services are delivered more efficiently to the people who need to use them. Implemented well, eGovernment allows citizens, businesses and organisations to carry out their business with government more easily, quickly and at lower cost.


eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015

Based on the political priorities set out in the Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment (Malmö, 2009), the Action Plan sets out concrete actions to help find synergies between national and European policy instruments, in support of transition of eGovernment into a new generation of open, flexible and collaborative seamless eGovernment services at local, regional, national and European level (more in eur-lex). The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the new eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, one of the key measures needed to complete the Digital Single Market


eGovernment Large Scale Pilot Projects (LSPs)

Run largely with and/or by Member States, the pilot projects develop practical solutions for cross-border Digital Public Services. Large Scale Pilot projects engage public authorities, service providers and research centres across the EU in the implementation of common solutions to deliver online public services and make them accessible throughout Europe. Examples of LSPs supporting the interoperability of services and as a consequence, the mobility of citizens and businesses are e-CODEX (eJustice), epSOS (eHealth), STORK (elD), PEPPOL (eProcurement), SPOCS (eDocuments). These projects are/were co-funded by the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) - Competitiveness & Innovation Programme (CIP) (2007-2013).



Refers to ICT tools and services which can improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management. It can benefit the entire community by improving access and quality of care and by making the health sector more efficient. eHealth also includes:

  • information and data sharing between patients and health service providers, hospitals, health professionals and health information networks
  • electronic health records; telemedicine services
  • portable patient-monitoring devices, operating room scheduling software, robotised surgery and blue-sky research on the virtual physiological human.


eInclusion, digital inclusion

Refers to the target of achieving an inclusive information society (written eInclusion when referring to specific policies). New developments in technology turn the risk of a digital divide into "digital cohesion" and opportunities, for all segments of the population, including disadvantaged segments (education (a specific subset called e-Competences), age (called e-Ageing), gender, disabilities (called e-Accessibility), ethnicity, and/or those living in remote regions (subject to the geographical digital divide). E-Inclusion mainly covers the development of appropriate policies, maintenance of a knowledge base, research and technology development, deployment and dissemination of best practices .



Electronic transfer of invoicing information (billing and payment) between business partners (supplier and buyer). It is an essential part of an efficient financial supply chain and it links the internal processes of enterprises to the payment systems. The Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) offers an ideal launching pad for a successful European e-invoicing initiative with savings estimated at around EUR 64,5 billion per year for businesses. In collaboration between DG CONNECT, MARKT, ENTR and DIGIT, with the financial support from the CEF, the Commission is launching an eInvoicing cross border service.



Electro-Mobility is the mobility offer by electric vehicles that are fully integrated into a well adapted transport system.


Electromagnetic field (EMF)

Physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. Light is the electromagnetic field in a certain frequency range. At lower frequencies the electromagnetic field may be radio waves or infrared light, while at higher frequencies it may be UV light or x-rays, among others.


Electronic communications network

Transmission systems and, where applicable, switching or routing equipment and other resources, including network elements which are not active, which permit the conveyance of signals by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic means, including satellite networks, fixed (circuit- and packet-switched, including Internet) and mobile terrestrial networks, electricity cable systems, to the extent that they are used for the purpose of transmitting signals, networks used for radio and television broadcasting, and cable television networks, irrespective of the type of information conveyed.


Electronic communications service

A service normally provided for remuneration which consists wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks, including telecommunications services and transmission services in networks used for broadcasting, but exclude services providing, or exercising editorial control over, content transmitted using electronic communications networks and services; it does not include Information Society services, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 98/34/EC, which do not consist wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks.


Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL)

The new Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), scheduled to start in July 2014. ECSEL will replace the two existing Joint Undertakings on embedded computing systems (ARTEMIS) and nanoelectronics (ENIAC). It will cover three main interrelated areas:

  • Design technologies, manufacturing processes and integration, equipment and materials for micro- and nanoelectronics.
  • Processes, methods, tools and platforms, reference designs and architectures for embedded/Cyber-Physical Systems.
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches for smart systems.

The new JTI will support capital-intensive actions such as pilot lines or large scale demonstrators at higher Technology Readiness Level up to level 8.


Electronic Health Record (EHR)

A record in digital format, which contains a collection of health information on individual patients or a population, and which can be shared across different health care settings.


Electronic Identification (e-Identification, eID)

The process of determining a person/entity's identity by using electronic means. In Europe many Member States provide their citizens with electronic IDs via smart cards, mobile phones, or other technologies: some Member States combine an e-ID with the function of an identity card used also as a travel document, others have a citizen card to access public online services, others work with mobile devices, or a combination of card and phone.


Electronic Identity Card (e-ID)

The electronic identity card (eID) is an official electronic proof of one's identity. It also enables the possibility to sign electronic documents with a legal signature.


Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)

An on-screen display of channels and programme data. It helps viewers navigate through the channels available on digital television. EPGs can influence viewer choice. Questions have been raised regarding the prominence or visibility of certain content on EPGs and access to EPGs.National Regulatory Authorities may impose fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access rules or Significant Market Power remedies to associated facilities for digital television, including EPGs.


Electronic registered delivery

Equivalent in the digital world for registered mail in the physical world. At present the legal effect of the "registration" of an email stops at the border of the Member State of origin unless the Member State of destination recognises the registered nature of the email.


Electronic seal

Electronic equivalent of a seal or stamp which is applied on a document to guarantee its origin and integrity. An electronic seal means that companies could issue millions of authentic invoices matching EU legal requirements.


Electronic time stamp

The date and time on an electronic document which proves that the document existed at a point-in-time and that it has not changed since then. For example, a student entering a competition closing at midnight, sending his entry by email at 23:55 but its delivery is delayed due to some technical problems. A time stamp would prove that his entry existed at 23:55 and the delivery problems would have no consequence.


Electronics Components

Building blocks that are pervasive in all modern products and services. They are a critical asset for a competitive industry in Europe, including for automotive, energy, health, security and consumer sectors.


Embedded system

Computer system with a dedicated function within a larger system, often with real-time computing constraints comprising software and hardware. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including other physical parts (e.g. electrical, mechanical, optical). By contrast, a general-purpose computer, such as a personal computer (PC), is designed to be flexible and to meet a wide range of end-user needs. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today such as airplanes, cars, elevators, medical equipment and similar.


Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE)

EGEE was a Europe's leading grid computing project, providing a computing support infrastructure for over 15,000 researchers world-wide, operating a multidisciplinary grid with over 150 000 computers on nearly 300 sites from fields as diverse as high energy physics, earth and life sciences. It has been continued by EGI-InSPIRE. Power point presentation.



A user not providing public communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services.



The ENIAC Joint Undertaking (JU) was created in February 2008 in order to implement a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on nanoelectronics - a research programme aimed at enhancing the further integration and miniaturisation of devices and increasing their functionalities. The ENIAC JU was set up as a public-private partnership, bringing together the European Commission and European Member and Associated States with AENEAS, the association representing the R&D actors in nanoelectronics (Corporate, SME's, research institutes and universities) in Europe.



ICT-supported participation involvement in government and governance processes.They may concern administration, service delivery, decision making or policy making. eParticipation refers to all ICT-supported democratic processes except e-voting.


EPoSS as an European Technology Platform

Industry-driven policy initiative, defining R&D and innovation needs as well as policy requirements related to Smart Systems Integration and integrated Micro- and Nanosystems. EPoSS provides a common European approach on Innovative Smart Systems Integration from research to production, o defines priorities for common research and innovation in the future, formulates commonly agreed road maps for action:

  • provides a Strategic Research Agenda,
  • mobilises public and private resources, and
  • supports its members in coordinating their joint research efforts and improving communication amongst the members as well as towards the European Commission.



Electronic prescribtion of medicine with the use of software by a legally authorised health professional and the electronic transmission of said prescription data to a pharmacy where the medicine can then be dispensed.


eProcurement (Electronic Procurement)

Electronic communications by public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works. More on eProcurement.


Equivalence of Inputs (EoI)

The provision of all services and information to access seekers and to the downstream businesses of the regulated operator on the same terms and conditions (including price and quality of service levels), the same timescales using the same systems and processes.


Equivalence of Output (EoO)

The provision of all wholesale inputs to access seekers in a manner, which is comparable, in terms of functionality and price, to those the regulated operator provides to its own downstream businesses, albeit using potentially different systems and processes.


eSignature (Electronic Signature)

The electronic equivalent of a handwritten signature.


eSkills, electronic skills

The ability to make use, develop and apply Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The European e-Skills Forum defines the three main Information and ICT categories:

  • practitioner skills
  • user skills
  • e-Business skills.

More on eSkills.


EU Media Futures Forum

In 2011 VP Kroes set up a multi-stakeholder group - the Media Futures Forum, chaired by Christian Van Thillo. The mandate was to identify the opportunities and challenges resulting from the major changes in the media sector as a result of digitisation, to assess how current EU policies help or hinder this digital transition and to attract attention to the urgency to act. The Forum presented its recommendations on 27 June 2012. Subsequently, members continued meeting, latest in October 2013.


EU Trust Mark

The EU trust mark identifies qualified trust services provided by qualified trust service providers contributing to transparency in the market. The use of an EU trust mark by qualified trust service providers is voluntary.


Euro-Mediterranean partnership (EuroMed Patnership)

The Conference of EU and Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in Barcelona (1995) marked the start of a new "partnership" phase of the relationship including bilateral and multilateral or regional cooperation. This Barcelona Declaration launched the EuroMed Partnership on three separate chapters, the third one being Culture. This chapter complements the economic and political aspects of the partnership and breathes life into it, with a special emphasis made on civil society. The main regional activities in the area of culture and audio-visual are Euromed Heritage and Euromed Audiovisual.


Europe 2020

A 10-year strategy proposed by the European Commission on 3 March 2010 for advancement of the economy of the European Union. It aims at "smart, sustainable, inclusive growth" with greater coordination of national and European policy. It follows the Lisbon Strategy for the period 2000–2010. The strategy identifies five headline targets the European Union should take to boost growth and employment:

  • to raise the employment rate of the population aged 20–64 from the current 69% to at least 75%,
  • to achieve the target of investing 3% of GDP in R&D in particular by improving the conditions for R&D investment by the private sector, and develop a new indicator to track innovation,
  • to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% compared to 1990 levels or by 30% if the conditions are right, increase the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20%, and achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency,
  • to reduce the share of early school leavers to 10% from the current 15% and increase the share of the population aged 30–34 having completed tertiary from 31% to at least 40%,
  • to reduce the number of Europeans living below national poverty lines by 25%, lifting 20 million people out of poverty.


European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO)

A Partial Enlarged Agreement of the Council of Europe. Members of the Observatory include all EU Member States, the EU and other European countries. The EU is represented by the Commission, DG CONNECT is the lead service. The legal basis and the financing is provided by the Creative Europe Regulation managed by DG EAC. The Observatory focuses on collection, preparation and distribution of economic and legal information on the film, linear TV and VOD sectors in Europe. DG CONNECT has a service contract on statistical information on VOD.


European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

In the follow-up to pilot projects put forward by the EP, the Commission published Calls for proposals for a "European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)". The projects are invited to address challenges faced by journalists, in the exercise of their work, and to monitor and coordinate existing activities in this field.

Several projects were selected in 2014 and 2015 and a new call for a preparatory action on a "European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)" was published in 2015.


European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

The Lisbon Treaty provides the possibility for 1 million citizens to bring an initiative to the Commission. The implementing Regulation (211/2011/EU) entered into force on 1st April 2012. A European Initiative for Media Pluralism was open until mid-August 2014.


European Cloud Partnership (ECP)

Project under FP7 which has received a €10 million grant. It has two components:

  • an advisory Steering Board and
  • a Member State initiative called Cloud-for-Europe (C4E).

The Steering Board was operational as of November 2012 and has now been disbanded. C4E continues until end 2016.


European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT)

This international organisation was established in 1959. CEPT's activities include co-operation on commercial, operational, regulatory and technical standardisation issues. Today 48 countries are members of CEPT. The CEPT conducts its work through three autonomous business committees (ECC, ComITU and CERP). The chairs of these committees form the organisation’s Presidency, supported by the central Office, the ECO, in Copenhagen, Denmark.


European Convention for the protection of the audiovisual heritage

The Convention is part of the Council of Europe's work on cultural co-operation, where European cinema always occupied a important position. Compulsory deposit of all audiovisual material produced or co-produced and made available to the public in each signatory state (Deposit of audio-visual works) is the key measure foreseen by the convention. It includes the obligation to look after the material with the necessary conservation work. The material must be available for consultation for academic or research purposes, subject to international or national rules on copyright. The Convention entered into force on 1 January 2008.


European Convention on Transfrontier Television

This Convention of the Council of Europe lays down a number of rules for the free and unhindered circulation of television programmes across the countries concerned. In 2007 the revision of the convention was put on hold after the Commission reminded Member States that the EU enjoys exclusive competence in this area and has no interest in joining the Convention which covers similar areas as the AVMSD. The Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE suggested in 2014 to explore the possibilities for continuing the works on the amendments of the Convention.


European Critical Infrastructure (ECI)

Critical infrastructure located in Member States, the disruption or destruction of which would have a significant impact on at least two Member States. The significance of the impact shall be assessed in terms of cross-cutting criteria. This includes effects resulting from cross-sector dependencies on other types of infrastructure.

European Data e-Infrastructure Initiative (EUDAT)

EUDAT is a project developing a Collaborative Data Infrastructure which will allow researchers to share data within and between communities and enable them to carry out their research effectively.


European Data Infrastructure

The European Data Infrastructure is one of the three pilars of the European Cloud initiative - Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe. By combing world-class supercomputing capability with high-speed connectivity and leading-edge data and sofware services for science, industry and the public sector, the  European Data infrastructure will allow fully unlocking the value of big data.


European Forum of Member States (EFMS)

Platform to share information and best practice on security and resilience of CIIs (Critical Information Infrastructures). It draws on the work of eg ENISA.


European Grid Infrastructure (EGI)

A distributed computing environment, constituted as a federation of the computing resources of the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and the European International Research Organisations (EIROs). is a not-for-profit foundation established under Dutch law to coordinate and manage the EGI federation on behalf of its participants.See also Grid computing and Distributed computing.


European Innovation Partnership (EIP)

Part of the European Innovation Union, to break down silos and bring together all relevant stakeholders across policies, sectors and borders to speed up innovations that address a major societal challenge, and gain competitive advantage for growth and job creation in Europe. EIPs are organised around concrete and ambitious targets, agreed at political level, in areas of societal challenges that command broad public and political support.


European Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP) on ICT standardisation

Set up by Commission Decision COM(2011) 349, the MSP advises the Commission on matters relating to the implementation of ICT standardisation policy, including the work programme for ICT standardisation, priority-setting in support of legislation and policies and identification of specifications developed by global ICT standards development organisations. The MSP is composed of representatives of national authorities of Member States and EFTA countries, the European and international ICT standardisation bodies and the Stakeholder organisations representing industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, consumers and other societal stakeholders. The Platform is co-chaired by DGs ENTR and CONNECT.


European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)

ENISA was created by Regulation (EC) No 460/2004 of 10 March 2004 "for the purpose of ensuring a high and effective level of network and information security within the Community and in order to develop a culture of network and information security for the benefit of the citizens, consumers, enterprises and public sector organisations of the European Union, thus contributing to the smooth functioning of the internal market".


European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL)

Creates a platform where firms, public authorities and citizens can work together on developing and testing new technologies, business models and services in real-life contexts. The ultimate aim is to set up a new European Innovation Infrastructure where users play an active role in innovation. More on ENoLL.

European Open Science Cloud

The European Open Science Cloud will become a reality through the European Cloud initiative that sets the actions needed to create a world-class cloud and data infrastructure for science. Endorsing Open Science, the initiative will enable researchers to process the huge amounts of scientific data generated by research and to share their scientific results while improving access to knowledge and thus fostering innovation. 

European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA)

52 regulatory authorities from 44 countries in Europe are members of EPRA, which was set up in April 1995 in Malta. The European Commission, the European Audiovisual Observatory and the Council of Europe are standing observers. Its objectives are:

  • informal discussion and exchange of views between regulatory authorities in the broadcasting field,
  • exchange of information about common issues of national and European broadcasting regulation,
  • discussion of practical solutions to legal problems regarding the interpretation and application of broadcasting regulation.


European Public Private Partnership for Resilience (EP3R)

Part of ENISA, aims to foster cooperation between the public and the private sector on security and resilience objectives, baseline requirements, good policy practices and measures. The primary focus of the EP3R is on the European dimension of strategic (e.g. good policy practices) and tactical/operational (e.g. industrial deployment) perspectives. EP3R should build upon and complement existing national initiatives and the operational activities of ENISA.


European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid)

Non-profit organisation established on 8 April 2003 by the European Commission as the domain name registry to operate the new .eu top-level domain (website).


European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA)

ERGA brings together heads or high level representatives of national independent regulatory bodies in the field of audiovisual services, to advise the Commission on the implementation of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Its objectives are set out in the Commission Decision of 3 February 2014. The first meeting of the Group took place on 4 March 2014, in Brussels.


European Research Area (ERA)

This concept combines:

  • a European "internal market" for research, where researchers, technology and knowledge freely circulate
  • effective European-level coordination of national and regional research activities, programmes and policies, and
  • initiatives implemented and funded at European level.

More on ERA.


European Semester

The European Commission has set up a yearly cycle of economic policy coordination called the European Semester. Each year the European Commission undertakes a detailed analysis of EU Member States' programmes of economic and structural reforms and provides them with recommendations for the next 12-18 months. The European semester starts when the Commission adopts its Annual Growth Survey, usually towards the end of the year, which sets out EU priorities for the coming year to boost growth and job creation.


European Standard

A standard that has been adopted by one of the three recognized European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs): CEN, CENELEC or ETSI. In the context of some directives or regulations, voluntary European Standards can provide presumption of conformity with a legal provision.


European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

A body supporting a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe, and facilitating multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level. More on ESFRI.


European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETP4HPC)

An industry-led European Technology Platform (ETP) for High Performance Computing was created in 2011 and incorporated as a Dutch Association in 2012 to give the platform a legal body. The ETP4HPC Association is defining research priorities for the development of a globally competitive HPC technology ecosystem in Europe. It proposes and helps to implement a Strategic Research Agenda, while acting as the one voice of the European HPC industry in relations with the European Commission and national authorities. ETP4HPC Association is the Private Side in the contractual Public Private Partnership for HPC established with the Commission in Horizon 2020.


European Technology Platforms (ETP)

These platforms bring together companies, research institutions and any other organisations, with a view to defining, at European level, a common Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) which should mobilise a critical mass of national and European public and private resources. They also address technological and non-technological issues for implementing this agenda. European Technology Platforms (ETPs) help industrial and academic research communities in specific technology fields to co-ordinate their research and tailor it to a common "strategic research agenda" (SRA), which sets out research & development goals, time frames and action plans for technological advances, mobilising a critical mass of national and European public and private resources.


European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

Independent, non-profit, standardization organization in the telecommunications industry (equipment makers and network operators) in Europe, with worldwide projection. ETSI has been successful in standardizing GSM cell phone system, TETRA professional mobile radio system, and Short Range Device requirements including LPD radio.


European works

To support the production and distribution of European works, the AVMSD lays down in Article 16 that Member States must ensure that broadcasters reserve a majority proportion of their transmission time for such works. Article 13 also requires on-demand audiovisual services to promote production of and access to European works. 'European work' is defined in Article 1 (n) AVMSD. It includes not only works produced in a Member State but also in a state party to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and works produced within co-production treaties.



Europeana is a search platform for a collection of European digital libraries with digitised paintings, books, films and archives. The project was initiated by the European Commission. The prototype contained around two million digital items, all of them already in the public domain.



The process by which proposals are, or are not, retained with a view to selection as projects. Evaluation is conducted through the application of eligibility, award and selection criteria identified in a work programme. The evaluation is conducted by the Commission assisted by independent experts.


Events of major importance for society

The AVMSD provides that the public may be guaranteed access on free-to-air television to the broadcasts of events of major importance for society (Article 14). Each Member State may draw up a list of such events. They must be broadcast unencrypted. On the basis of the principle of mutual recognition, Member States must ensure that broadcasters under their jurisdiction respect the lists of other Member States. The events concerned may be national or other, e.g. major sports events.


Ex-ante evaluation

Article 21(1) of the Financial Regulation's implementing rules specifies the need for ex ante evaluations for initiatives financed from the Community budget. Purely prospective evaluations (ex-ante and impact assessments) must be carried out in accordance with DG Budget’s guide for ex-ante evaluation or the Commission's Impact Assessment Guidelines to ensure adequate quality.



Factories of the Future Public- Private Partnership (FoF PPP)

The FoF PPP aim at helping EU manufacturing enterprises, in particular SMEs, to adapt to global competitive pressure by developing the key enabling technologies across a broad range of sectors. It will help European industry to meet increasing global consumer demand for greener, more customised and higher quality products. The ICT contribution (DG CONNECT) to the FoF PPP, with the estimated funding of 450 MEUR in H2020, builds on European world leading position in a number of sectors (e.g. industrial robotics and factory automation, embedded digital systems, enterprise and design software, and 3D- and laser-based manufacturing) and on new developments such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Cyber-Physical Systems, modelling and simulation, to deliver more efficient, flexible, smarter and sustainable production systems.


Fast Tract to Innovation (FTI)

A fully bottom-up pilot action that will be launched in WP 2015 under H2020 aiming to support projects undertaking innovation from the demonstration stage through to market uptake, including stages such as piloting, test-beds, validation in real world/working conditions.

It targets relatively mature new technologies, concepts, processes and business models that need a last development step to reach the market and wider deployment. Whenever relevant, proposals should refer to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to indicate the maturity of the technology.

Proposals must relate to the specific objective "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" and/or to any of the specific objectives under the priority 'Societal challenges'. Max. 5 members Consortia, representing the full value chain. Type of action: Innovation actions (70%).


FET Flagships

Flagships are visionary, science-driven, large-scale research initiatives addressing grand scientific and technological (S&T) challenges. They are long-term initiatives bringing together excellent research teams, across multiple disciplines, sharing a unifying goal and an ambitious research roadmap on how to achieve it. Flagships aim at transformational impacts on science and technology, delivering a key competitive advantage for European industry and substantial benefits for society. Flagships are envisioned to run for about 10 years, on a budget of around €100 million per year per initiative. There are currently two FET Flagships, launched in October 2013: Graphene and the Human Brain Project (HBP).


Fiber electronics, fibertronics

The field of embedding advanced electronic components onto textile fibers. This area was initiated in FP6 through Smart fabric & interactive textile EU cluster.


Fiber to the x (FTTX)

Broadband network architecture using optical fibre to create a broadband network for the last mile.


Fibre To The Home (FTTH)

Fibre-to-the-home network, which connects the end customer's premises with fibre, i.e. an access network consisting of optical fibre lines in both the feeder and the drop segments of the access network (including in-house wiring).

Other possibilities include installing optical fibre closer, but not all the way to the end customer's premises, such as FTTC (Fibre To The Curb) and FTTB (Fibre To The Building) (more on eur-lex).


Fibre-to-the nodes (FTTN)

Fibre-to-the nodes, the fibre is terminated in a street cabinet up to several kilometres away from the customer premises, with the final connection being copper (in fibre to the cabinet/VDSL networks) or coax (in the cable/DOCSIS 3 network). Fibre-to-the-node is often seen as a temporary, interim step towards full FTTH (more on eur-lex).

Film Heritage

The collection of moving images that Member States consider worth preserving for cultural, historical and societal reasons. The TFEU (Article 151) provides for EU action to encourage cooperation between Member States and support them in relation to "conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance". The 2005 European Parliament and Council Recommendation on film heritage recommends to collect, catalogue and restore film heritage in order to ensure that it is passed down to future generations and enjoyed by present ones.


Financial Instruments

"Innovative" financial instruments are loans (including project bond) and guarantee facilities, or equity funds. As compared to the traditional grant instrument, FI have the advantage of attracting more additional investment (leverage). For the Connecting Europe Facility support to the roll-out of broadband, the Commission envisions to use FI as much as possible.


Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Preferential trade agreement negotiated by the EU with international partners. FTAs are an essential tool in the EU competitiveness agenda for trade policy. In these negotiations, commitments are not made for the audio-visual sector. However, for the EU it is important to be in the front-line of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity and the strengthening of international cooperation in the cultural area. The Commission has thus been mandated to negotiate a specific framework for cooperation to address cultural goods and services (including the audio-visual sector) in a number of trade negotiations covering trade in services. In this context, a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation is proposed for inclusion in FTAs with Korea, India, Asean, in EPAs, and in association agreements with Central America, the Andean Community and Euro-Mediterranean countries.


Free-to-air broadcasting

Broadcasting, either public service or commercial, of programmes which are accessible to the public without paying any specific fees (except licence fees and/or the basic tier subscription fees to a cable network). 'Free to air' television may cover transmission by cable, satellite or terrestrial technologies but excludes services to which access is limited by conditional access systems such as Pay-TV Services.


Free-to-view broadcasting

Broadcasting of services that may require a one-time activation fee, but without subsequent costs for viewers. Usually this takes the form of encrypted broadcasts, requiring an access card for decryption and viewing.


Freedom of expression

The TEU stipulates that the Union shall respect fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe, notably Article 10 on the right to freedom of expression. Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on freedom of expression and information guarantees those same rights, as well as the freedom and pluralism of the media.


Full unbundled access to the local loop

The provision to a beneficiary of access to the local loop or local sub loop of the notified operator.


Fully allocated historic costs

Accounting approach under which all costs that incurred in the production of activities are allocated across those activities. Fully allocated costs will include a share of fixed costs which may be common or shared across different services, for example, between access and conveyance.


Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

The incubator and pathfinder for new ideas and themes for long-term research that challenges current and mainstream thinking. Its mission is to promote high risk research offset by potential breakthrough with high technological or societal impact. Building on the success of the FET programme under FP7, FET constitutes a key element of the Excellent Science priority of Horizon 2020.


Future Internet Architectures

Approaches towards a future Internet that range from small, incremental evolutionary steps to complete redesigns (clean slate) and architecture principles. These architectures will be capable of supporting novel classes of Internet usage and innovative applications like content/information-centric, distributed computing, Machine to Machine and the Internet of Things. It encompasses software defined and virtualised networks enabling low cost management and high service versatility.


Future Internet PPP (FI-PPP)

Aims to advance Europe's competitiveness in Future Internet technologies and to support the emergence of Future Internet-enhanced applications of public and social relevance. The FI-PPP will make infrastructures and business processes smarter (i.e. more intelligent, more efficient, more sustainable) through tighter integration with Internet networking and computing capabilities, while looking at different sectors such as transport, health, and energy. It defines possible innovative business models for these sectors (third phase starts in September 2014).


Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE)

Initiative supported by DG CONNECT with the objective to establish large scale testing and validation environments for network and service architectures. FIRE promotes experimentally driven research.



An online experiment to improve policy-making. On Futurium you can co-create "Futures" by imagining life in 2050.



General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

Sectoral agreement of the World Trade Organisation dealing with the liberalisation of services. As the vast majority of other WTO trading partners, the EU is convinced of the need to maintain the possibility to preserve and develop its capacity to define and implement policies in the audio-visual sector, in particular for the purpose of preserving cultural diversity. Therefore, the EU did not offer to make any GATS commitment in the audio-visual sector in its initial services in 2003, nor did it submit any requests for the audio-visual service sector to its WTO trading partners in 2005. The European Communities and their Member States also maintained audio-visual exemptions from the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) treatment.


General authorisation

Legal framework established by the Member State ensuring rights for the provision of electronic communications networks or services and laying down sector specific obligations that may apply to all or to specific types of electronic communications networks and services, in accordance with the Authorisation Directive.


General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)

In May 2014, as part of a state-aid modernisation package, the Commission adopted the new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The regulation exempts aid to "white" and "white NGA" areas (i.e. areas where no relevant broadband operator exists or is likely to invest in the next three years) from the obligation to notify state aid to the Commission. Notification of aid to "grey" or "grey NGA areas", as well as large aid schemes, is still required. The notification will also be required for large aid schemes. The requirements of an open tender for selecting the beneficiaries of aid, of fair and non-discriminatory wholesale access to the supported network and of full and effective unbundling ensure maximum competitive benefits. Member States have to put claw back mechanism if the amount of aid granted 10mEUR.



Geo-blocking refers to practices used for commercial reasons, when online sellers either deny consumers access to a website based on their location, or re-route them to a local store with different prices.


Geographic number

Number from the national numbering plan where part of its digit structure contains geographic significance used for routing calls to the physical location of the network termination point (NTP).


Global Systems Science (GSS)

This vision is to provide scientific evidence in support of policies and public action addressing global challenges like climate change, financial crisis, governance of pandemics, or energy efficiency. The ICT engines behind GSS are large-scale computing platforms to simulate highly interconnected systems, data analytics for Big Data to make full use of the abundance of data on social, economic, financial, technological, and ecological systems available today, and online social media/collaborative ICT platforms allowing stakeholders to actively participate in the policy process.


Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

Its purpose is to advise ICANN on public policy aspects of its activities.



The wifi infrastructures federation mechanism used in public administration and derived from eduroam from the research and education area. They allow seamless wifi roaming. See eduroam.


Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

An EU wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional skills and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT. More on the grand coalition for digital jobs.


Grant agreement

Agreement between the Commission and the beneficiaries setting out the conditions of the awarding of European Union grants.



Grants are direct financial contributions, by way of donation, from the budget in order to finance either an action (intended to help achieve a Union policy objective) or the functioning of a body which pursues an aim of general Union interest or has an objective forming part of, and supporting, a Union policy ('operating grants').


Graphene Flagship

Graphene, the first available two-dimensional carbon-based material, has a great potential to underpin new disruptive technologies, substituting materials used in existing applications and also leading to radically new markets and applications. The Flagship aims to take Graphene and related layered materials from the realm of fundamental science to industrial and societal applications in the space of ten years. It will establish a new technology platform that will leverage the advantages of these materials as compared to established materials such as silicon. The initial Graphene Consortium brings together 76 academic and industrial research groups from 17 European countries. Four Nobel Laureates are participating in the Flagship. The Consortium covers areas from quantum physics, material science and chemistry to electronics, engineering and device production.


Green Computing/ICT

Together with reducing ICT's own energy footprint it is about assuring a positive contribution of digital technologies to improving energy security and resource utilisation and reducing carbon emissions across the EU.


Green Paper on card, internet and mobile payments

Public consultation which took place between January and April 2012, by which the Commission engaged with stakeholders on a number of issues related to creating a Single Market in payments. As a result the Commission committed itself to review Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC) and propose a legislative action on multilateral interchange fees (transaction fees for card payments). These proposals were published on 13 July 2013. Legislative process in ongoing. An interservice group on mobile payments has been set up. The group studies market fragmentation, new technological trends and interoperability among other topics.


Green Vehicles

The European Green Vehicles Initiative is a contractual Public-Private Partnership (EGVI PPP) dedicated to delivering green vehicles and mobility system solutions which match the major societal, environmental and economic challenges ahead. With a focus on the energy efficiency of vehicles and alternative powertrains, the EGVI PPP aims to accelerate research, development and demonstration of technologies for the efficient use of clean energies in road transport.

The PPP involves all industry, research and associate members of the European Green Vehicles Initiative Association (EGVIA) and certain Directorates General of the European Commission, collaborating to identify research and innovation activities within Horizon 2020.


Grid computing

A grid is a service for sharing computer power and data storage capacity over the Internet. It goes well beyond the connection between computers and ultimately aims to turn the global network of computers into a vast computational resource for large-scale computer- and data-intensive applications. In grid computing, users harness computing power from resources owned by many different institutions and organizations that have opted to make them available to others. These resources may be scattered over a wide geographic area - even globally - and comprise processing power, data storage capacity, sensors, visualization tools and more. Grid computing brings these resources, thousands of them in some cases, together into a common, shared infrastructure, linked over networks via a common set of middleware.See also EGI, Distributed computing, Cloud computing and Middleware.


Guide to Broadband Investment

The guide, issued by the European Commission in 2011, is aimed at assisting management authorities of EU funds to plan and implement broadband projects financed in the context of EU regional and rural development policies. The guide is structured around seven questions concerning policy, regulatory, investment and technological issues including the pros and cons of five different investment models for efficient and effective public-sector interventions in next-generation broadband access networks. The updated version will be available shortly.



Advanced pan-European backbone network connecting National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) across Europe totalling more than 50,000 km in length. GÉANT offers unrivalled geographical coverage, high bandwidth and innovative hybrid networking technology. GÉANT offers European academics and researchers high speed, private network connection to other research centres.

See also DANTE and TERENA.



Harmful Interference

Interference which endangers the functioning of a radio-navigation service or of other safety services or which otherwise seriously degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts a radio-communications service operating in accordance with the applicable Community or national regulations.


Harmonised Standard

A European standard elaborated on the basis of a request from the European Commission to a recognised European Standards Organisation to develop a standard that provides solutions for compliance with a legal provision. Compliance with harmonised standards provides a presumption of conformity with the corresponding requirements of harmonisation legislation. The use of standards remains voluntary. Within the context of some directives or regulations voluntary European standards supporting implementation of relevant legal requirements are not called "harmonised standards".



Heartbleed is a computer software vulnerability that was discovered in early April 2014 and that affected 66% of web servers offering secure (https://) connections over the Internet, including social media, e-commerce and critical infrastructure services. The incident derived from a programming error in the OpenSSL software and meant that an attacker could remotely retrieve information, such as passwords, session cookies and private keys, and to use that information to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.


Helix Nebula

A project to construct a marketplace of cloud services that can be used by the scientific community in the first place and then extended to other economic domains. The helix nebula project is a preliminary step towards a European cloud-based scientific e-infrastructure: the Science Cloud.


High definition Television (HDTV)

HDTV has up to twice the vertical and horizontal picture resolution of standard definition TV; the additional resolution makes it possible to watch TV on much bigger screens without causing any deterioration of the picture quality. HDTV features the 16/9 wide-screen aspect ratio rather than the traditional 4:3 format - making the image more "movie-like" - together with multi-track surround sound audio. The combination of wide-screen, high resolution and big displays widens the viewing angle compared with traditional TV.


High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism

An independent group, established in October 2011 and chaired by the former President of Latvia, Professor Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, with the aim to draw up a report for the Commission with recommendations for the respect, protection, support and promotion of pluralism and freedom of the media in Europe. The report was published in January 2013.


High speed bit-stream service

A service provided by an incumbent operator whereby a new entrant rents a high speed access path to the customer. The incumbent provides and maintains the transmission systems (e.g. ADSL modem at the local exchange) needed to provide the access path.


High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)

Extension of the UMTS standard allowing for faster data transfer. It is an amalgamation of two mobile telephony protocols, High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), that extends and improves the performance of existing 3rd generation mobile telecommunication networks utilizing the WCDMA protocols. The newer standard allows bit-rates to reach as high as 337 Mbit/s in the downlink and 34 Mbit/s in the uplink.


High-performance computing (HPC)

HPC (or supercomputing) denotes high speed tera- and peta-scale (advancing towards exa-scale) computing implemented as a cluster of multiple processors, sometimes thousands of them, harnessed together via fast communications pipelines and cluster software. Supercomputing e-Infrastructures enable tackling the data-intensive and complex challenges of modern science with new computing and simulation capabilities. See also PRACE.


High-speed broadband

Broadband service provided through a Next Generation Network (NGN). More on high-speed broadband.


High-speed electronic communications network

An electronic communication network which is capable of delivering broadband access services at speeds of at least 30 Mbps.


High-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure

In-building physical infrastructure intended to host elements or enable delivery of high-speed electronic communications networks.


Horizon 2020 (H2020)

The financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with nearly a €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe (website).


Human Brain Project Flagship (HBP Flagship)

Understanding the human brain is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. The Human Brain Project (HBP) aims to combine all existing knowledge and data about the human brain for building a realistic computer model of the brain by 2023. Such model will help researchers understand how the human brain works and the diseases affecting it. HBP will have a potentially massive impact in areas such as neuroscience, new treatments for brain disease and future brain-inspired neuromorphic computing and robotics technologies. HBP gathers a large consortium of 112 partner organisations, mostly from Europe but also from the USA, Japan, and China and involves world leading experts. It is a multidisciplinary consortium which includes experts in computer science, neuroscience, robotics, micro-electronics, and also in innovation and exploitation, ethics, education, programme management and communication.


Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV)

HbbTV merges the TV broadcast signal with online content. It is both an industry standard and promotional initiative for hybrid digital TV to harmonise the broadcast, IPTV, and broadband delivery of entertainment to the end consumer through connected TVs (smart TVs) and set-top boxes.


Hybrid cloud

The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).


Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC)

Combination of optical fibre and coaxial cable.



ICT for Ageing Well

ICT can enable older people to participate fully in society and the economy. With the ageing of the population, activating and empowering of these parts of the society can generate benefits for businesses, economy and society at large. ICT for ageing well means maintaining a high quality, independent life for elderly people, where the specific application areas for age-friendly ICT based products and services encompass: active ageing in the work situation, living in the community, and independent living at home.


ICT-enabled public sector innovation

Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of public services by introducing new processes, products, services and methods of delivery enabled by ICT. Also called open-government.



DG CONNECT's CSR multistakeholder network/platform in the ICT sector. Its aim is to facilitate and promote the CSR activities of ICT enterprises and ICT as a means to help CSR actions.


IDABC, IDABC eGovernment Observatory

IDABC stands for the Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens.


Identity Federation

A setting where a federation is a trusted broker between identity providers (e.g. campus, research institutions) and content providers (e.g. publishers, software vendors, web services) and ensures the legal and secure exchange of attributes between parties. See also eduGAIN.


Impact Assessment (IA)

Set of logical steps to be followed when preparing policy proposals, to prepare evidence for political decision-makers on the advantages and disadvantages of possible policy options, assessing their potential impacts compared to a baseline (do-nothing) scenario.

The results are presented in an IA report and executive summary, submitted to the IA Board (whose positive opinion is necessary for official submission to College).

This work is key in developing Commission proposals, the College of Commissioners takes the IA report into account when deliberating. The IA supports but does not replace decision-making (adoption of a proposal is a College political decision).


Impact Assessment Board (IAB)

The Impact Assessment Board is a central quality control and support function working under the authority of the Commission President It examines and issues opinions on all Commission draft impact assessments. In principle, a positive IAB opinion is needed for an initiative to be tabled for adoption by the Commission. The opinion accompanies the draft initiative together with the impact assessment throughout the Commission's political decision-making. After EC adoption, all impact assessments and all IAB opinions are published.


Impact Assessment Report (IAR)

Concise document (ca 30 pages without tables and annexes), introduced by a 2-page summary and presenting the Impact Assessment in simple terms, with technical details included in annexes: e.g. list of acronyms/glossary, references, consultation report, (extracts of) external studies. The IAR, together with an IA executive summary of maximum 10 pages and minutes of the final IA Steering Group meeting, must be submitted officially to the Impact Assessment Board 4 weeks prior to its meeting. IAB opinions about the IAR and its executive summary are published by SG alongside the final version of these documents.

In-building physical infrastructure

Physical infrastructure or installations at the end-user's location, including elements under joint ownership, intended to host wired and/or wireless access networks, where such access networks are capable of delivering electronic communications services and connecting the building access point with the network termination point.


In-silico medicine

In-silico medicine is the direct use of computer simulation in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease. More specifically, in-silico medicine means modelling, simulation, and visualisation of biological and medical processes in computers with the goal of simulating real biological processes in a virtual environment.


Inclusive by default:

Solutions to the digital divide should be found to improve inclusiveness.


Incumbent operators (incumbents)

Telecommunications organisations granted special and exclusive rights by Member States or (partially) public operator(s) which enjoyed a de facto monopoly before liberalisation.


Independent living

A living arrangement that maximizes independence and self-determination, especially of disabled persons and persons with functional limitations living in a community instead in a medical facility. In the context of eldercare, independent living is seen as a step in the continuum of care, with assisted living being the next step.


Information Society Service - eCommerce

Information society service, as defined in EU directive 98/34/EC, means any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services. It spans a wide range of economic activities taking place on-line, e.g. the selling of goods, offering on-line information or commercial communications, or providing tools that allow for search, access to and retrieval of data. Information Society services also cover services that consist of the transmission of information via a communications network, providing access to a communication network, and hosting information provided by a recipient of a service.


Information Society Technologies (IST)

A thematic priority for Research and Development in the European Union Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). More on CORDIS.


Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG)

Set up under FP5 to advise the European Commission on the overall strategy for ICT research and development, it covered the implementation of the ICT part of the Framework Programme and the development of a European Research Area in ICT. The ISTAG ceased its operation in June 2012. In H2020, the CONNECT Advisory Forum (CAF) fulfils the advisory role of the former ISTAG.


Information-centric networking (ICN)

Information-centric networking (formerly also known as Content-centric networking) is an approach to develop the Internet infrastructure by introducing uniquely named data as a core Internet principle. Data becomes independent from location, application, storage, and means of transportation, enabling in-network caching and replication. The expected benefits are improved efficiency, better scalability with respect to information/bandwidth demand and better robustness in particular in scenarios involving increasing network traffic generated by mobile video and cloud computing applications.


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

A cloud service model providing user with the possibility of processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The user does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components ( firewalls).


Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) is responsible for implementing the CEF Telecom calls for proposals on behalf of the Commission.


Innovation Union

One of the Flagship initiatives of Europe 2020 strategy. Together with the Digital Single Market and the Industrial Policy flagships, it aims to create the best conditions for Europe to innovate by pursuing a broad concept of innovation involving all actors in the innovation cycle (i.e. SMEs, public sector, social economy). The Innovation Union's objective is to create an innovation-based economy capable of answering major societal challenges identified in Europe2020 and linking into global value chains seizing new markets and opportunities.


Integrated & ubiquitous fixed & mobile networks

A quantum leap in the telecommunications industry that will finally remove the distinctions between fixed and mobile networks, providing a superior experience to customers by creating seamless services using a combination of fixed broadband and local access wireless technologies to meet their needs in homes, offices, other buildings and on the go.

The idea of anywhere, anytime, by anything and anyone (or 4As) networking is at the core of a new emerging networking technology, referred to as a ubiquitous networking. The concept of ubiquitous networking originated from the concept of ubiquitous computing, which aimed to make many computers available throughout the physical environment, while making them effectively invisible to the user.


International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)

A string of decimal digits, up to a maximum of 15 digits, which identifies a unique mobile terminal or mobile terminal or mobile subscriber internationally. IMSI is required so that visited network can identify a roaming mobile terminal or mobile terminal or mobile user, e.g. in order to query a subscriber’s home network for subscription and billing information.


International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues. It coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum and establishes the worldwide standards that foster interconnection of a vast range of communications systems.


International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs)

An ITU-based treaty that governs international telecommunications traffic (i.e. traffic between ITU members). N.B. there are two versions of this Treaty in force - the 1988 Treaty (applied by EU members) and the 2012 version applied by some 80-90 of the ITU's 193 members.


Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Non-profit private sector US corporation formed in 1998 that helps with the global technical coordination of key Internet resources such as Top Level Domain Names and Internet address spaces. ICANN also develops policies for the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains and Top Level Domains using IDNs (internationalised domain names using non-English characters such as Arabic, Hindi and Chinese).


Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

The primary oganisation responsible for developing global Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP).


