Our vision is to achieve a global environment where fair and transparent regulations exist for telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) companies can compete on a level playing field.
Our objectives are to successfully (1) promote a regulatory system that is close to and/or compatible with the EU legal framework, (2) act as 1st port of call for ICT industry (including contribution to access to third markets), (3) seek synergies between CONNECT's policy and research work and that of third countries.These objectives will be achieved through CONNECT participation in multilateral fora and through close cooperation with third countries at a regional or bilateral level. International activities are core business for all units in DG CONNECT. The international unit should operate as a centre of expertise for colleagues, i.e. provide procedural and content advice and guidance for all colleagues who are active at the international level.For multilateral work, this year the emphasis will in particular be on the preparations for the (4-yearly) International Telecoms Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary in Busan (2014 South Korea) and the preparation with relevant colleagues of the WRC-15. In preparation for the Plenipotentiary the Commission will present two draft Decisions to the Council.The WTO Information Technology Agreement is being updated. The priority of the unit – which is chef de file – is to improve market access for EU ICT industry through this multilateral agreement.The unit will also develop a coordinated and shared CONNECT international strategy. Bilateral resources will be concentrated on Industrialised countries, Brazil, India, China and EU neighbourhood countries (the Mediterranean with a ministerial under UfM and EU enlargement countries). In choosing thematic priorities we will focus on issues of direct interest to the EU and establish clear deliverables.
The EU competencies in institutional terms, and Commission leadership, should be recognised, ideally leading to an enhanced status in ITU in 2014. This will require an intensive debate with the Council of Ministers.To reap the full benefit from the digital agenda, the EU needs to confront market access problems for the European ICT industry in third countries (including e.g. local content requirements, discriminatory standards, local certification and procurement rules, distortive subsidies and weak protection of IPRs). Cooperation is also important to improve cyber security and to confront societal challenges. Cooperation with EU stakeholders, but also inside the Commission, with other relevant DGs, should be improved.Continued legal and administrative EU approximation in partner countries is needed, in particular in the enlargement and neighbourhood countries.The thematic policy and research activities are part of an overall agenda established by management. A better match between the resources used and the objectives to be achieved can be developed through a more strategic agenda.
Free trade agreements that reflect more coherently the EU acquis and our needs vis-à-vis third partners (to be achieved with DG TRADE).
Timeframe: Under negotiations, concluded– end 2014