BIK Policy Monitor Report 2024 published

The Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Policy Monitor (previously the BIK Policy Map) has been tracking how European countries support children’s and young people’s digital experiences since 2014. Since its launch a decade ago, the main objective of this series has been to compare and exchange knowledge on policies and actions that promote children's safety and well-being in the digital environment based on the recommended measures of the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (the BIK strategy).

Date 2024-05-11 Author BIK Team Section awareness, industry, policy, research Topic data privacy, media literacy/education, potentially harmful content Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers
Illustration of a map of Europe and BIK characters around it

Along with changes in the digital environment, the strategy has also evolved and was relaunched as the BIK+ strategy in May 2022. In May 2024, as BIK+ celebrates its second anniversary, the fifth report of this series is released to mark this important milestone.

The BIK+ strategy, adopted by the European Commission in May 2022, is Europe's comprehensive approach to ensure that children and young people are protected, respected and empowered online, leaving no one behind in the digital world.

In this 2024 edition, the BIK Policy Monitor Report assesses the state of digital policies against the background of significant changes in the legislative and regulatory landscape. The report highlights progress as well as gaps in BIK+ policies, details actions taken under the BIK+ framework, and showcases the BIK+ strategy in practice across all 27 EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway. In doing so, this high-level comparative report constitutes one of the four annually updated key features informing the policy work at the EU and national levels that will be launched in the context of the new Better Internet for Kids Knowledge Hub in the second half of 2024. All of these outputs process and make available the contributions and data collected with the support of a network of national contacts, comprising representatives of the Expert Group on Safer Internet for Children and Safer Internet Centres in the Member States.

Trends, gaps, and challenges

Two years on from the adoption of the BIK+ strategy, fostering a better and safer internet for children is an important policy priority in nearly all European countries. National legislation and policies have been found to extensively address online safety and digital protection, digital empowerment, and active participation – the priority pillars of the BIK+ strategy.

The BIK Policy Monitor Report 2024 found that national policy priorities and initiatives underway align well with the BIK+ strategy and show evidence of significant policy development in tandem with new EU laws, such as the Digital Services Act (DSA), governing the digital environment.

At the same time, gaps were identified in relation to the governance and design of BIK-related policies. Policy leadership has been found to frequently lack centralised coordination or action plans with clear timelines and clear measures to evaluate initiatives, such as key performance indicators (KPIs). The availability of research and evidence to support BIK-related policies and topics is fragmented and inconsistent. While stakeholder engagement in developing and delivering policy solutions is recognised as important, consistent mechanisms for collaboration and stakeholder involvement are infrequent. Children’s direct policy involvement was also found to be limited.

Positively, many new or currently developing legislative initiatives and measures were identified across the 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. This high level of policy activity on the national level reflects the rapidly evolving policy landscape, with the most recent development of the Digital Services Act (DSA) having come into full effect since the last edition of this series. With the various initiatives and measures currently in development, exploring progress through the forthcoming outputs on the BIK Knowledge Hub and in the coming editions of the BIK Policy Monitor series remains exciting.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) explained: in 2023, the European Commission launched a booklet that introduces the DSA in a child- and family-friendly way. This constitutes an important initiative to make policy accessible to those affected by them.

Read the full BIK Policy Monitor Report 2024 here and subscribe to the BIK bulletin to stay tuned for the forthcoming releases related to the new BIK Knowledge Hub in the second half of this year.

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