Internet Governance

The development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet (working definition of Internet Governance, which was agreed at the 2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society).


Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

International multi-stakeholder event created as an output of the 2003-2005 "World Summit on the Information Society". The IGF allows stakeholders, including governments, the private sector and civil society, to discuss internet issues such as security and spam. IGF meetings take place annually, with the 2014 meeting due to take place in Istanbul in September.


Internet of Things (IoT)

Dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual "things" have identities, physical attributes and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces and are seamlessly integrated into the information network. More on the internet of things.


Internet Protocol (IP)

A protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork using the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).


Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)

IPTV delivers digital TV over a broadband connection. Instead of a bouquet of broadcast services for direct viewing via aTV tuner, IPTV allows viewers to request a specific service from the server. The service is then streamed for viewing via the internet protocol and other technologies known as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL).


Internet-based innovation

The programme is an investment in future jobs and growth and addresses people’s concerns about their livelihoods, safety and the environment, strengthening the EU’s global position in research, innovation and technology. The third phase of the FI-PPP ensures that technological developments and trials taking place in phases one and two will evolve into seed-type activities generating actual take-up of innovative internet services and applications.


Internet-ready Regulation

Legislation designed with the Internet in mind from the outset. Aware of the drivers and effects of hyperconnectivity, it uses the characteristics of the Internet for light and rapid deployment as well as easy and transparent monitoring of new regulation. The Internet-ready legislative approach means a comprehensive process of deciding whether legislation is the right approach – given slow speed and that nudge may work better – and if so identifying new, fundamental characteristics which need to be addressed.



The US National Research and Education Network, analogous to the European NRENs. See also GEANT.


Interoperability (1)

In eHealth, the ability of two or more eHealth systems to use and exchange both computer interpretable data and human understandable data and knowledge.


Interoperability (2)

Ability of different systems (programs) to exchange information and use it. Interoperability is typically achieved through standards or shared technical specifications on file formats, API's and protocols.


Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA)

This programme for the period 2010-15 is the follow-on of IDABC which came to an end on 31 December 2009. See Decision n°992/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on interoperability solutions for European public administration (ISA) (more on eur-lex).



The new generation Internet Protocol version designated as the successor to IPv4, the first implementation used in the Internet and still in dominant use currently.




Brandname of the company that developed the online collaboration platform used in DG Connect (Connected).


Joint Project Agreement (JPA)

Bilateral agreement between ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and the US Government which ran from 2006 to 2009. It has subsequently been replaced by another bilateral agreement called the "Affirmation of Commitments" that was announced on 30th September 2009 (with no end date).


Joint Technology Initiative (JTI)

In a limited number of cases, the scope of the RTD objectives and the resources involved justify setting up long-term public-private partnerships in the form of "Joint Technology Initiatives" (JTIs). JTIs aim to achieve greater strategic focus by supporting common ambitious research agendas in areas that are crucial for competitiveness and growth, assembling and coordinating at European level a critical mass of research. They therefore draw on all sources of R&D investment - public or private - and couple research tightly to innovation.



Key Enabling Technologies (KET)

KET are knowledge intensive and associated with high R&D intensity, rapid innovation cycles, high capital expenditure and highly skilled employment. They enable process, goods and service innovation throughout the economy and are of systemic relevance. They are multidisciplinary, cutting across many technology areas with a trend towards convergence and integration. KET can assist technology leaders in other fields to capitalise on their research efforts’ (COM(2009)512). The Commission selected the following KET as a priority for Europe: nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics including semiconductors, advanced materials, biotechnology and photonics (COM(2012)341). KET provide indispensable technology bricks that enable a wide range of product applications, including those required for developing low carbon energy technologies, improving energy and resource efficiency, boosting the fight against climate change or allowing for healthy ageing. In 2012, ISTAG produced a report highlighting the role of software technologies, to be considered as a priority KET for Europe.


Knowledge Management (KM)

Strategies and processes designed to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share an organisation's intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness. It is based on two critical activities: (1) capture and documentation of individual explicit and tacit knowledge, and (2) its dissemination within the organisation


Knowledge Sharing

Consistent with its established vision of an "interactive DG", DG CONNECT seeks to promote a Directorate-General where everyone can know what goes on around them, where learning is constant and ideas flow in all directions, where there are systematic linkages between policy, regulation and research. We add value by sharing our insights and our judgements as well as documents and facts. Every colleague is empowered, both within their core tasks and on the basis of spontaneous collective initiatives, to participate in knowledge sharing and creative policy work. Knowledge sharing is supported by Connected, a social collaborative platform developed by Jive.



Leased lines

A dedicated circuit typically supplied by the telecoms operator. Refers to a connection that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7 -days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.


Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER)

Main network for research libraries in Europe. LIBER comprises more than 400 national, university and other libraries from more than 40 countries. LIBER's network is not restricted to the area of the European Union and the participation of European research libraries outside the European Union is widely encouraged. Started in 1971 as an association, on 12 January 2009, LIBER was established as a Foundation (Stichting LIBER) under Dutch Law, with its registered office in The Hague, The Netherlands.


Linear Audiovisual Media Service

A linear audiovisual media service (i.e. television broadcast) is provided for simultaneous viewing on the basis of a programme schedule, contrary to a non-linear service (i.e. on-demand service) that will be available at the moment chosen by the user, at his request and on the basis of a catalogue.


Lisbon Strategy

In March 2000, the European Council in Lisbon set out a ten-year strategy to make the EU the world's most dynamic and competitive economy. This strategy contained development and modernisation in the field of information society, education and training, research and innovation, economic reforms for a complete and fully operational internal market, financial markets, employment policy, social protection and inclusion as well as the coordination of the macro-economic policies. Under this strategy, a stronger economy was expected to drive job creation alongside social and environmental policies that ensure sustainable development and social inclusion.


Living Labs

User-driven open innovation ecosystems based on a business-citizens-government partnership which enables users to take an active part in the research, development and innovation process.


Local loop
  • The physical twisted copper pair circuit connecting the network termination point at the subscriber's premises to the main distribution frame or equivalent facility in the fixed public telephone network. The local loop may also include optical elements.
  • The physical circuit connecting the network termination point to a distribution frame or equivalent facility in the fixed public electronic communications network.


Local loop unbundling (LLU)

A service whereby a telecommunications operator provides (shared or fully) unbundled access to its local loop to another telecommunications operator.


Local sub-loop

A partial local loop connecting the network termination point at the subscriber's premises to a concentration point or a specified intermediate access point in the fixed public telephone network.


Location data

Any data processed in an electronic communications network, indicating the geographic position of the terminal equipment of a user of a publicly available electronic communications service.


Long Run Incremental Costs (LRIC)

The incremental costs corresponding to a time horizon where all factors of production, including capital equipment, are variable in response to changes in demand due to changes in the volume or in the structure of production. Therefore all investments are considered as variable costs.


Long Term Evolution (LTE)

High performance communication system for cellular mobile phones. Step towards 4th generation, but commonly called 4G.


Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced

Mobile communication standard, established by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a major enhancement of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. The technology received its first commercial implementation in October 2012 by Russian network Yota.



Machine-to-Machine, Machine-2-Machine (M2M)

Paradigm in which the end-to-end communication is executed without human intervention connecting non-IT objects to an IT infrastructure.


Major renovation works

Building or civil engineering works at the end user's location encompassing structural modifications of the entire in-building physical infrastructure or a significant part thereof, and requiring a building permit.



A commonly used abbreviation for malicious software. It is typically used as a catch-all term to refer to any software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network, whether it's a virus, spyware, etc.


Mandate 376

European Commission mandate to the European Standardisation Organisations to develop among other deliverables- a European Standard (EN) for accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services, including accessibility of web-content. This European Standard (EN 301549) will be applicable for other purposes than public procurement, as established in the text of the Mandate.


Media Literacy

The capacity to access the media, to understand and critically evaluate different aspects of the media and media content and to create communications in a variety of contexts. Media literacy is an extremely important factor for active citizenship in today's information society. It is a fundamental skill not only for young generations but also for adults and elderly people, parents, teachers and media professionals.


Media Pluralism

Embraces a number of ideas, eg diversity of ownership, variety of sources of information and range of content available. In the political debate, media pluralism has come to mean, almost exclusively, pluralism of ownership. Media pluralism however includes all measures that ensure citizen's access to a variety of information sources, opinion, voices etc. in order to form their opinion without undue influence of one dominant opinion forming power.


Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM)

Designed to identify potential risks to media pluralism in Member States. It uses a broad range of indicators. The European Parliament decided to earmark €500,000 from the 2013 budget for a pilot implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitoring tool. The European Commission subsequently awarded a grant to the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute for the implementation of the Pilot Project.


Media Service provider

Media service provider means the natural or legal person who has editorial responsibility for the choice of the audiovisual content of an audiovisual media service and determines the manner in which it is organised. This does not include natural or legal persons who merely transmit programmes for which the editorial responsibility lies with third parties.


Member States Expert Group (MSEG) on Digitisation and Digital Preservation

Member States experts from national ministries and/or national cultural institutions of all EU countries. The group's objectives are to monitor progress with the implementation of the Commission Recommendation of October 2011 on digitisation and digital preservation and to exchange information and good practices of Member States’ policies and strategies on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation.



A set of measurements and statistics describing the performance or monitoring the evolution of outputs, results and impacts. In the metrics reports, indicators have been identified, as well as their baselines and the timeframe in which a pre-set target should be reached.



mHealth covers medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices.



ISO's Multimedia and Hypermedia Experts' Group defined MHEG-5 as a programming language together with the Digital Audio Video Council (DAVIC) in 1995. It has been deployed as a simple, low cost API for interactive television. MHEG-5 capability is specified for digital terrestrial TV receivers in UK - where over 27m MHEG-5-equipped receivers have been deployed since the start of terrestrial services in 1998 - and in Ireland; it is also used in several countries outside the EU. It is an ETSI standard, ES 202 184.


Micro Nano Bio Systems (MNBS)

These advanced systems:

  • are integrated Smart Systems, engineered and enabled at the micro or nano scale
  • contain or interact with biochemical processes, bio materials or living organisms
  • are at the convergence of microelectronics technology, micro engineering, nano materials, surface and biochemistry, while operating at the cutting edge of life sciences, bioengineering and physiological science.

Power point presentation.


Micro-Nano-Bio Systems (MNBS)

Micro-Nano-Bio Systems (MNBS) are integrated Smart Systems, engineered and enabled at the micro or nano scale that depend upon, contain or interact with biochemical processes, bio materials or living organisms.

The MNBS cluster of projects focuses on the application sectors of healthcare & lifestyle, environment, food & beverage, safety and security. Bio-electronics is an area that will complement, in H2020, MNBS, by addressing components and systems resulting from the interfacing of biology and microelectronics.



Very small electronic designs and components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller. These devices are made from semiconductor materials. Many components of normal electronic design are available in a microelectronic equivalent. Transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, insulators and conductors can all be found in microelectronic devices.



These technologies and the solutions that they provide are the very basis of our everyday devices, such as mobile phones and computers. Miniaturized (silicon or polymer) devices which perform non-electronic functions: typically sensing and actuation. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are made up of components between 1 to 100 micrometres in size and usually consist of a microprocessor unit and several components that interact with the surroundings such as microsensors.



A technique of deploying cables, e.g. for broadband networks, at a lower cost than by the usual method. A micro trencher is a "small rockwheel" specially designed for work in urban area. It is fitted with a cutting wheel that cuts a microtrench with smaller dimensions than can be achieved with conventional trench digging equipment. The trench dimensions are widths ranging from about 30 mm to 130 mm, and a maximum depth of about 500 mm. Micro trenchers may also be used to install FTTx connections.



Computer software that connects software components or applications. The software consists of a set of services that allows multiple processes running on one or more machines to interact. This technology evolved to provide interoperability in support of coherent distributed architectures, which are used most often to handle complex, distributed applications. In the context of grid middleware is both the glue for the grid and the brain of the grid.In general terms middleware is computer software that provides services to software applications on top of those from the operating system. Middleware is not part of an operating system, nor is it part is it part of the software application. It is the software layer lying between the operating system and applications, often in a distributed computing system. See also Grid computing.


Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is the name used to describe various types of wireless high-speed internet network through a portable modem, telephone or other device. Various network standards may be used, such as WiMAX, UMTS/HSPA, EV-DO and some portable satellite-based systems.


Mobile satellite services (MSS)

The MSS allow communications between satellites and mobile terrestrial equipment. Their use can range from high-speed internet access to mobile television and radio and emergency communications. Mobile satellite services cover a large part of the EU's territory, thereby reaching millions of EU citizens across borders. They can ensure access for all Europeans to new communication services, not only in metropolitan areas, but also rural and less populated regions.


Mobile Termination Rate (MTR)

The charges that telecoms operators charge each other to terminate a call in their respective networks.


Mobile TV

The transmission of audio-visual content to mobile devices. Such a transmission can take different forms, from live TV to time-shifted or on-demand. Transmission of M-TV services can take place over various networks including cellular-mobile communications, terrestrial broadcast, satellite and Internet. We distinguish between unicast ("one to one") and broadcast ("one to many") mobile TV services.


Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

An operator that does not have its own licensed spectrum and does not have the infrastructure to provide mobile service to its customers (i.e., it does not own the network on which its voice and data traffic is carried). Instead, MVNOs lease wireless capacity from pre-existing mobile service providers and establish their own brand names different from the providers. MVNOs typically offer subscription-based voice and data service, and the customers are not doing business with underlying wireless provider but with the MVNO brand.


Mobile World Congress

The GSMA Mobile World Congress is a combination of the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world. Held each February in the Mobile World Capital of Barcelona, Spain, the GSMA Mobile World Congress provides a venue for mobile industry networking, business opportunities and deal-making. In 2013, Mobile World Congress hosted more than 72,000 mobile professionals from 200 countries.


Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)

MPEG provides video and audio codec standards.


MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3

More commonly referred to as MP3, this is a digital audio encoding and compression format, designed to reduce the amount of data without significant loss of audio quality.



The most common codec standard used for the source coding of digital video signals for broadcast transmission systems such as satellite, terrestrial and cable. Also used in standard definition DVD players.



A codec standard optimised for low bandwidth Internet video streams.


MPEG-4 Part 10 (also MPEG-4 AVC or H.264)

Recent compression system, providing high quality video at much lower bandwidths. It is potentially about twice as efficient as MPEG 2 and is suitable both for very low bit-rate video services and other levels of quality up to and including HDTV. HDTV transmissions using MPEG4 AVC are available in a number of EU Member States following the system's integration into the different DVB transmission systems. It is also one of the compression systems included in the BluRay HD disk system. Its chief rival is the WM9/VC9 codec now standardised in the US by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).


Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF)

The Multi-annual Financial Framework forms the Union's political priorities for at least 5 years translated into financial terms. It sets annual maximum amounts (ceilings) for EU expenditure as a whole and for the main categories of expenditures (headings). The MFF currently in force relates to the period 2014-2020 and was adopted on 02/12/2013.


Multi-territory licensing

Permission to use a copyrighted work for (a) specific use(s) on a multi-territory basis without transfering the ownership of copyright. The 2014 Directive on the collective rights management aims at fostering and improving multi-territorial licensing by collective management organisations, notably in the music sector.


Multimedia Home Platform (MHP)

MHP allows the reception and execution of interactive, Java-based applications on a TV-set, eg information services, games, interactive voting, e-mail, SMS or shopping. The specification of MHP has been developed by the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB).


Multiple or multi-channel platforms

The simultaneous accessibility of services through different networks, terminal devices and interfaces with comparable user interfaces and user friendliness. Examples of platforms are: PCs, PDAs, telephone (mobile and fixed), messaging services, etc.



A technique to group several digital TV channels together for a broadcast. Thus, a number of TV channels can be carried by one single signal/ frequency.



Requirement for designated television or radio channels to be carried over certain networks. The reasons invoked are typically the universal accessibility of certain, in particular local or regional radio and television programmes and the need to guarantee a pluralistic offer to the public, th the benefit ofbroadcasters with a public service remit, but sometimes also to commercial broadcasters.




Nanoelectronics is the advanced technology which exploits qualitatively new phenomena of electric circuits functionality emerging at nanoscales. Particularly promising are applications involving quantum nature of nano-electronic systems such as quantum coherence and the intrinsic spin of an electron. Current research deals with new generation of quantum devices, which open up horizons for qualitatively new applications such as such as quantum computing/communication, quantum metrological standards, various logic devices. With upcoming fundamental limitations of further development of conventional CMOS technology, currently used in commercial microelectronic circuits, use of nanoelectronic systems becomes inevitable.



Study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size.


National Regulatory Authority (NRA)

The body or bodies charged by a Member State with any of the regulatory tasks assigned in the Regulatory framework for telecommunications.


Neighbourhood Policy (in the audiovisual field)

The main objective is to foster better mutual understanding and exchange of views on audio-visual policy, including co-operation in the fight against racism and xenophobia. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Euromed Cultural Co-operation are an integral part of the European neighbourhood policy.


Net neutrality

The principle that all electronic communication which passes through a network is treated equally. That all communication is treated equally means that it is treated regardless of (i) content, (ii) application, (iii) service, (iv) device, (v) sender address and (vi) receiver address. Under the reformed Telecom Rules, national telecoms regulatory authorities will in particular be required to promote "the ability of end users to access and distribute information or run applications of their choice". The Connected Continent proposal tabled in September 2013 includes provisions related to net neutrality that define clear traffic management rules.


Network and Information Security (NIS)

Ability of a network or an information system to resist, at a given level of confidence, accidental events or malicious actions. Such events or actions could compromise the availability, authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of stored or transmitted data as well as related services offered via these networks and systems.


Network operator

An undertaking providing or authorised to provide public communications networks as well as an undertaking providing a physical infrastructure intended to provide a service of production, transport or distribution of gas; electricity, including public lighting; heating; water, including disposal or treatment of waste water and sewage, and drainage systems; transport services, including railways, roads, ports and airports.


Network termination point (NTP)

The physical point at which a subscriber is provided with access to a public communications network; in the case of networks involving switching or routing, the NTP is identified by means of a specific network address, which may be linked to a subscriber number or name.


Network virtualization

The process of combining hardware and software network resources and network functionality into a single, software-based administrative entity, a virtual network. Network virtualization involves platform virtualization, often combined with resource virtualization.


Networks (architecture & technology)

Communication Networks correspond to a complete system of communications between users' terminals. Networks may be "point to point" (the transmission goes from a fixed origin to a fixed destination), "switched" (the transmission is switched so as to reach a single destination out of many) or "broadcast" (the transmission goes simultaneously to multiple destinations). Networks may be "public" (owned by an operator and open to any member of the public that subscribes) or "private" (owned or leased by an individual or company or group of companies exclusively for its own use).


New Advertising Techniques

New advertising techniques such as Interactive Advertising, Split-screen and Virtual Advertising have emerged over the past few years. The AVMSD recognizes the specificity of new advertising techniques stating that the separation principle should not prevent the use of new advertising techniques.


Next Generation Access (NGA)

Access networks which consist wholly or in part of optical elements and which are capable of delivering broadband access services with enhanced characteristics (such as higher throughput) as compared to those provided over already existing copper networks. In most cases NGAs are the result of an upgrade of an already existing copper or co-axial access network (more on eur-lex).

No legacy principle:

No infrastructures or applications older than 15 years should be kept.



In relation to interconnection and/or access, an obligation of non-discrimination ensures that an operator applies equivalent conditions in equivalent circumstances to other undertakings providing equivalent services, and provides services and information to others under the same conditions and of the same quality as it provides for its own services, or those of its subsidiaries or partners.


Number portability

Possibility to transfer a telephone number from one operator to the other. Operator number portability allows customers to retain their telephone number when they decide to change operator and removes an important barrier to competition. The right of subscribers to retain their telephone numbers independently of the undertaking providing the service is guaranteed under EU law by Directive 2002/22/EC (Universal Service Directive).



On-demand audio-visual media services

On-demand / non-linear audio-visual media services are provided by a media service provider for the viewing of programmes at the moment chosen by the user and at his/her individual request on the basis of a catalogue of programmes selected by the media service provider.


On-line Behavioural Advertising (OBA)

Uses tracking cookies. Hence, pursuant to EU privacy laws, such practices must comply with the requirement to obtain users' consent. DG CONNECT is facilitating stakeholder discussions on a proposal for self-regulation on OBA which should provide transparent, consent based, user-friendly mechanisms with effective enforcement. Stakeholders involved include advertising associations, ICT industry and associations and consumer representatives.

Once only principle

The Once-only principle means that individual users/businesses should not be required to supply the same information more than once. For instance, if information has already been submitted to one public administration, individual users/businesses should not be required to submit that information again to another public administration.

Online end-to-end public sector services:

For users of government services, a procedure can be completed online and no further offline steps are required.

Online Platforms

Online platforms (e.g. search engines, social media, e-commerce platforms, app stores, price comparison websites) are playing an ever more central role in social and economic life: they enable consumers to find online information and businesses to exploit the advantages of e-commerce. Online platforms share key characteristics including the use of information and communication technologies to facilitate interactions (including commercial transactions) between users, collection and use of data about these interactions, and network effects which make the use of the platforms with most users most valuable to other users. Platforms have proven to be innovators in the digital economy. But they are also raising concerns. Some platforms can control access to online markets and can exercise significant influence over how various players are remunerated.


Open Access (OA)

Open access can be defined as the practice of providing on-line access to scientific information that is free of charge to the reader. 'Scientific information' refers to two main categories:

  • Peer-reviewed scientific research articles (published in academic journals), and
  • Scientific research data (data underlying publications and/or raw data).

The key argument in favour or open access is that modern research builds on extensive scientific dialogue and advances by improving earlier work. Fuller and wider access (through open access) to scientific publications and data will therefore help to:

  • accelerate innovation (faster to market = faster growth)
  • foster collaboration and avoid duplication of effort (greater efficiency)
  • build on previous research results (improved quality of results)
  • involve citizens and society (improved transparency of the scientific process).

Open by default:

Government data and services should be open and accessible, enabling third parties to scale them up


Open Data

Free and widely available data for consultation and reuse, including reuse for commercial purposes, with a view to increasing transparency and stimulating economic activity. Applies mostly, but is not strictly limited to government data. An EU Directive on the re-use of public sector information (Directive 2003/98/EC, known as the 'PSI Directive') entered into force on 31 December 2003; a revision of that Directive was adopted in June 2013. In June 2013, the EU also endorsed the G8 Open Data Charter and, with other G8 members, committed to implementing a number of open data activities in the G8 members’ Collective Action Plan.


Open Data Portal

A web interface allowing the easy consultation and retrieval of Open Data.


Open Disruptive Innovation (ODI)

DG CONNECT has developed a dedicated scheme to foster the development of fast-growing, innovative SMEs with promising, close-to market ideas bearing high disruptive potential in terms of products, services, models, and markets. The scheme intends to encourage bottom-up, disruptive Innovative solutions bearing high commercial potential .

The goal of the proposed scheme is threefold: nurture promising disruptive ideas; support their implementation; pave the way for wider deployment also through other instruments and funds (e.g. access to finance, mentoring, Structural funds, EIT, EUREKA).

The Open Disruptive Innovation scheme will be implemented in the initial phase of H2020 through the SMEs Instrument following 3 dedicated phases namely, Concept Feasibility, Demonstration & Prototyping, Commercialisation of the prototyped Solution, with a dedicated budget of €90 million for 2014 and 2015.

The ODI scheme within LEIT in the H2020 framework programme is open both in terms of submission with 3 to 4 cut-off dates per year, as well as in terms of non-prescriptive topics to be addressed in the ICT specific programme.


Open Government

An approach to public sector transformation, driven by opening up and sharing assets - making data, services and decisions accessible, fostering collaboration and increasing bottom-up, participative forms of service design, production and delivery.


Open Grid Forum (OGF)

Open community committed to driving the rapid evolution and adoption of applied distributed computing. Applied Distributed Computing is critical to developing new, innovative and scalable applications and infrastructures that are essential to productivity in the enterprise and within the science community. OGF accomplishes its work through open forums that build the community, explore trends, share best practices and consolidate these best practices into standards.

See also Grid computing and EGI.


Open Innovation

Open Innovation is the use of internal and other companies' ideas to develop new businesses. Open Innovation 2.0 is an exciting new approach, a mash-up of ideas into action to make things happen.


Open Source software

An open source software is a software distributed freely with its code, allowing anyone to access, to study, to redistribute and to change it. It must be distributed under a license recognised by the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation (FSF).


Open source software (OSS)

Computer software for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that meets the open source definition or that is in the public domain. This permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified forms. These user rights are sometimes referred to as 'user freedoms'. Hence OSS is also referred to as 'free software', in the sense of 'freedoms'.


Open Source solutions

Open Source solutions are services based on the use of standard which have an open source software reference implementation.


Open technical specification

For a technical specification to be considered open, the following must at least apply: the standards used within the specification are adopted and will be maintained by a not-for-profit organization, and its ongoing development occurs on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties (consensus or majority decision, etc.).

The specification (including the interface's specification) has been published and is available for use, re-use, copying and distribution without constraints for free or a nominal charge.

The intellectual property right of the specification is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis.



Project that delivers an electronic infrastructure and supporting mechanisms for the identification, deposition, open access, and monitoring of a selection of FP7 funded publications, in particular, peer-reviewed journal articles in final or pre-print form, and conference papers. Additionally, it will offer a repository for orphan articles, i.e. articles that can be stored neither in institutional nor in subject-based/thematic repositories. All deposited articles will be visible and freely accessible worldwide through the OpenAIRE portal, built as part of this project. The project OpenAIREplus will work in tandem with OpenAIRE, extending the mission further to facilitate access to the entire Open Access scientific production of the European Research Area, providing cross-links from publications to data and funding schemes.



Undertaking providing or authorised to provide a public communications network or an associated facility.


Optical fiber

Fiber connection made of glass or plastic allowing the fast transmission of information over light over long distances with very high data rates.


Orphan work

A copyright work where it is difficult or impossible to contact the copyright holder (because of different possible reasons: the author has never been publicly known, the work was published anonymously, the work has never been published, it may not be possible to determine who inherited the copyright and presently owns it, etc.). Nearly any work where a reasonable effort to locate the current copyright owner fails can be considered orphaned. However the designation is often used loosely and in some jurisdictions there is no legal definition at all.


Over-the-top (OTT)

Over-the-top players provide audiovisual content online generally without themselves being internet service providers or network operators / electronic communications services and network providers.



Pan European Game Information (PEGI)

A European video game content rating system established to help European parents make informed decisions on buying computer games with logos on games boxes. The European Commission supports PEGI self-regulation.


Parallel computing

Parallel computing is the simultaneous use of multiple computer resources to solve a computational problem: a problem is broken into discrete parts that can be solved concurrently; each part is further broken down to a series of instructions; instructions from each part execute simultaneously on different processors; an overall control/coordination mechanism is employed. The real world is massively parallel: many complex, interrelated events are happening at the same time, yet within a temporal sequence. Compared to serial computing, parallel computing is therefore much better suited for modelling, simulating and understanding complex, real world phenomena.


Parental controls

Auttomated tools to help parents protect their children and set restrictions for using devices and services. These controls may include: alerting a parent when their child's device leaves school, limiting their car speed to a certain maximum speed, controlling the content which the child views on a device connected to the Internet, or limiting the amount of time they can use their device.


Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)

Project that supports a persistent pan-European HPC service, consisting of several tier-0 centres providing European researchers with access to capability computers and forming the top level of the European HPC ecosystem. See also High-Performance Computing.


Pay TV

Users obtain access to additional or premium content in return for a specific fee e.g. regular subscription or 'pay per use'. Pay-TV channels broadcast in an encoded (encrypted) form so that access (via a decoder) is limited to only those people who have subscribed to the Pay-TV offers. Pay-television services, as audiovisual media service providers, are covered by the AVMS Directive.


Peer to Peer Network (P2P network)

In a peer to peer (or P2P) computer network participants are connected with each other, using cumulative bandwidth of network. A pure P2P network does not have the notion of clients or servers but only equal peer nodes that simultaneously function as both "clients" and "servers". Such networks are widely used for sharing content files such as software, audio, video, data or anything in digital format. Real-time data, such as telephony traffic or IPTV, is also passed using P2P technology. The technology itself is legal and applied increasingly in various business models.


Permanent roaming

Use of regulated roaming services in a Member State other than the domestic one for purposes different than periodic travelling.


Personal data

According to Article 2 (a) of EC/95/46 Directive, personal data means: "Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, referred to as "data subject". An identifiable person is someone who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his or her physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity". The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has provided an opinion on the concept of personal data (Opinion 4/2007).

Personal data which is processed in relation to the work of the data subject remains personal/individual in the sense that it continues to be protected by the relevant data protection legislation, which strives to protect the privacy and integrity of natural persons.


Personal Data Breach

Personal data breaches are defined in Article 2(i) of Directive 2002/58/EC as breaches of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed in connection with the provision of a publicly available electronic communications service in the Union.

