On Friday 12th June, EU digital and telecoms ministers met in Luxembourg for key discussion on digital topics including Roaming, open internet, the Digital Single Market, cyber security, web accessibility, digital public service and internet governance.

The day begins with an informal ministerial breakfast, hosted by Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society and Minister Anrijs Matīss, on behalf of the Latvian Presidency of the EU. This aims move forward discussions on the Commission's proposal for a Telecoms Single Market. The European Parliament and Council are in the final stages of negotiations on this legislative proposal which paves the way for a more ambitious review of the EU telecoms rules, under the Commission's plan for a Digital Single Market. Ministers will discuss outstanding issues related to Roaming and open internet rules.

Opening the Council meeting, Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market will present the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. This aims to tear down regulatory walls and finally move from 28 national markets to a single one. It is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy Ministers will exchange views on the Commission's ambitious roadmap.

Ministers are expected to agree a general approach for the Commission's plans for ISA2, a programme to help Member States to modernise their administrations and provide interoperable digital services at national and European level. Commissioner Oettinger will urge Ministers and the European Parliament to reach a quick agreement on this programme to allow it to start from 1 January 2016.

The Presidency will update ministers on negotiations around the Commission's draft Directive on Network and Information Security which aims to ensure a high common level of cybersecurity in the EU. Negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council are at a final and critical stage and the European Council called in February for rapid conclusion of negotiations. Commissioner Oettinger will encourage the Council and Parliament to find an ambitious, political compromise which is acceptable to all.

Next on the agenda, are plans to improve the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites. Ministers will be updated on progress on discussions on the Commission's 2012 draft proposal for a Directive. There is general agreement on the goal of barrier-free web access for all users, including those with disabilities and the need for rules at EU level. Commissioner Oettinger will urge ministers to make speedy progress to start negotiations with the European Parliament

Ministers will adopt draft Council conclusions on the transfer of the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions from the United States Government to the multi-stakeholder community. Commissioner Oettinger will stress that it is important that the EU speaks with one voice in this transition period and on internet governance in general.

Finally, the incoming Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union will present its work programme for the second half of 2015.

The Council will be followed by a press conference after 14h00


More about the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, 11-12/06/2015