Pushing forward Digital Agenda for Europe

The meeting of the Council of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Ministers will focus on pushing forward the Digital Agenda and studying measures to guarantee the supply of natural gas.

The Council meeting will be divided into two very different sections: during the morning session, chaired by the Spanish Minister for Industry, Tourism and Trade, Miguel Sebastián, ministers will tackle issues relating to the development of telecommunications, and in the afternoon focus will shift to the debate on problems related to the supply of energy, chaired by the Spanish Secretary of State for Energy, Pedro Marín.

With regard to telecoms, discussions will revolve around implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe, a project to which the EU committed itself in April with the signing of a joint declaration in Granada, which envisages the Agenda being adopted before the end of the Spanish Presidency.

The Digital Agenda for Europe identifies the seven most significant obstacles to telecommunications development and proposes seven specific actions to overcome them.

The strategy aims to overcome the digital divide and achieve 100% broadband coverage for all citizens by 2013. It also encompasses adopting high-speed communications by 2020 and rolling out efficient, new-generation networks, as well as implementing a predictable regulatory framework. The strategy also involves the development of data protection measures.

Furthermore, the strategy includes the drafting and dissemination of the Digital Rights Charter, the creation of a single market for content and e-commerce, the development of interoperable digital public services and innovation in ICTs in areas in which Europe has greatest market potential.

The session on energy issues will focus on analysing the progress achieved by the Presidency on a new agreement to introduce a new regulation on measures guaranteeing the supply of natural gas.

This initiative to review the current EU directive aims to boost the internal market for natural gas and the distribution system in order to ensure continued supply in the event of supply problems.

The ministers will also examine progress with a view to establishing new parameters for energy-saving and efficiency in each country, especially in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of renewable energies.

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