Providers of electronic communication services must notify personal data breaches to national authorities and to individuals if the breaches are likely to adversely affect the personal data or privacy of subscribers or individuals.


Personal Health Systems (PHS)

Assist in the provision of continuous, quality controlled, and personalised health services to empowered individuals regardless of location. They consist of:

  • Ambient and/or body devices (wearable, portable or implantable), which acquire, monitor and communicate physiological parameters and other health related context of an individual (e.g. related to vital body signs, biochemical markers, activity, emotional and social state, environment).
  • Intelligent processing of the acquired information and coupling of it with expert biomedical knowledge to derive important new insights about the individual's health status.
  • Active feedback based on such new insights, either from health professionals or directly from the devices to the individuals, assisting in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation as well as in disease prevention and lifestyle management.
Personal Video Recorder

PVR or digital video recorder (DVR) records audiovisual content in a digital format to a disk drive or another memory medium.



The science and technology based on and concerned with the controlled flow of photons, or light particles. It is the optical equivalent of electronics, and the two technologies coexist in such innovations as optoelectronic integrated circuits. Photonic applications include data storage (using optical disks and holograms), data transmission (see fiber optics), experimental optical computers, optical switches and light modulators (for signal processing and interconnection), and a photonic gyroscope used in commercial aircraft that has no moving parts.


Physical infrastructure

Any element of a network which is intended to host other elements of a network without becoming itself an active element of the network, such as pipes, masts, ducts, inspection chambers, manholes, cabinets, buildings or entries to buildings, antenna installations, towers and poles; cables, including dark fibre, as well as elements of networks used for the provision of water intended for human consumption, as defined in point 1 of Article 2 of Council Directive 98/83/EC (13) are not physical infrastructure within the meaning of this Directive.


Pilot Type A

The CIP ICT PSP programme instrument supporting large scale actions building on Member States or Associated Countries existing initiatives that will help to ensure the EU-wide interoperability of ICT-based solutions.


Pilot Type B

The CIP ICT PSP programme instrument supporting the implementation and uptake of and innovative service addressing the needs of citizens, governments and businesses. The pilot should be carried out under realistic conditions.


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A cloud service model that provides the user with the capability to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure (that may be IaaS) any user-created or acquired software applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The user does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.



A network topology that has dedicated individual customer lines to an intermediate passive node (e.g. street cabinet) where these lines are aggregated onto a shared line. Aggregation could be either passive (with splitters such as in a PON architecture) or active (such as FTTC) (more on eur-lex).



Network topology whereby the customer lines remain dedicated all the way from the customer to the metropolitan point of presence ( more on eur-lex).



Ability to run a program on different hardware/software platforms without adapting them. Data are also said to be portable between applications with similar functionality if they can be moved without modification between those applications. Program portability is an issue in the cloud with IaaS and PaaS in the cloud, while data portability is an issue with SaaS.

Power Line Communication (PLC)

Power line communication carries data on a conductor that is also used simultaneously for AC electric power transmission or electric power distribution to consumers. A wide range of power line communication technologies are needed for different applications, ranging from home automation to Internet access.

Privacy by default

Citizens and businesses must be assured that when interacting with public administrations, privacy and data protection rules are respected. All digital public services must be designed with full respect for the protection of personal data. Meaningful consent and explicit opt-in mechanisms are central for the sharing and reuse of personal data, in addition to users' access, control and the possibility for corrections, including withdrawal of consent.

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) concept is part of a growing movement to assure that privacy is considered in the design phase of "systems", "built in" rather than "bolted on". The concept, barely used in Europe so far, has gained visibility recently within the context of the European Commission’s RFID Recommendation (C(2009) 3200 final of 12 May 2009).

In that Recommendation, the European Commission established a requirement for the endorsement by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party of an industry-prepared "framework" for privacy and data protection impact assessments of RFID Applications. These assessments are commonly referred to as Privacy Impact Assessments, or PIAs. The PIA Framework was endorsed in February 2011. Following the successful conclusion of the mandate M/436, in particular with the adoption of two "EN" on RFID signage and RFID PIA, specific work is on-going on the standardisation of RFID PIA templates that can be used for different RFID application domains.


Private cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple users (e.g. business units). It may be owned, managed and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.


Protection of Minors

Programmes which might seriously harm minors are prohibited on TV. Programmes which might be harmful must be encrypted or shown at a time when minors will normally not see them, contain an acoustic warning or made identifiable by a visual symbol. The provisions of the Directive are complemented by Recommendations on the protection of minors and human dignity, and by the Communication "European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children".


Public cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.


Public Communications Network

An electronic communications network used wholly or mainly for the provision of electronic communications services available to the public which support the transfer of information between network termination points.


Public Private Partnership

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are long-term contracts between two units, whereby one unit acquires or builds an asset or set of assets, operates it for a period and then hands the asset over to a second unit. Such arrangements are usually between a private enterprise and government but other combinations are possible, with a public corporation as either party or a private non-profit institution as the second party (Article 15.41 of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013).

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) Pilot

The CIP ICT PSP programme instrument supporting the use of public procurement for early adoption / deployment of innovative ICT goods or services which are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis.

Public Sector Bodies' Websites

Websites which are owned by public sector bodies. In the context of the Web-Accessibility Directive, it includes those websites whose management may have been publicly procured, as long they remain owned by a public sector body. Conversely, websites whose management has been outsourced and are not property of a public sector body, are not covered.


Public sector information (PSI)

Data produced and collected by public bodies. This includes services such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts, financial and insurance services. Referred to also as 'open government data' if it qualifies the definition of ' Open Data'. Subject of the PSI Directive (Directive 2003/98/ EC as amended by Directive 2013/37/EU).


Public Sector Innovation

Refers to the creation and implementation of new processes, products, services and methods of delivery which result in significant improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness or quality of public services.


Public Service Broadcaster, Amsterdam protocol

Broadcaster entrusted with a public service mandate. According to the Protocol on the System of public broadcasting in the Member States attached to the Treaty of Amsterdam, public broadcasting is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. The definition of the public service mandate falls within the competence of the Member States, which can decide at national, regional or local level.


Public services

Services offered to the general public and/or in the public interest, with the main purpose of developing public value. Public services inlude services offered by national, regional and local government (as well as European institutions) and administrations.


Public value

Similar to the notions of ‘public goods’ and ‘good governance’. Value for individuals, communities/groups or society as a whole that other actors (including individuals themselves, civil organisations or the private sector) cannot or will not provide, or cannot provide as efficiently or effectively as the public sector. It is the total societal value that cannot be monopolised by individuals, but is shared by all actors in society and is the outcome of all resource allocation decisions.


Publicly available telephone service

A service available to the public for originating and receiving national and international calls and access to emergency services through a number or numbers in a national or international telephone numbering plan, and in addition may, where relevant, include one or more of the following services: the provision of operator assistance, directory enquiry services, directories, provision of public pay phones, provision of service under special terms, provision of special facilities for customers with disabilities or with special social needs and/or the provision of non-geographic services.



Qualified trust service provider

Qualified trust service providers render services which ensure a higher level of security. They comply with specific requirements as laid down in the Regulation and are submitted to an enhanced supervision mechanism.

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)

In principle, cryptography works by using a key – such as a code – to encrypt a message. The recipient needs this key in order to decrypt and read it. However, to prevent unauthorised access to the message, there must be a way of securely sharing the key itself with the recipient.

In the next 5-10 years, infrastructure and encryption systems risk being compromised by ever more powerful computing brute force, and by advances in quantum computing. These could render all existing key encryption systems obsolete, leaving communication networks and services and sensitive data (health, financial, security and defence-related and more) extremely vulnerable. There is therefore a need to develop quantum-resistant cryptography – and QKD is a form of encryption that cannot be breached by quantum computers, thus enabling the long-term security of data and communication messages.

More precisely, QKD provides the sender and the recipient with an intrinsically secure random key that an attacker cannot access without being detected. One version of QKD is based on the phenomenon of “quantum entanglement”: a pair of particles are linked to each other in such a way that any attempt to intercept one will modify the other’s status. The recipient or sender will therefore be alerted immediately to this attempt.

Quantum technologies

Quantum technologies relate to devices that directly use the behaviour of individual particles (photons, atoms, electrons etc) to gather, communicate or process information. This can be seen as an endpoint of current technological trends where transistors etc are becoming ever smaller down to the atomic scale. The different physical phenomena which become dominant at such small scales enable highly sensitive and accurate sensors to be made (eg atomic clocks), secure networking using individual photons and, potentially, a new class of computers capable of solving problems beyond the reach of processors based on digital logic.



Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

A generic term used to describe the system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object or person wirelessly, using radio waves. RFID belongs to the broad category of automatic identification technologies. It is in use all around us for shopping (e.g. tagging of groceries), driving a car (e.g. speeding up transactions on the road), public transport ticketing (e.g. RFID-enabled smart cards in trains and buses, fighting against fraud and/or providing value-added services to travellers), leisure (e.g. secure access and payments in parks, zoos, stadiums, bars/clubs), going to work (e.g. secure access, time registration, evacuation management), crossing borders (e.g. tracking luggage, e-passport), healthcare (e.g. more efficient management, more secure care). Unlike ubiquitous UPC bar-code technology, RFID technology does not require contact or line of sight for communication.

On 12 May 2009, the European Commission published its Recommendation on the implementation of privacy and data protection principles in applications supported by radio-frequency identification (C(2009) 3200 final).


Radio Spectrum

Part of the electromagnetic spectrum corresponding to radio frequencies. For the purpose of the Spectrum Decision, it includes radio waves in frequencies between 9 kHz and 3 000 GHz; radio waves are electromagnetic waves propagated in space without artificial guidance.


Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC)

Comitology committee established under the 2002 Radio Spectrum Decision for the technical harmonisation of spectrum. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) provides technical advice for the work of the committee.


Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)

An advisory body composed of High Level officials from the Member States responsible for radio spectrum policy, created by the Commission. Advises the Commission and, following the entry into force of the new regulatory framework, may provide reports and opinions to Parliament and Council on strategic issues concerning radio spectrum policy.


Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP)

A multiannual programme (Decision 243/2012/EU) which provides strategic orientations for spectrum policy in the EU. Its principal objectives include access to broadband at speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2020 for all EU citizens as well as the identification by 2015 of at least 1200 MHz of suitable spectrum for wireless data traffic. A report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of the RSPP was adopted on 22 April 2014 (COM(2014) 228 final.


Regulatory Asset Base (RAB)

The total capital value of the assets used to calculate the costs of the regulated services.


Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT)

Launched by the Commission as a follow-up to its Communication on EU Regulatory Fitness [COM(2012)746] as part of strengthening its approach to Smart Regulation. The Commission committed to ensure that EU legislation is fully effective and efficient in achieving its public policy objectives. The REFIT Programme aims to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burden and ensure that the EU legislation remains fit for purpose. The process will start with a mapping exercise to identify areas and pieces of legislation with the greatest potential for simplifying rules and reducing regulatory cost for businesses and citizens without compromising public policy objectives.


Related facilities

The facilities associated with the provision of unbundled access to the local loop, notably collocation, cable connections and relevant information technology systems, access to which is necessary for a beneficiary to provide services on a competitive and fair basis.


Reproducible research

In reproducible research, the ultimate product of academic research is the paper along with the full computational environment used to produce the results in the paper such as the code, data, etc. that can be used to reproduce the results and create new work based on research.


Research Data Alliance (RDA)

New network that aims to accelerate and facilitate global research data sharing and exchange.The purpose of the Research Data Alliance is to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, use and re-use, standards harmonization and discoverability. The RDA partners are (2013): Australian National Data Service; European Commission through the iCordi project, US National Science Foundation.



The ability of a system to recover from adversity, either back to its original state or an adjusted state based on new requirements. Building resilience requires a long-term effort involving reengineering fundamental processes, both technical and social.


Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

RRI is considered a cross-cutting issue in H2020 with the aim to take into account the societal effects of research and innovation projects. It has six aims: open access, gender equality, public engagement, science education, ethics and appropraie governance to reach those aims.


Retail minus

Access price regulation based on the retail price minus the avoidable costs of providing a wholesale service rather than a retail service.



The European Commission's RFID Recommendation (C(2009 3200 final of 12 May 2009) foresees that RFID Operators should take steps to inform individuals of the presence of readers on the basis of a common European sign, developed by European Standardisation Organisations with the support of concerned stakeholders.

The purpose of a common European sign is therefore two-fold. First, it clearly identifies the presence of an RFID reader. Second, it informs consumers, whether an item or product contains an RFID tag, thus meeting one major requirement for privacy and personal data protection. Synonyms of "sign" are, in this context, "logo" and "emblem".


Right to be forgotten

The right of individuals to have their data no longer processed and deleted when they are no longer needed for legitimate purposes. cf 14/05/2014 European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling.


Rights of way

Rights to install facilities on, over or under public or private property granted to an undertaking authorised to provide electronic communications networks to the public and right to install facilities on, over or under public property only granted to an undertaking authorised to provide electronic communications networks other than to the public.



In wireless telecommunications, refers to the extending of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered. Regulation on roaming charges in the European Union is a part of policy of the EU promoting competition, safeguarding consumer interests and enhancing digital single market. The current roaming rules aim at increasing competition in the roaming market by structural remedies such as enabling consumers to buy roaming services separately from domestic mobile services and providing in the meantime safeguards to consumers in the form or prices caps within European Union and European Economic Area Member States. Roaming is also addressed in the Connected Continent proposal to further advance the attainment of the DAE targets of no difference between domestic and roaming services.


Roaming-Like-At-Home (RLAH)

A system whereby operators do not levy any surcharge in addition to the domestic retail price, applying the same domestic charging mechanism (for example deducting traffic from a bundle) for roaming services consumed by the user while roaming across the Union.



The science of design, engineering and use of increasingly intelligent machines that sense, act purposefully and perform work autonomously, and their control and information processing systems. Robots are used for repetitive, dull, dirty or dangerous tasks, and to assist humans in e.g. healthcare, agriculture and domestic activities. The EU robotics activities focus on autonomy, intelligence and interaction, enabling operation in everyday environments and safe cooperation with humans. Robotics comprises industrial robotics and service robotics, which is further divided into domestic (e.g. vacuum cleaners) and professional (e.g milking robots) service robotics. Europe is the world-market leader with a share of 35%.


Réseaux IP Européens Network (RIPE)

The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), based in Amsterdam, is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation responsible for the allocation of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for the European region. As such, and along with CENTR, RIPE is a major EU stakeholder in the Internet governance debate.



Safer Internet Programme

2009-13 programme to empower and protect children and young people online by raising awareness and fighting illegal and harmful online content and conduct. As of 2014, the programme will be continued as part of the Connecting Europe Facility.


