Tag Archives: Information technology

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

This communication analyses the impact of information and communication technologies on European companies and the European market. The objective is to support the full introduction of the e-Economy in Europe.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises: economic analysis and policy implications [COM(2001) 711 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Background

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are having a profound impact on the potential for economic growth and have become one of the main sources of competitiveness and increases in incomes. As a result, they have moved to the centre of the policy debate. When in March 2000, in Lisbon, the European Union (EU) set itself the ambitious target of becoming the world’s “most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy” within ten years, it recognised that attaining this goal depended on making the best possible use of ICT. The Lisbon strategy placed greater emphasis on the knowledge-based society within existing policy processes and launched the eEurope 2002 Action Plan as a roadmap to modernise the European economy.

The emergence of the e-Economy: macro and microeconomic issues

It is generally accepted that, atmacroeconomic level, the increased use of ICT leads to productivity gains and hence improves the competitiveness of enterprises and the economy as a whole. ICT-induced productivity gains are also a source of job creation in certain sectors – whereas jobs may be destroyed in others. ICT use does away with repetitive jobs often carried out by workers with low-level skills. The overall dynamism resulting from ICT use leads to job creation in other areas to an extent that more than offsets the losses.

In this context, the matching of skills poses a major challenge for the design and conduct of the labour market. The ICT skills gap is a major risk hampering further growth in Europe. The situation is particularly sensitive in Europe due to declining demographic trends and the decreasing level of interest of young Europeans in scientific studies.

Atmicroeconomic level, the e-Economy is leading to important changes in organisational market structures. The faster pace of technological change is having a major impact on the structure and lifecycle of enterprises. Firstly, ICT reduces the economic impact of distance and the cost of access to information, thus increasing the scope for competition within markets. Secondly, ICT often tends to lower the cost of setting up small enterprises thus, potentially, providing for additional competition. Thirdly, ICT creates the opportunity for new cooperative means of product and service delivery, which can lead to improved quality and cost efficiency. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ICT gives rise to many new products and services.

The process of creating new enterprises and of adapting or replacing traditional enterprises is indicative of the way the economy adapts to new market conditions. This process has accelerated considerably since the late 1990s. Products are increasingly becoming “extended products” which include an important service component. Internet-oriented enterprises are starting to acquire the characteristics of traditional enterprises, such as warehouses and chains of shops. Conversely, traditional retailers are starting to move part of their activities on-line, adding new distribution channels and new sourcing strategies.

The impact of ICT varies, however, from sector to sector. Information-rich sectors (digital goods, information services, financial and business services, etc.) witness the emergence of new business models and increased market competition. In industries where entry barriers are higher, such as construction and heavy engineering, the impact is likely to be more gradual. Digital interactions between administrations and business are key components of the e-Economy. By offering online access to public services, administrations can add concrete, direct incentives for enterprises to go digital themselves.

One characteristic of the e-Economy is the emergence of new business models. A substantial number of these have failed, along with many “dotcoms”. Others however, have proved to be viable, notably in the business-to-business (B2B) area. Entering the e-Economy at a more mature stage may constitute an opportunity rather than a disadvantage for EU enterprises which have learnt from the mistakes of pioneers. Enterprises can now use tried and tested technologies, as well as viable business models – more specifically B2C (business-to-consumer) whose potential has still to be tapped.

E-Economy enterprises increasingly need to define and manage the risks associated with extended and dynamic enterprise configuration – not just the risks associated with the information infrastructure but also, and especially, those relating to access to adequate financial resources. Although the situation is improving, the EU venture capital market remains only a fraction of that of the US, where pension funds play a major role. Early stage investments in 2000 were five times higher in the US than in Europe. The financial environment in Europe is still insufficiently conducive to innovation, both technological and organisational. In this respect, the European Investment Bank with its “Innovation 2000” initiative and the Commission under the Action Plan on financial services and the multiannual programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship (2001-2006) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) have takenn initiatives to contribute to the supply of risk capital for innovative businesses.

