Insights European Commission adopts new “European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids”


The Commission says that the aim of the Strategy is to improve age-appropriate digital services and to ensure that every child is protected, empowered and respected online.

The new Strategy is the digital arm of the Commission’s “EU strategy on the rights of the child” and reflects the Digital Principle that “Children and young people should be protected and empowered online”. It follows the recent provisional political agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), which contains new safeguards for the protection of minors and prohibits online platforms from displaying targeted advertising based on profiling to minors.

The new Strategy sets out the vision for a Digital Decade for children and youth, based on three key pillars:

  • safe digital experiences: protecting children from harmful and illegal online content, conduct, and risks and improving their well-being through a safe, age-appropriate digital environment; the Commission will facilitate an EU Code for Age-Appropriate Design and request a European standard on online age verification by 2024; it will also explore how to use the planned European Digital Identity wallet for age verification, support the swift reporting of illegal and harmful content and ensure the single harmonised telephone number “116 111” provides assistance to victims of cyberbullying by 2023;
  • digital empowerment: to ensure that children acquire the necessary skills to make informed choices and express themselves safely and responsibly in the online environment; the Commission will organise media literacy campaigns for children, teachers and parents, via the network of Safer Internet Centres, which will operate nationally and locally to strengthen support for children in vulnerable situations and help address the digital divide in skills; the Commission will also provide teaching modules for teachers via the portal; and
  • active participation: giving children a say in the digital environment with more child-led activities to foster innovative and creative safe digital experiences; the Commission will, for instance, support more experienced children teaching other children about online opportunities and risks and organise a child-led evaluation of the strategy every two years.

To read the Commission’s announcement in full and for links to the Strategy and other relevant documents, click here.