34 different countries (28 full members and 6 affiliates); Roughly four hundred and fifty million inhabitants; Four long-established scripts (the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and Hebrew scripts); Hundreds of different languages and dialects, each with its set of cultural expectations. This wealth of languages, traditions and cultural conventions meets one of the most technologically advanced areas in the world with a highly developed ICT infrastructure with evermore pervasive IT equipment. Yet that match is not always perfect. Much of the equipment, the software and the eServices are geared towards relatively few languages, ignoring the cultural and linguistic requirements of the vast majority of European citizens. This development is all the more urgent in the context of the recent enlargement of the European Union to 25 members, where the linguistic and cultural requirements of the ten new member states of the European Union have not been adequately considered in the past. In the age of the information society, the inadequate treatment of the cultural and linguistic requirements of European citizens is a factor in widening the digital divide that is already visible in the uneven spread of ICT literacy across the European Union. The CDSG has the mission to contribute towards overcoming this divide. The CDSG Secretariat was held by CEN/ISSS until the end of 2002. From 2003-01 Standards Norway has hosted the Secretariat
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