Maximising the benefits of the e-Economy: the next steps

This Communication highlights the steps that will have to be taken to maximise the benefits arising to European enterprises from the e-Economy. These steps encompass:

  • the fostering of a culture of entrepreneurship;
  • enhancing the ICT skills levels needed to participate effectively in the e-Economy;
  • raising the ability of European enterprises to compete in a modern global economy;
  • further improving the functioning of the internal market.

Skills underpin entrepreneurship. Both issues are tightly interrelated. The problem of the skills gap (entrepreneurial skills and technical ICT skills) has been addressed through a number of initiatives, notably in the European Employment Strategy and in the eLearning Action Plan (2001-2004). Taking into account these challenges, there is a need to:

  • accelerate the development of focused skills programmes and e-learning solutions;
  • strengthen research efforts not only in the area of technology, but also with regard to related socio-economic issues and to the effects on human resources;
  • strengthen on-going initiatives at all levels to help enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), acquire ICT and e-business skills;
  • monitor the demand for ICT and e-business skills in Europe, benchmark national policies, and strengthen co-operation and co-ordination at the European level;
  • launch focused projects in 2002, in close co-operation with Member States and the private sector, which aim to address the specific needs of enterprises, particularly SMEs.

The simplification and harmonisation activities undertaken at European level up to now should be continued in order to enable rapid development of pan-European businesses and fair trade in both the B2B and B2C environments. On the other hand, it is necessary to continue to review existing product legislation, in particular certification requirements and procedures to ensure that they are neutral between different means of product and service delivery.

Not all problems, however, can be resolved by legislation alone. Self-regulation should play an important role in promoting trust between partners in electronic transactions. Public policy should be aimed at raising credibility for self-regulation and at ensuring that codes of conduct are respected, through the availability, if needs be, of legal remedies.

In Europe, the e-Economy depends to a significant extent on the full participation of SMEs. The eEurope Go Digital initiative provided a first response to this challenge. It aimed to ensure that European enterprises, and in particular SMEs, fully embraced e-business and became active participants in the e-Economy. It is therefore necessary to:

  • foster open standards and certification procedures;
  • reinforce the security of networks and of information;
  • contribute to reinforcing legal certainty for SMEs engaging in cross border e-business;
  • optimise the use of existing resources, such as structural funds and research and technological development (RTD) budgets.

Exchanges between business and public administrations are a potentially powerful driving force for the e-Economy. This communication encourages public administrations to be at the leading edge of on-line service delivery, and to provide incentives for enterprises to access such services. Public administrations are also urged to continue these efforts to modernise their internal structure, by fostering, for example, the delivery of online services. The aim is to ensure broad interoperability both across borders and between administrations and business.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 13 March 2001 – eEurope 2002: Impact and Priorities

[COM(2001) 140 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 13 March 2001 – Helping SMEs to “Go Digital” [COM(2001) 136 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Councilof 20 December 2000 on a multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (2001-2005) [Official Journal L 333 of 29.12.2000].

 

A new framework for electronic communications services

A new framework for electronic communications services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new framework for electronic communications services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Single market for services

A new framework for electronic communications services

To review European Union regulation in the telecommunications sector and propose the main elements of a new framework for communications infrastructure and associated services.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 November 1999. Towards a new framework for Electronic Communications infrastructure and associated services – The 1999 Communications Review [COM(1999) 539 final, 10.11.1999 – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

The liberalisation of Europe’s telecommunications market reached its peak on 1 January 1998 with the complete liberalisation of all telecommunications networks and services in virtually all Member States. The developments in technology, innovation in the services being offered, price reductions and improvements in quality brought about by the introduction of competition provided the basis for Europe’s transition to the Information Society. The convergence of the telecommunications, broadcasting and IT sectors is reshaping the communications market; in particular the convergence of fixed, mobile, terrestrial and satellite communications, and communication and positioning/location systems. From the point of view of communications infrastructure and related services, convergence makes the traditional separation of regulatory functions between these sectors increasingly inappropriate and calls for a coherent regulatory regime.

