The European Commission has launched an e-learning action plan to promote the use of information, telecommunication and internet technologies in education.
It includes proposals on benchmarking, adult education and introducing a European diploma in information technology.
Viviane Reding, the EC education commissioner, said that Europeans must be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by IT "if we are to combat failure at college and exclusion, enable everybody to continue learning irrespective of age, and reduce the skills shortage in the European economy".
The plan proposes that benchmarking guidelines be drawn up that education authorities can use to examine whether a university or college department is making good use of information and communications technology.
The commission wants to prioritise IT training in adult education and will allow schemes to claim funding from the European Social Fund.
It also aims to strengthen the exchange of good practice and news about good electronic educational products, through a website or a European catalogue.