3. A multistakeholder approach

In 1999, the first Safer Internet Programme was launched in order to support projects and events, as well as to promote industry self-regulation and international co-operation. 
Self-regulation has been one of the key instruments of the European Strategy to create a Better Internet for Children. In order to ensure that children, parents and teachers have access to the right tools and information for safe use of the internet and new technologies, the European Commission has been supporting industry self-regulation, enabling industry to create a system by which they can deal rapidly with any security challenges that may arise. Some self-regulatory initiatives have already been taken, with European Commission support, by industry at European level. These include: 
  • European framework for safer mobile use by young teenagers and children (2007)
    • The result of discussions held in a high-level group, which set out a series of measures the signatories committed to implement on their services throughout Europe, including:
      • access control for adult content;
      • awareness-raising campaigns for parents and children;
      • the classification of commercial content according to national standards of decency and appropriateness;
      • the fight against illegal content on mobiles.
  • The safer social networking principles for the EU (2009)
    • Self-regulatory agreement signed by the major social networking services providers active in Europe committed to implementing measures to ensure the safety of minors on their services. A commitment was reached to set guiding principles for safer social networking, which were signed by 21 companies.
      • Evaluation of the Implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU Part I: General Report (2010)
        • This report is a part of the European Commission's commitment to and support of the self-regulatory initiative from social networks to implement ‘Safer Social Networking Principles' signed by 20 social networking companies in 2009. The report analyses the 19 self-declarations submitted by the signatories of the Principles as well as 25 of the services offered among these companies in order to give an overview of the general level of implementation.
      • Assessment of the Implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU on 14 Websites: Summary Report (2011)
        • This report is part of the European Commission's commitment to support the industry self-regulatory initiative - the ‘Safer Social Networking Principles' signed by 21 social networking companies to date. The report summarises the findings of the 2nd assessment (Phase A) where 14 social networking websites (SNS) were tested. 
  • CEO Coalition to make the internet a better place for kids (2011)
    • A cooperative voluntary intervention designed to respond to emerging challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young Europeans go online.
    • Company signatories to the Coalition committed to take positive action throughout 2012 in five 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 (CSAM).
In line with these self-regulatory initiatives supported by the European Commission, another initiative has been initiated by industry more directly – the ICT Coalition for Children Online aiming to help younger internet users across Europe to make the most of the online world and deal with any potential challenges and risks. 
In 2012, members of the ICT Coalition signed up to a set of guiding principles to ensure that the safety of younger internet users is integral to the products and services they develop. The Principles for the Safer Use of Connected Devices and Online Services by Children and Young People in the EU that have been developed by the ICT Coalition encourage best practice in the key areas of content, parental controls, dealing with abuse/misuse, child sexual abuse content or illegal content, privacy and control, and education and awareness.
As part of its efforts to encourage industry to develop codes of conduct to support the implementation of the EU's updated audiovisual rules, in May 2016 the European Commission announced a new Alliance to better protect children online, building on the work of the CEO coalition to make the internet a better place for kids.