In this context, this Communication presents a review of the current regulatory framework for communications and responds to the need for a more horizontal approach to regulation of communications infrastructure revealed in the course of the consultation on convergence. It also takes account of the key ideas in, for example, the consultation on the Radio Spectrum Green Paper, the report on the development of the market for digital television in the European Union and the fifth report on the implementation of the telecommunications regulatory package.

Five principles will underpin the new regulatory framework and govern regulatory action at Community and national level. They are that the future regulation should:

  • be based on clearly defined policy objectives,
  • be the minimum necessary to meet those objectives (for example by introducing mechanisms to reduce regulation further where policy objectives are achieved by competition),
  • further enhance legal certainty in a dynamic market,
  • aim to be technologically neutral (not to impose, nor discriminate in favour of the use of a particular type of technology, but ensure that the same service is regulated in an equivalent manner, irrespective of the means by which it is delivered),
  • be enforced as closely as possible to the activities being regulated (whether regulation has been agreed globally, regionally or nationally).

Taking into account the five principles, the Commission sees the new regulatory framework structured along the following lines:

  • Community sector-specific legislation. This will consist of a Framework Directive identifying general and specific policy objectives, and four specific directives on licensing, access and interconnection, universal service, privacy and data protection. (This represents a substantial simplification of the current framework, reducing the number of legal measures from twenty to six).
  • Non-binding accompanying measures.
  • Competition rules: greater reliance on the general competition rules of the Treaty, allowing much of the sectoral regulation to be replaced as competition becomes effective.

In parallel, the Directives based on Article 86 of the Treaty will be simplified and codified into one legal measure.

Starting from these general principles, this Communication sets out the Commission’s provisional positions on each area of its regulatory policy, and seeks the views of all interested parties on its proposals by 15 February 2000. In the light of the comments received, the Commission will produce proposals to amend the current framework in the first half of 2000.

With regard to binding, sector-specific legislation, the future regulatory framework provides for the elaboration of a new Framework Directive which will, inter alia:

  • identify specific policy objectives for Member States,
  • guarantee specific consumer rights (for example dispute resolution procedures, emergency call numbers, increased transparency and access to information, etc.),
  • ensure an appropriate level of interoperability for communications services and equipment,
  • set out the rights, responsibilities, decision making powers and procedures of NRAs (National Regulatory Authorities),
  • establish and lay down rules for the new Communications Committee and High Level Communications Group.

The Framework Directive will be accompanied by four specific directives based on Article 95 of the Treaty:

  • Directive on authorisations and licensing (including rules for the effective management of, and access to, scarce resources),
  • Directive on the provision of universal service, incorporating elements of the current Voice Telephony Directive and Interconnection Directive,
  • Directive on access and interconnection (based on the current Interconnection Directive and the TV Standards Directive),
  • Directive on data processing and protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (directive updated and clarified to take account of technological developments.

Competition Law will become increasingly important in this sector and replace much of the sectoral regulation once competition becomes established on the market.

This Communication also proposes substantial amendments to existing legislation designed to deal with problems relevant to the new regulatory framework.
These changes concern the following aspects:

Licences and authorisations

The Commission stresses the need to reduce administrative barriers to market entry with a view to promoting a competitive European market for telecommunications services. In particular, it proposes:

  • using general authorisations as the basis for licensing communication networks and services, with specific authorisations reserved for the assignment of radio spectrum and numbers,
  • applying a complete and coherent policy framework to communications infrastructure, including broadcasting networks,
  • ensuring that the fees for authorisations cover only justifiable and relevant administrative costs,
  • continuing to authorise the communications services provided via the Internet in an equivalent manner to other communications services (i.e. no specific regulation for the Internet).