Satellite Broadband

Satellite Broadband is a high-speed bi-directional Internet connection made via communications satellites instead of a telephone landline or other terrestrials means. Today, satellite broadband is comparable to DSL broadband in terms of both performance and cost, with commercial offerings of 20 Mbps often with triple play (internet, TV and voice with the same dish antenna). Whilst fibre offers superior performance, it typically takes time and is more expensive to roll out and so will not be available to all users within a reasonable time frame. On the contrary, satellite solutions are available immediately: the only broadband solution for those who live in areas without or with slow terrestrial or wireless/mobile broadband access. Users receive a dish and modem and can either install these themselves, or alternatively call on the expertise of a vasst network of trained engineers. The average purchase price across the EU for consumer equipment is 350€. This initial cost is eligible for European public funding (e.g. by a specific Voucher Scheme and some Member States/regions have used this opportunity to close their digital divides cost-effectively and quickly, such as Auvergne in France, Piemonte in Italy, Scotland in the UK, or Galicia in Spain.


Satellite broadcasting

Satellite broadcasting can deliver content like radio, audiovisual media services and data. The signal transmission qualifies as an electronic communications service; the facilities delivering that service are electronic communications networks. When satellite packages are delivered to end users across borders, a receiving state can make the broadcast transmission subject to conditions like registration and consumer protection rules. Audiovisual media services within such packages are subject only to the rules of one Member State (see country of origin principle).


Satellite communication

Satellite communication systems are within defined service areas, Fixed Satellite Systems (FSS), Mobile Satellite Systems (MSS) and Broadcast Satellite Systems (BSS) with broadband access being a special case of the FSS. The main trend has been to develop larger and larger geostationary FSS satellites in order to increase the capacity and drive down the cost per bit. In all three areas demands for higher capacity in the service sector have driven this approach. FSS satellites in C/Ku bands have been general purpose and flexible to accommodate changing markets. However the emergence of broadband access Ka band satellites has seen a departure with the satellite and the ground segment being designed together as an integrated and bespoke system to serve a particular market—the internet access in this case. Mobile and to a certain extent, broadcast satellites have always been bespoke. This trend to bespoke satellites will continue.


Satellite Dish

Device necessary to receive channels broadcast via satellite. The diameter varies from 60cm on. Satellite dishes are an essential link in the chain of services distributed by satellite. The Commission published a Communication on the right to use a satellite dish in 2001.


Science Cloud

European Cloud based e-infrastructure built through the Helix Nebula project.


Second Screen

An additional electronic device (e.g. tablet, smartphone) that allows a television audience to interact with the content they are consuming, such as TV shows, movies, music, or video games. Extra data is displayed on a portable device synchronized with the content being viewed on television.


Semantic Web

An extension of the WWW that allows machines to understand the content they process and to propose useful applications, relying on specific standards (e.g. RDF, OWL). This can provide 1) precise definitions of the relationships between objects of interest (e.g. identifying a certain person as the CEO of a certain company) 2) information on the networks of concepts.Semantic Web technologies help to reduce costs and increase efficiency since machines are capable of reading and interpreting information and reusing knowledge already developed by others.


Service Level Agreements (SLA)

An agreement between a cloud service provider and cloud computing customer that is typically attached to the terms of service and that states the technical performance promises made by a provider, such as relating to the availability of a service, including remedies for performance failures.


Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Commercial agreements according to which the SMP operator is obliged to provide access to wholesale services with a specified level of quality.


Service Level Guarantees (SLGs)

SLGs form an integral part of SLAs and specify the level of compensation payable by the SMP operator if it provides wholesale services with a quality inferior to that specified in the SLA.


Service neutrality

The concept introduced in the regulatory framework establishes that the user of radio spectrum decides on the electronic communications service that they provide. Exceptions to this have to be justified to comply with the fulfilment of a general interest objective.


Service providers

Operators who provide public telecommunications services at large using a third party's (fixed or wireless) network, excluding fixed voice telephony service providers that do not provide voice telephony within the meaning of Community law, such as simple resellers, calling card service providers and call back operators.


Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

Flexible set of design principles used during the phases of systems development and integration in computing. A system based on a SOA will package functionality as a suite of interoperable services that can be used within multiple separate systems from several business domains.


Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) has been so far the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe. Running from 2007 to 2013, the programme had a budget of 50 B€. The core of FP7, the Cooperation programme (32 B€), fostered collaborative research across Europe according to several key thematic areas, including ICT as its largest priority (9 B€). The FP7 Ideas programme (8 B€) funded investigative research at the frontiers of science and technology; the FP7 People programme (5 B€) provided support for research mobility and career development; and the FP7 Capacities programme (4 B€) was designed to help strengthen and optimise Europe's knowledge capacities, embracing notably research infrastructures.


Shared access to the local loop

The provision of access to the local loop or local sub loop of the notified operator, authorising the use of the non-voice band frequency spectrum of the twisted metallic pair; the local loop continues to be used by the notified operator to provide the telephone service to the public.


Significant market power (SMP)

The national regulatory authorities identify which operators have significant market power in accordance with Articles 14 and 16 of the Framework Directive.


Silence of the chips

The concept of the "right to silence of the chips", which has been referred to under different names by different authors, was formally introduced for the first time in the European Commission's Communication on the Internet of Things (COM(2009) 278 final of 18 June 2009). Like the concept of "right to be forgotten", it refers to the question whether or not individuals should be empowered to be able to disconnect from the emerging networked infrastructure at any time. It is thought that the debate on the "right to silence of the chips" will look at both the technical and legal aspects.



Simulcast means inter alia the broadcasting of analogue and digital signals simultaneously.


Single Market Act II (SMA II)

The Commission's Communication on the Single Market Act II was adopted on 3rd October 2012 (CdF DG MARKT). It sets up strategic objectives and actions for the single market in the coming years. The Communication considers "digital economy" as one the four drivers of economic growth. It devotes 3 out of 12 key actions to digital economy i. key action 8 - supporting online payment services; key action 9 - reducing the cost and increase efficiency in the deployment of high speed communication infrastructure; key action 10 -streamlining electronic invoicing.


Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)

An enterprise that satisfies the criteria laid down in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.05.2003, p. 36 ): employs fewer than 250 persons, has an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.


Smart Cities

A city becomes smart in virtue of strategically leveraging ICT infrastructures and applications - itself or by creating the right conditions for others to do so - towards better delivery of benefits - directly and indirectly - to its citizens. Mentioned benefits include making a city more sustainable and greener through less energy consumption and more of it from renewable sources, improving the efficiency of transport and public services in general, rendering a city's administration more responsive and engaging with the citizenry, better and more affordable healthcare as well as general age-friendliness and issues of urban inclusion. A developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. Excelling in these key areas can be done so through strong human capital, social capital, and/or ICT infrastructure.


Smart grids

Upgraded electricity networks enhanced by two-way digital communication between supplier and consumer and intelligent metering and monitoring systems. Smart Grids can efficiently integrate the behaviour and actions of all users connected to it: in order to ensure an economically efficient, sustainable power system with low losses and high quality, security of supply and safety.


Smart Integrated Systems

Self-sufficient intelligent technical systems or subsystems with advanced functionality, enabled by underlying micro- nano- and bio-systems and other components. They are able to sense, diagnose, describe, qualify and manage a given situation, their operation being further enhanced by their ability to mutually address, identify and work in consort with each other. They are highly reliable, often miniaturised, networked, predictive and energy autonomous. Read of the Q&A on the Horizon2020 call.

EPoSS has defined the different generation of smart systems:

  • 1st-generation: Smart Systems include sensing and/or a ctuation as well as signal processing to enable actions.
  • 2nd-generation: Smart Systems are predictive and self-learning. For example: the reliable, predictive detection
  • 3rd-generation: Smart Systems simulate human perception/cognition.


Smart Specialisation Strategies

A new innovation policy concept designed to promote the efficient and effective use of public investment in research. Its goal is to boost regional innovation in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity, by enabling regions to focus on their strengths. Smart specialisation understands that spreading investment too thinly across several frontier technology fields risks limiting the impact in any one area.


SME Instrument

A new SME instrument will support innovative SMEs and start-ups. Nearly 3 B€ will be dedicated to validating business feasibility of innovative solutions, as well as to prototyping and demonstration of close to market solutions.

SME support will be targeted with the dedicated SME instrument, which is a novel approach to support SMEs' innovation activities. It shall attract more SMEs to Horizon 2020, provide support to a wider range of innovation activities and help to increase the economic impact of project results by its company-focused and market-driven approach.

The SME instrument addresses the financing needs of internationally oriented SMEs, in implementing high-risk and high-potential innovation ideas. It aims at supporting projects with a European dimension that lead to radical changes in how business (product, processes, services, marketing etc.) is done. It will launch the company into new markets, promote growth, and create high return on investment. The SME instrument addresses all types of innovative SMEs so as to be able to promote growth champions in all sectors.

Social collaborative platform

A type of online platform for professional collaboration and knowledge sharing based on Web 2.0 features. The central components of a social collaborative platform are:

  • social messaging (e.g. e-mail, calendar and contacts)
  • team collaboration (e.g. file synchronisation, workflow, document)
  • real-time collaboration and communication (e.g. voice, web conferencing, video conferencing and instant messaging)
  • social networks (e.g. blogs, wikis, profiles, shared bookmarks)
  • activity-specific applications
  • integration (portals, intranets, extranets).


Social Innovation

Social innovations are new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations. These solutions are both social in their ends and in their means, and can take the form of genuine innovations or of improved solutions.


Social Media

A group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. It employs mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.


Software as a Service (SaaS)

A cloud service model that enables the user to run the provider’s software applications on a cloud infrastructure (that may be IaaS or PaaS). The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g. web-based email), or a program interface. The user does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.


Software defined networking (SDN)

An approach to building computer networks that separates and abstracts elements of these systems. These elements are called the "control plane" and the "data plane". SDN decouples the system that makes decisions about where traffic is sent (the control plane) from the underlying system that forwards traffic to the selected destination (the data plane). This technology simplifies networking and enables new applications, such as network virtualization in which the control plane is separated from the data plane and implemented in a software application. This architecture allows network administrators to have programmable central control of network traffic without requiring physical access to the network's hardware devices.


Space Policy

European Space Policy is addressing all dimensions of space activities, compiled and adopted after extensive consultations with member countries of the EU and ESA, as well as industry and other key stakeholders, and endorsed by those member countries.

In 2009, when the latest EU treaties entered into force, Member States conferred to the EU a stronger role in space matters. The Treaty of Lisbon introduced for the first time a specific space competence for the European Union, enshrining space policy as an EU policy in its own right. The main priorities for the EU space policy are to ensure the success of the EU's two flagship space programmes Galileo and Copernicus (previously known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security - GMES), the protection of space infrastructures and space exploration.


Special network access

Access to the fixed public telephone network at network termination points other than the commonly provided network termination points referred to in Part 1 of Annex II to the New Voice Telephony Directive (q.v.); Article 16 of the Directive provides that SMP operators must deal with reasonable request for special network access.


Spectrum allocation

The designation of a given frequency band for use by one or more types of radio communications services, where appropriate, under specific conditions.


Spectrum inventory

An inventory of existing uses of spectrum between 400MHz and 6GHz, for both commercial and public purposes, has been established by Decision No 243/2012/EU. The inventory should help identify spectrum bands in which the efficiency of existing spectrum uses could be improved, in particular bands that could be suitable for reallocation and spectrum-sharing opportunities so as to support EU policies set out in the RSPP, in order to match technology trends, and future needs for spectrum based, inter alia, on consumers’ and operators’ demand in Union policy areas.


Split screen

Split screen advertising consists of the simultaneous or parallel transmission of editorial and advertising content. For example, one or more advertising spots appear in a window during the transmission of a programme in such a way that two separate images are visible on the screen. Split screen advertising may not prejudice the integrity of the programme during which it is broadcast.


Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

DG CONNECT's common approach to stakeholder participation and relations.


Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM)

A project initiated by the Connect D4 Stakeholders unit to use modern IT tools (CRM) for supporting stakeholder interactions.


Startup Accelerator

Can be defined as a program designed to assist and accelerate the activities of technology startups. These range from startup incubators, to seed accelerators, to seed-level programs at venture capital funds.The acceptance of startups within the program is usually in exchange for equity. The programme includes time-limited support comprising programmed events and intensive mentoring.


State aid to public service broadcasting

The principles for the application of State aid rules to public service broadcasting are laid down in the Communication of 2001 and in the revised Communication of 2009. The 2009 Communication provides a clear framework for the development of public broadcasting services. It builds on the fundamental principles of the financing of public service broadcasting in the Amsterdam Protocol, recognises the Member States' discretion to define the mission of public service broadcasters and focuses on the Commission's task of preserving fair competition.



Any natural person or legal entity who or which is party to a contract with the provider of publicly available electronic communications services for the supply of such services.


Surreptitious audiovisual commercial communication

Prohibited by Article 9(a) of the AVMS Directive. AVMSD (Article 1(1)(j)) defines surreptitious audiovisual commercial communication as "the representation in words or pictures of goods, services, the name, the trade mark or the activities of a producer of goods or a provider of services in programmes when such representation is intended by the media service provider to serve as advertising and might mislead the public as to its nature".



The migration process from analogue to digital broadcasting, starting with the introduction of digital and ending with the switch-off of analogue broadcasting; many routes are possible in terms of the speed and length of the process, the parties involved, and the degree of government intervention. The Commission has not proposed a mandatory common switch-off date nor did it prohibit the sale of analogue receivers. The Commission Communication on accelerating the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting proposed the deadline of 2012 for closure of analogue terrestrial TV broadcasting throughout the EU. The deadline had been endorsed by the Council and the Parliament. Meanwhile 26 Member States have switched-off analogue terrestrial TV transmissions. In Greece switch-off in planned for mid-2014 and in Romania for 2015.


Symmetrical regulation

A set of regulatory obligations which apply to all market players without any prejudice to the finding of significant market power or to any other criteria. One also refers to horizontal regulation.



Telecom package

The 2009 EU Reform Package consists of two Directives: the Better Regulation Directive (2009/140/CE) - modifying the former Framework (2002/21/CE), Authorisation (2002/20/CE) and Access Directives (2002/19/CE)- and the Citizens' Rights Directive (2009/136/CE) amending the Universal Service (2002/22/CE) and e-Privacy (2002/58/CE) Directives. In addition, Regulation n° 1211/2009 established the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office.

The "Better Regulation Directive" aims to adjust the regulatory framework by improving its effectiveness, reducing the administrative resources needed for implementing economic regulation (the market analysis procedure) and making access to radio frequencies simpler and more efficient.

