Council of Ministers for Transport, Telecommunications and Energy of the European Union - conclusions

The meeting of the Council of Ministers for Transport, Telecommunications and Energy of the European Union (EU), chaired by Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs, took place on 26 May 2016 in Brussels (Belgium).

The main result of this meeting, dedicated to telecommunications issues, was the agreement on the proposed decision to use the 700 MHz (694-790 MHz) frequency band for mobile broadband. The proposal aims to reduce the digital divide and enable the effective implementation of innovative services, while preserving the continuity of conventional television services.

According to the Council's position, this decision must be implemented in all Member States by 30 June 2020, according to harmonised technical conditions laid down by the European Commission (EC). It is expected that negotiations with the European Parliament will start in the autumn.

It should also be noted that the following subjects were dealt with:

  • Debate on the review of the regulatory framework applicable to electronic communications, seeking to contribute to the legislative proposals to be prepared by the EC in 2016 as part of the strategy for the digital single market. Also of note was agreement on the need to revise the rules on access to networks by operators in order to increase investment and ensure competition in the EU;
  • Presentation on progress regarding web accessibility rules (websites and mobile applications) - draft directive which aims to standardise and make accessibility features obligatory for certain types of websites of public sector bodies;
  • State of play of the EC regarding the latest developments in Internet governance;
  • Presentation of the work programme for the next Slovak presidency.

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