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MEMO/07/230

Brussels, 6 June 2007

Telecom Council, Luxembourg, 7 June 2007

At this Council of the 27 Ministers in charge of Telecommunications, the EU Roaming Regulation is expected to be adopted politically, while other important telecom dossiers (i2010, RFID, ENISA) will be discussed. The Commission will be represented by Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner. "As every word of the EU regulation was agreed and voted by the European Parliament in all EU languages 2 weeks ago, I now expect the Council to do everything possible to pave the way for publication of the EU Roaming Regulation in the days to come", Commissioner Reding said before the Council.

Telecom Council issues on the agenda:

  • Roaming: This Council will see the last procedural steps before the EU Regulation on roaming on public mobile networks becomes law throughout all 27 EU Member States.
  • i2010: Outlining the issues that need to be focused on for next year's mid-term review of Europe's ICT strategy.

Smart radio tags (RFID): An exchange of views on how best to responsibly promote smart radio tags.

European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA): Informing Council on ENISA's state of affairs with a view to extending its mandate.

EU Roaming Regulation: Political adoption

Background

The Commission proposed on 12 July 2006 an EU Regulation on roaming on public mobile networks within the Community to reduce roaming charges by up to 70% (see IP/06/978). Following political agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 15 May 2007, the EU Roaming Regulation was approved by the European Parliament by an overwhelming majority in a plenary vote on 23 May 2007 (see IP/07/696 and MEMO/07/158). The result is that mobile roaming charges will be capped for consumers at €0.49 for calls made abroad and €0.24 for calls received abroad. Competition below this consumer cap, also called the "Eurotariff", will be encouraged. The price caps will be further reduced in 2008 and 2009.

At this Council

The Council is expected to adopt politically the text of the EU Roaming Regulation. To become law throughout all 27 EU Member States, the EU Roaming Regulation now requires publication in the EU's Official Journal. The text of the EU Roaming Regulation, as voted by the European Parliament on 23 May 2007, is available in all official EU languages from the European Parliament's website:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2007-0199+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

"i2010 - Annual Information Society Report 2007”

Background

This year's annual progress report by the European Commission on "i2010: A European Information Society for Growth and Jobs" prepares the ground for a mid-term review of the initiative in 2008. This report was adopted by the Commission on 30 March 2007 (see IP/07/453) and highlights progress made by the Commission and Member States in implementing the initiative, while proposing further actions that should be taken as well as a roadmap for preparation of the mid-term review in 2008.

The conclusions of the report have since been discussed, and agreed in principle, in the Council working group on 3 and 10 May 2007.

At this Council
The Council is expected to adopt the conclusions of the "i2010 Annual Information Society Report 2007", which outline the issues on which next year’s mid-term review of i2010 needs to focus.

“Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe: steps towards a policy framework”

Background

On 15 March 2007, the Commission published a Communication on "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe: steps towards a policy framework" (see IP/07/332) which was based on the results of a public consultation on the roles that smart radio tags (RFID) could play in society (see MEMO/06/378). This Communication proposed steps to overcome the barriers to widespread deployment and take-up of RFIDs while incorporating appropriate security, privacy, health and environmental safeguards.

The Communication was presented to the Council working group on 23 March 2007, where it was proposed to specify the principles that public authorities and other stakeholders should apply when using smart radio tags. The Commission informed the Council working group that it would establish an RFID Expert Group in June 2007 to assist it to:

  1. prepare the Recommendation by the end of 2007,
  2. promote awareness campaigns at Member State level and towards the general public, and
  3. analyse the nature and the effects of the trend towards an "Internet of Things", in which smart radio tags are expected to be an important element, raising issues of privacy, trust and governance.

At this Council

Ministers will exchange their views on the following question: "As mentioned by the European Commission, RFID technology is still an area of active research and development. In particular RFID will be a basic technology for the “Internet of Things”, which is the future vision for an integrated digital network of any kind of object. What can we do, both at national and European levels, to create an appropriate regulatory environment and best conditions for research and development on RFID and to strengthen European competitiveness?"

Evaluation of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)

Background

ENISA was established in 2004 for an initial period of five years (see IP/06/567) and the Commission is currently deliberating whether to extend ENISA's mandate beyond March 2009. To this end, the following steps have been taken:

  1. At the end of 2006 the Commission launched an evaluation by an external panel of experts, which suggested extending ENISA's mandate. The report also provided recommendations for improvements.
  2. In March 2007 the management board of ENISA adopted recommendations on the future of the Agency and addressed the issues identified in the evaluation report of the external panel of experts. The management board also recommended extending the Agency's mandate.

To complete the inputs and comments needed to transparently decide on a possible extension of ENISA, the Commission will now carry out:

  1. A public consultation on changes in the environment in which ENISA operates (new security threats), the responses needed, and challenges thus posed to the structure and remit of the Agency.
  2. An impact assessment that will include a cost/benefit analysis.

At this Council

The Commission will inform the Council on the state of play concerning the possible extension of ENISA's mandate after it expires in March 2009.
For more on ENISA see:

http://www.enisa.europa.eu/.


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