  • More specifically, the objectives of this Directive are:
  • Moving towards a more efficient management of spectrum so as to facilitate access to spectrum for operators and to foster innovation
  • Ensuring that, where regulation remains necessary, this is more efficient and simpler both for operators and for national regulatory authorities (NRAs)
  • Making a decisive step towards more consistency in the application of EU rules in order to complete the internal market for electronic communications.

The "Citizens' Rights Directive aims to adapt the regulatory framework by strengthening consumers’ and users’ rights and by ensuring that electronic communications are trustworthy, secure and reliable and provide a high level of protection for individuals’ privacy and personal data.

More specifically, the objectives of the present proposal are:

  • Strengthening and improving consumer protection and user rights in the electronic communication sector, through - amongst other aspects -giving consumers more information about prices and supply conditions, and facilitating access to and use of e-communications, including emergency services, for disabled users; and
  • Enhancing the protection of individuals’ privacy and personal data in the electronic communications sector, in particular through strengthened security-related provisions and improved enforcement mechanism.

The new framework was adopted on 24 November 2009, entering into force in December 2009. Member States must have transposed its provisions by May 2011.



The use of electronic communication and information technologies to provide or support clinical care at a distance. Included in this definition are patient counselling, case management (e.g. telemonitoring), and supervision of medical patients by health professionals.



A form of television advertising. Studio programmes (e.g. game shows) are interrupted by slots devoted to the presentation of products or services. The programme presenters momentarily swap their role for one as "promoters" of the goods or services which are the object of the advertising presentation. The Commission considers that telepromotions are compatible with the AVMSD, provided they are kept quite separate from other parts of the programme service by optical and/or acoustic means enabling viewers to readily recognise their commercial nature.



Direct offers broadcast to the public for the supply of goods or services, including immovable property, rights and obligations, in return for payment. There are Teleshopping Spots, Teleshopping windows and there are channels devoted to teleshopping, i.e. Teleshopping Channels.


Television broadcast

Transmission over air, cable or satellite for public viewing. Under the AVMS Directive the media service provider is the natural or legal person who has editorial responsibility for the choice of the audiovisual content of the service and determines the manner in which it is organised. For television broadcasts, this will be done on the basis of a programme schedule for simultaneous viewing.


Territorialisation of state aid to cinema

Some Member States require film producers who receive state aid to spend a certain proportion in the territory of the supporting country. Under the new Cinema Communication adopted in November 2013, the producer must be free to spend at least 20% of the overall film production budget in other Member States without suffering any reduction of the aid. In addition to that rule the Cinema Communication lays down more detailed rules regarding such territorial spending obligations.


Text and Data Mining (TDM)

Deriving high-quality information from text and data. In order to be 'mined', text must be accessed, copied, analysed, annotated and related to existing information and understanding. Even if the user has access rights to the material, making annotated copies can be illegal under current copyright law without the permission of the copyright holder.


Textile electronics, e-Textile, Smart Textile

Components and systems that integrate sensing, actuation, electronics and power functions into textile. The e-textile area will advance further, in H2020, the existing SFIT cluster (smart fabrics and interactive textile) by integrating flexible and stretchable electronics to enable new solutions for major industrial sectors like healthcare & lifestyle, automotive, home & decoration and consumer electronics.


Thematic Network

The CIP ICT PSP programme instrument supporting experience sharing and consensus building on ICT policy implementation around a common theme. The network may instigate working groups, workshops and exchanges of good practices.


Throttling is a technique employed to manage traffic and minimize congestion, may be used to degrade (e.g. slow down) certain type of traffic and so affect the quality of content.
For more information, see the Communication on The open internet and Net Neutrality in Europe.


Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

The TRIPS Agreement which came into effect on 1 January 1995, is to date the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on trade-related intellectual property. TRIPS covers notably copyright and related rights (i.e. the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organisations)


Traffic data

Any data processed for the purpose of the conveyance of a communication on an electronic communications network or for the billing thereof. According to the means of communication used, the data needed to convey the communication will vary, but may typically include contact details, time and location data. Although such traffic data are to be distinguished from content data, both are quite sensitive as they give insight in confidential communications.


Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA)

European forum to collaborate, innovate and share knowledge to foster the development of Internet technology, infrastructure and services to be used by the research and education community. Its members include operators of European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), international REN organisations and industries. See also GEANT.


Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

TTIP is a trade agreement that is presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. It aims at removing trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. According to the negotiating mandate, audiovisual services are excluded from the scope of negotiations.


Transnational markets

Markets identified in accordance with Article 15(4) of the Framework Directive covering the Community or a substantial part thereof located in more than one Member State.


Government processes should become more transparent, open and inclusive, increasing stakeholder engagement in open policy


Triple play

A triple-play product is one in which three services (for example, voice, TV and data) are all provided in a single access subscription. Quadruple play also contains provision of mobile service.


Trust service

Electronic trust services are services, namely electronic signatures, seals, time stamps, registered delivery and webiste authentication as provided for in the eIDAS Regulation, which enhance the legal validity of an electronic transaction.


Trusted Cloud Europe

Set of ideas prepared by the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) Steering Board to propose options on how to help public & private organisations in Europe buy and sell cloud services in a safe & trusted environment.

Trusted List

The Trusted lists which are published by Member States indicate if a service provider is qualified. They are essential to create trust among market operators.




Any entity engaged in an economic activity, that is, an activity consisting in offering goods or services on a given market, regardless of its legal status and the way in which it is financed, is considered an undertaking. To qualify, no intention to earn profits is required, nor are public bodies by definition excluded.


Universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS)

Universal mobile telecommunications system, a third-generation mobile and wireless communications system capable of supporting in particular innovative multimedia services, beyond the capability of second-generation systems such as GSM, and capable of combining the use of terrestrial and satellite components (Article 2 of the UMTS Decision - q.v.).


Universal Service

The minimum set of services, defined in the Universal Service Directive, of specified quality which is available to all users regardless of their geographical location and, in the light of specific national conditions, at an affordable price; for instance a connection to the public telephone network and access to publicly available telephone services at a fixed location enabling voice and data communications services (including also broadband if so determined at the national level like done so far in BE, FI, MT, RO, ES and in preparation in SI), comprehensive directory and directory enquiry service, availability of public payphones. The Commission is obliged to periodically review the scope of universal service in light of social, economic and technological developments.



For the purpose of the e-Privacy Directive, it means any natural person using a publicly available electronic communications service, for private or business purposes, without necessarily having subscribed to this service.


User-generated content (UGC)

Various kinds of publicly available media content produced by end-users. UGC is often covered by some form of licensing, however the scale and coverage of such licences is not transparent. Notably, such arrangements between rightholders and platforms bind the contractual partners, but do not necessarily provide legal certainty to the end-users. Small-scale users of content, like SMEs, struggle to identify how to acquire licences for low-value uses of protected content.



Value added service

Any service which requires the processing of traffic data or location data other than traffic data beyond what is necessary for the transmission of a communication or the billing thereof.



Vectoring is a transmission method that employs the coordination of line signals for reduction of crosstalk levels and improvement of performance. It is based on the concept of noise cancellation, much like noise-cancelling headphones. Although technically feasible at the moment vectoring is incompatible with local-loop unbundling but future standard amendments could bring a solution.


Very high bit rate digital subscriber line (VDSL)

VDSL is a digital subscriber line (DSL) technology providing faster data transmission over a single flat untwisted or twisted pair of copper wires (up to 52 Mbit/s downstream and 16 Mbit/s upstream),[2] and on coaxial cable (up to 85 Mbit/s down- and upstream. These rates mean that VDSL is capable of supporting applications such as high-definition television, as well as telephone services (voice over IP) and general Internet access, over a single connection. VDSL is deployed over existing wiring used for analog telephone service and lower-speed DSL connections.
This standard was approved by ITU in November 2001. Second-generation systems (VDSL2; ITU-T G.993.2 approved in February 2006) use frequencies of up to 30 MHz to provide data rates exceeding 100 Mbit/s simultaneously in both the upstream and downstream directions. The maximum available bit rate is achieved at a range of about 300 meters; performance degrades as the loop attenuation increases.


Very-high-data-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL)

VDSL (ITU-T G.993-1) offers faster DSL speeds over short distances, at 52 Mbit/s of bandwidth over a standard twisted pair cable. While the speed is much higher than other DSL technologies, it comes at a price: decreased reach of the network. This makes VDSL the optimal choice for branching out short distances from fibre connections, rather than, for example, providing longer-range broadband to rural communities. VDSL can support both symmetric and asymmetric transport. These connections can be very fast because the physical distances are kept very short, allowing for maximum throughput.


Video Codec

A mechanism to compress and decompress video streams (MPEG 2, WM9, DivX, MPEG4, AVC/H.264, etc).


Video games

Games played on electronic platforms, such as personal computers and video game consoles, including interaction and visual feedback. There are various genres and types (offline / online, single-user/multi-user) of video games.


Video-on-demand (VOD)

A system allowing viewers to order and see a programme at the exact time the viewer specifies. VOD can be offered through streaming of the content through a set-top box, a computer or other device, allowing viewing in real time, or by download to a device such as a computer, for viewing at any time. Traditionally VOD meant that the viewer paid per programme. However, other forms of on-demand services, such as "subscription video on demand" (SVOD), that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access the catalogue are becoming very popular.


Virtual advertising

Virtual advertising involves using virtual techniques for inserting advertisements during broadcasts of sporting events, e.g. by replacing existing advertising boards on the field or by superimposing new images. The development of virtual advertising raises questions about how the interests of rights holders and viewers can be reconciled with maintaining the integrity of the audiovisual work and the ban on surreptitious advertising. The matter is addressed in the interpretative Communication on certain aspects of the provisions on televised advertising.


Virtual Organisation (VO)

Dynamic collection of users, resources and services that enables sharing of resources. Also, a participating organization in a grid to which grid end users must be registered and authenticated in order to gain access to the grid's resources. A VO must establish resource-usage agreements with grid resource providers.


Virtual Research Environment (VRE)

A working environment made possible by e-infrastructures, which enables remote access to and use of data, tools, computational resources, networking facilities and collaborators in a virtual context. VREs help to advance community-building and collaborative research, both within and across disciplines.



Technique that uses software on a host computer to simulate the existence of another, independent computer environment (also called a virtual machine) on that same host. The ‘virtualisation’ of experiments enables researchers from all around the globe to cooperate and share data using advanced research networks and grid infrastructures.


Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A technology used for transmitting standard telephone calls over the Internet using packet-linked routes, from any device, including mobile and fixed line phones.



Wave division multiplexing

The technique of passing multiple frequencies (wavelength and colours) of light simultaneously across a single fibre, thereby increasing the capacity of installed fibre infrastructure.


Web 2.0

Refers to an incremental development of the technologies behind the World Wide Web, allowing the user to participate and contribute directly to the production of information, rather than being a mere passive receiver of it.


Web Accessibility

Websites designed, developed and edited, so that all users, in particular persons with disabilities, have equal access to information and functionality.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Harmonised (de-facto) functional and technology-neutral specifications for web-accessibility.


Web Entrepreneurs

On a high level, the description 'Web entrepreneurs' is an umbrella term. It covers start-up founders who build innovative and often disruptive businesses on top of the Internet, mobile and various cloud-based technologies, programming interfaces and platforms. On a lower level of granularity, Web entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs who create new ventures that use the Web as the essential component of the services and products they offer, and develop services and products for any sectors. More on Startup Europe.


Website authentication

Trusted information on a website (e.g. a certificate) which allows users to verify the authenticity of the website and its link to the entity/person behind the website.


What is a collective management organisation?

Collective management organisations are organisations traditionally set up by authors, performers, and other kinds of rightholders, to collectively manage their rights. They aggregate the rights of one or several types of rightholders for licensing purposes to grant licences to commercial users (TV channels, radio stations, online music service providers) on their behalf. They also provide services such as monitoring the use of rights and collecting and distributing royalties. They provide services to rightholders, to users and to other collective management organisations.

Collective management organisations are historically established on a national basis and, in particular as regards off-line uses, they license rights for their own territory (although there are important exceptions to this principle).

What is a collective management organisation?

Collective management organisations are organisations traditionally set up by authors, performers, and other kinds of rightholders, to collectively manage their rights. They aggregate the rights of one or several types of rightholders for licensing purposes to grant licences to commercial users (TV channels, radio stations, online music service providers) on their behalf. They also provide services such as monitoring the use of rights and collecting and distributing royalties. They provide services to rightholders, to users and to other collective management organisations.

Collective management organisations are historically established on a national basis and, in particular as regards off-line uses, they license rights for their own territory (although there are important exceptions to this principle).

Wholesale access products

A wholesale access product enables an operator, the 'access seeker' to use netwok elements and associated facilities and/or services of another operator, the 'access provider'. Depending on the local/national circumstances, in particular the network architecture(s) and topology(ies) in place and on the nature of the competition problem to be tackled, the wholesale access products may cover inter-alia: (i) access to network elements and associated facilities, which may involve the connection of equipment, by fixed or non-fixed means (in particular this includes access to the local loop and to facilities and services necessary to provide services over the local loop), access to physical infrastructure including buildings, ducts and masts, access to relevant software systems including operational support systems, access to number translation or systems offering equivalent functionality, access to fixed and mobile networks, in particular for roaming, access to conditional access systems for digital television services, access to virtual network services (more on eur-lex).


Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA)

A high-speed 3G mobile wireless technology with the capacity to offer higher data speeds than CDMA. WCDMA can reach speeds of up to 2 Mbps for voice, video, data and image transmission. WCDMA was adopted as a standard by the ITU under the name "IMT-2000 direct spread."


WiFi / WiMAX

International standards for high speed/high bandwidth services over wireless networks, often connecting to the mainstream fixed telecommunications networks.


Wireless Local Loop (WLL)

Wireless connection between a telephone exchange and the subscriber’s telephone


World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

Promotes the use and protection of works of the human spirit. In 2013, WIPO adopted the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. Discussions about the protection of the rights of broadcasting organisations are on-going.


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

W3C drafts the World Wide Web standards and is author of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.




A collective term for all types of digital subscriber lines, including asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) and high-data-rate digital subscriber line (HDSL).



Young Advisors

A group of 27 members established in 2011 on the initiative of former VP Kroes. Former members were mainly young (or very young) entrepreneurs, researchers or representatives of civil society from all over the European Union. The main activity of this group was to provide advice to former VP Kroes as well as to the Directorate General on issues/initiatives related to the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE). Young Advisors were often invited to events organized or co-organized by DG CONNECT in order to present and promote the perspectives of young people.