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IP/03/950

Brussels, 4 July 2003

Commission welcomes outcome of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03)

The ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) ended today after four weeks of negotiations between representatives from countries across the world on updating the allocation of radio spectrum and its usage conditions at global level. From a Community perspective, the major objectives for this conference, presented in a Commission Communication adopted last March1 and confirmed by Council2, were met to a significant extent. The positive outcome of these negotiations will support major policies at Community level which rely on radio spectrum, such as on Transport (Galileo radio navigation system) or Information Society (broadband wireless access platforms, notably 3G and wireless LAN).

The Final Acts adopted today at WRC-03 constitute the last milestone in a preparation process which was conducted over the last three years. It involved the radio spectrum experts from national administrations co-operating within CEPT3 in establishing common European negotiation positions. For the Community, the Commission supported this process by identifying the policy objectives relevant in the context of the negotiation agenda. These objectives were validated and endorsed by Council.

Commenting on the conference, Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of WRC which will facilitate the conduct of major Community policies critically relying on radio spectrum, such as the promotion of broadband access over diverse platforms including 3G and wireless LAN, and the Galileo undertaking. Besides these satisfactory results, which we will now analyse in detail, the exemplary European approach to WRC-03 confirmed that a close co-operation between technical experts (CEPT) and political instances (Member States, Commission) is essential for defending common interests at these complex global negotiations. WRC-03 was in this respect particularly successful for Europe. I wish here to salute the effort by many CEPT experts and their continued commitment and cohesion over the whole conference process, and I see the new policy approach to develop a radio spectrum dimension at Community level bearing fruit.”

In a subsequent Communication to Council and the European Parliament, the Commission will study the WRC-03 decisions in detail and propose measures, where necessary, to consolidate a Community approach on radio spectrum policy. The end of WRC-03 also marks the start of the preparation process for the next conference (WRC-07), which the Commission will again support by identifying policy objectives in co-operation with the Radio Spectrum Policy Group4, by accompanying the technical discussions held in CEPT and by fostering a broad involvement of radio spectrum user constituencies.

    1 COM(2003) 183 final, 14.4.2003

  http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/topics/telecoms/radiospec/doc/pdf/wrc_03_documents/wrc_03_en_final.pdf

    2 Council Conclusions of June 2nd, 2003 (9131/03)

  http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/topics/telecoms/radiospec/doc/word/wrc_03_documents/adoption_council_main.doc


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