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The European Commission has adopted a number of communica- tions, presented by Vice-President Narjes, with a view to ensuring that Europe occupies a place in the forefront of developments in the field of high-definition television HDTV), direct television broadcasting by satellite and ad- vanced telecommunications in general. HIGH_definition television : the Commission defines a plan of action and announce its participation in the EUREKA project At the recent meeting in Dubrovnik of the United Nations specialized agency CCIR (International Radio Consultative Committee), the rappresentatives of the Commission and of the Community Member States successfully prevented the adop- tion of technical standards, proposed by the Japanese and backed by the Americans, in respect of the three principal elements making up the high-definition television system, namely in-studio production, transmission to the receiver location and the receiver itself. In point of fact, the Japanese proposals represented a "leap into the unknwon" and amounted to a deliberate break with existing television systems. Europe, however, considers that it is essential to adopt standards compatible with these systems, thus ensuring their gradual standards development, rather than abandoning the existing equipment overnight. In view of the fact that the CCIR opted for a period of re- flection of about two years prior to taking a decision on an international HDTV standard, the task now is to coordinate European efforts not only with a view to securing the adop- tion of standards corresponding to our needs but also with a view to getting suitable equipment on to the market. Such is the aim of the communication adopted by the Commission, out- lining a global approach to the technological aspects (production and transmission of images), industrial aspects (professional and general equipment, programme production) and regulatory aspects (along the lines set out in the green paper on the audio-visual sector). (1) COM (86) 325 - 2 - In practice, a plan of action will be drawn up before the summer incorporating, in particular, developments within the framework of the Community's RACE programme. In addition, the Commission will be taking part in the EUREKA projects on high-definition television put forward by Thomson, Philips, Bosch and Thorn/EMI at the next EUREKA ministerial meeting, due to be held in London on 30 June. DIRECT TELEVISION BROADCASTING BY SATELLITE : the Commission presses the Council to adopt the MAC/packet standards Here too, the task is to develop and use common standards that are also suitable for the purposes of retransmission over existing cable networks. To this end, the European Broadcasting Unin (EBU) and the European electronics industry have developed the MAC/packet family of appropriate systems (MAC : multiplexed analogue components). On 22 January 1986 the Commission, for its part, transmitted to the Council a proposal for a directive seeking to ensure that no other system is authorized by the Governments of the Member States, in an effort to avoid the proliferation in Europe of incompatible standards following the unfortunate experiences resulting from the PAL/SECAM rivalry. The communication adopted by the Commission seeks, on the one hand, to confirm this voluntary approach and, on the other, to press the Council to adopt this proposal at its next meeting. COMMUNITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY : the development of a genuine Euroean telecommunications area is proceeding step by step_ The third communication adopted by the Commission takes stock of progress to date with regard to the Community telecommunications programme : - concertation on the development of telecommunications networks and services in the Community and common in- frastructure projects; - creation of a Community market in terminals and equip- ment; - development of the technologies necessary for the esta- blishment of future broadband networks: - 3 - - improved access for the less favoured regions of the Community to the benefit of the development of advanced services and networks; - coordination of negotiating positions within internatio- nal organizations dealing with telecommunications. Although the above programme did not receive Council approval until December 1984, it nevertheless represent a considerable step forward. Close cooperation among the various Community protagonists - Commission, Member States, PTT administrations, manufacturers, standardization bodies -is more essential than ever for the attainment of a genuine European telecommunications area. Lastly, the Commission whishes to announce a forthcoming document on current changes in the telecommunications sector and on the approach to be adopted at Community level in the light of these developments.