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The ITEA (Information Technology for European Advancement, an eight year funding program labeled by EUREKA) project EUROPA (End User Resident Open Platform Architecture) started in October 1999 for a duration of 2.5 years in the first call of the ITEA program. The project aims at the definition of a high-end set-top-box (StB) reference architecture with extended functionality to enable next-generation services for the DVB-MHP (Digital Video Broadcast-Multimedia Home Platform) system. The next generation high-end StBs will boost the possibilities of interactive services in digital broadcasting into new dimensions. This approach includes the adoption of new standards like MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, cryptography for secure online-banking and online-shopping as well as agent technology for advanced and attractive user interfaces. The results of the project will be validated in demonstrators and the resulting reference architecture will be made publicly available. The project operates in close co-operation with standardization bodies like MPEG and DVB. The paper introduces the project in more detail with emphasis on the functionality extension aspects and the demonstrator scenario leading to the assessment of the defined functionality.