Brussels, 16 April 2003
Commission underlines EU objectives for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003
The European Commission has adopted a Communication setting out the EU priorities and objectives for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). This Conference, organised periodically by the International Telecommunication Union, will next take place in Geneva from 9 June to 4 July 2003, with the objective of updating the allocation and other usage conditions of the radio spectrum at global level. By determining their access to the radio spectrum, the WRC-03 negotiations are potentially critical to the realisation of key EU policies and initiatives such as the Information Society (3G mobile communications, radio local area networks) and Transport (the Galileo satellite radio-navigation system). The Communication invites the European Parliament and the Council to call upon Member States to actively support the European proposals prepared in view of the Conference by the European Conference of Posts and Telecommunications administrations (CEPT) against the background of EU policy objectives.
As in previous WRC conferences, the implementation of a large number of EU policies increasingly depends upon decisions taken in this forum. "It is important that the results of this conference support EU policies in key areas such as 3G, RLANs and Galileo. It is therefore essential that the Member States and the Presidency ensure that these EU policy objectives are fostered by decisions at this Conference", said Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society.
EU policy objectives for WRC-03
WRC-03 agenda includes a series of topics that are relevant to EU policies. The main EU objectives to be reached in WRC-03 are:
Strengthening Europe's position at WRC-03
Unlike for other international negotiations, such as e.g. in trade issues under the WTO, European Union Member States negotiate in ITU on a national basis. However, since national interests often converge, European administrations choose to develop their technical positions together within CEPT.
Strengthening EU position at WRC-03 greatly benefits from the preparation of technical European positions by CEPT but also requires co-ordination of positions at EU level before and during the conference, along the lines set by the new EU Radio Spectrum Decision and other procedures agreed by the Council.
The Communication aims at offering Member States' delegations to WRC-03 clear political guidance on EU objectives to reach during the negotiations. Consequently, the European Parliament and Council are invited to:
The Communication is available at: