I want to give a quick update on progress at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT
) , in Dubai, and the EU's positioning
on the proposals under debate.
This conference has technical origins – and discussions. It is a global treaty conference about the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs)
, a text which may be updated for the first time since 1988 as a result of this conference. But at its heart WCIT-12 is also a political discussion about what sort of telecoms and internet we want for our world.
The EU is bringing a positive momentum. Some examples are debates on roaming, transparency, accessibility, and energy efficiency. These are issues of interest and importance not just to European citizens, but to all those who would be affected by a new ITR treaty. And what is new at this conference is that Europe speaks with one voice
, thanks to a joint decision Member States took before going to Dubai, based on a European Commission proposal.
On other issues the EU has suggested compromises that have been rejected.
Beyond this, there are still proposals on the table that would have implications for the Internet, proposals that EU member states cannot support.
While we do not
believe that Internet governance should be under the ambit of the ITRs, this does not
mean the EU wants to "set in stone" all current governance practices. New trends in traffic volumes and new demand for assured quality of delivery, may lead to new solutions, but I am confident that our current European and international frameworks allow more nimble and appropriate commercial reactions than any international treaty. We also want to support developing countries to build capacity and infrastructures for the Internet.
So, while Europe has a firm line on an open internet, the reality is that our delegations are in Dubai to play a constructive role. The EU member states have both Union and national considerations to bear in mind, but we are consistent, coordinated and transparent on essential issues.
My hope is that we can all focus on what we can agree together, on what can meet the requirements of all. That's how we reach a win-win conclusion.