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Plans for LHC upgrade and for the final focalization of linear colliders call for large aperture and/or high-performance dipole and quadrupole magnets that may be beyond the reach of conventional NbTi magnet technology. The Next European Dipole (NED) activity was launched on January 1st, 2004 to promote the development of high-performance, Nb3Sn wires in collaboration with European industry (aiming at a noncopper critical current density of 1500 A/mm2 at 4.2 K and 15 T) and to assess the suitability of Nb3Sn technology to the next generation of accelerator magnets (aiming at an aperture of 88 mm and a conductor peak field of 15 T). It is integrated within the Collaborated Accelerator Research in Europe (CARE) project, involves seven collaborators, and is partly funded by the European Union. We present here an overview of the NED activity and we report on the status of the various work packages it encompasses.