Safer Internet Centres


Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL)


26 September 2023


€ 26.2 million

  • € 16.2 million: Safer Internet Centres
  • € 10 million: European Digital Media Observatory Hubs

Relevant links

Call info page
Call document

In this Call, mainly the Safer Internet Centres are relevant when it comes to preventing crimes. Therefore this summary will mainly focus on that aspect of the call.

Network of safer Internet Centres (SICs) provide online safety information, educational resources, public awareness tools and counselling and reporting services, through dedicated helplines and hotlines for children and youth, parents/carers, teachers and educators, and other professionals working with children. This call contributes to building confidence in the digital transformation by supporting the implementation of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK+) strategy. This includes providing support for EC priorities, such as the code of conduct, the age verification toolkit, and implementation of the relevant Digital Services Act (DSA) obligations.

Safer Internet Centres must be composed of an awareness centre and a helpline, and preferably a hotline. If a hotline is not part of the proposal, this absence must be justified. Safer Internet Centres that have been awarded a grant under this call are expected to join the Insafe network of awareness centres and helplines, and the INHOPE network of hotlines.


The funding will ensure the continuation of the well-established European network of national Safer Internet Centres, by enabling the awarded consortia to provide at least:

  • A centre for raising awareness among children, youth, parents, carers, teachers and educators as well as other relevant professionals working with children about online opportunities and risks for those under 18s. The focus will be to identify and address
    • online opportunities by fostering digital literacy to help children and youth to develop their digital skills and competences and to actively participate by giving them a say in the digital environment;
    • specific and general emerging opportunities and risks (e.g. new apps and games, but also AI, virtual, augmented and extended reality, the internet of things and other technological changes raising new social and ethical challenges that impact children and youth);
    • issues such as mental and physical health risks related to the use of technologies (e.g. self-generated sexualised content, live streaming of violent and age-inappropriate content, self-harm, addiction, cyberbullying, hate speech, risky online challenges, promotion of eating disorders);
    • risks facing children as young consumers (e.g. incentives to spend money, aggressive marketing strategies, loot boxes14) on which specific attention will be paid.
  • A helpline to give advice and support to parents and children on issues related to children's use of digital technologies and services. The helpline will also strengthen support to victims of cyberbullying, with closer cooperation with the national 116111 service being required.
  • A hotline for tackling CSAM (i.e., receiving, analysing, and processing reports of such material). Closer cooperation with law enforcement and the private sector should be further explored in the context of the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse and the proposed new legislation.

Outcome and deliverables

  • National Safer Internet Centres as a one-stop-shop for reliable and age-appropriate information.
  • Digital literacy in Member States and associated countries in formal and informal education settings (e.g., youth participation activities, workshops, classroom visits, competitions, peer to peer activities).
  • Support to parents, carers, teachers, educators and other professionals working with children to better understand the risks and opportunities of children accessing digital content and services (e.g., information sessions, train the trainers programmes, and online and offline material).
  • Timely information to local, national, and European actors on emerging risks through the helpline service
  • Access to resources and services by public authorities, including law enforcement agencies, and exchanges with hotline analysts to develop better preventive measures and to remove online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
  • Increased cooperation of the private sector with the Safer Internet Centres, including those recognised in the future as “trusted flaggers” to assist the public, in particular children, when confronted with harmful and illegal content
  • Support the Commission for the implementation of the certain specific provisions under the DSA aimed at protecting minors.

Each of the three strands within the Safer Internet Centres (Awareness centre, helpline and a hotline) have different specific outcome expectations. Please read the call page for more information in this regard.