On December 1, 2 and 5 2016 in Brussels (Belgium) the meeting was held of the Council of Ministers of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy of the European Union (EU), chaired by Arpád Érsek, the Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic.
The Council of Ministers discussed the proposals related with the revision of the regulatory framework applicable to telecommunications in the EU. In this regard, support was expressed for connectivity objectives and stress was placed on the importance of working together, namely in terms of the implementation of 5G. As far as the radio spectrum is concerned, the majority of Member States agreed that the framework in place is sufficient to accommodate the cooperation required for spectrum management, there not being the need to create any additional layers of cooperation nor to transform the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) into a European agency.
Furthermore, in terms of telecoms' issues, a general approach was adopted with regard to the new rules for wholesale roaming markets in the EU which shall serve as the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament. This is a major step in the preparation of the abolition of roaming fees set for June 15th 2017.
Approaches to the following issues were also highlighted:
- Partial adoption of a general approach to the proposal to promote free internet connections in local communities through an EU-financed mechanism called "WiFi4EU".
- Progress report on the proposal to increase regulatory oversight and price transparency for cross-border parcel delivery services.
- Progress report on the implementation of the strategy for the single digital market which is developing favourably.
- Progress report on issues related with Internet governance, namely the transition from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the multi-stakeholder community and the staging of the Internet Governance Forum from December 6 to 9 in Mexico.
- Presentation of the work programme for telecommunications for the first half of 2017 by the next presidency of Malta.
- Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, 01-05/12/2016 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/tte/2016/12/01-02/
- Wholesale roaming: Council ready for talks with EP http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/12/02-wholesale-roaming/
- Free WiFi4EU internet connection - Council agrees its position http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/12/02-free-wifi-eu-internet-connection/