Access and interconnection

In Community legislation, “access” is a generic concept covering all forms of access to publicly available networks and services, whereas “interconnection” refers to the physical and logical linking of networks. Rules for access and interconnection ensure interoperability and are essential to allow competition to become established. The Commission recognises the fundamental importance of the provision of access and interconnection services, and therefore proposes:

  • maintaining specific Community measures which cover both access and interconnection, building on the principles set out in the Interconnection Directive and the TV Standards Directive,
  • in the case of access to network infrastructure, placing responsibility on National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to deal with specific access issues; requiring infrastructure owners with significant market power to negotiate on commercial terms in respect of requests for access; maintaining the possibility of NRA intervention to resolve disputes,
  • in the case of interconnection, maintaining the requirement for cost-orientated interconnection in directives (hard law) but interpreting this concept through Commission recommendations,
  • drawing up Recommendations on access, where appropriate, in particular a Recommendation to Member States on the technical and economic aspects of local loop unbundling (local loops are the links connecting customers’ premises to a telecommunications network). The Commission takes the view that the availability of unbundled access to local loops would strengthen competition and could also speed up the introduction of Internet access services. In this context, it adopted a Recommendation on the interconnection of leased lines on 24 November which, inter alia, encourages Member States to take measures (such as unbundling the local loop and licensing wireless local loops) to increase competition for access to the local network,
  • extending the current standardisation framework for telecoms to cover all communications infrastructure and associated services,
  • making carrier selection (a form of network access mandatory for fixed networks under the current regulatory framework for interconnection) available to mobile users by placing obligations on mobile operators with significant market power.

Management of radio spectrum

Given the considerable demand for the use of the radio spectrum in a number of sectors such as telecommunications, but also transport, public safety, broadcasting and R&D, the current methods of allocating frequencies and licences are proving inefficient. In the light of the importance of the radio spectrum for the development of communications services, and its limited availability, the Commission takes the view that

  • administrative pricing and auctioning of radio spectrum can be a means of ensuring an efficient use of the spectrum,
  • the provisions of the current Licensing Directive should be amended to permit Member States to make provision for radio spectrum secondary trading to encourage the efficient use of radio spectrum.

Universal service

The current regulatory framework requires NRAs to place obligations on network operators to ensure that a defined minimum set of services of a specified quality are available to all, independent of their geographical location, at an affordable price. Universal service, as currently defined in Community legislation, includes the provision of voice telephony, fax and voice band data transmission via modems (i.e. access to the Internet).

The Commission recognises the importance of universal service and proposes:

  • maintaining the current definition and scope of universal service at this stage (but proposes to define criteria for its possible extension, as well as mechanisms for periodic review),
  • developing pricing principles at EU level to ensure the affordability of universal service.

The interests of users and consumers

The current regulatory framework contains a number of provisions which aim to protect the interests of users and consumers in general. There are also a number of horizontal consumer protection directives at European level which apply to all sectors, including telecommunications. In this sector, the Commission proposes:

  • updating and clarifying the Telecoms Data Protection Directive to take account of technological developments
  • making the extension of the European emergency call number 112 obligatory,
  • maintaining and consolidating existing obligations with regard to complaint handling and dispute settlement procedures,
  • increasing the transparency of information (particularly on tariffs) for consumers,
  • requiring suppliers to publish information on quality of service,
  • repealing the Leased Lines Directive 92/44/EC once there is adequate choice of leased lines for all users and leased line prices are competitive.

Numbering, naming and addressing

Current Community legislation identifies elements of a harmonised approach to numbering, naming and addressing, and stresses the importance of guaranteeing Europe-wide end-to-end interconnection of users and interoperability of services. In this connection, the Commission proposes:

  • not to pursue specific regulatory measures at this stage, with respect to Internet naming and addressing,
  • extending the availability of operator number portability to mobile users, but not to require operator number portability between fixed and mobile networks at this stage.

Specific competition issues

Sector-specific rules, in conjunction with the application of competition rules, facilitate market entry where the incumbent operators continue to have strong positions, and serve to ensure that new entrants can compete effectively. The key issue is therefore to establish the right balance between sector-specific regulation and the competition rules. In particular, it will be appropriate for sector-specific regulation to make more use of competition law concepts like dominant position, under Article 82 of the Treaty, for example in the case of cost-orientation and non-discrimination obligations.

Institutional issues

The regulatory model outlined in this Communication implies increased delegation of decision-making to NRAs with a view to ensuring the implementation of the framework as close as possible to the market in the Member States. The model thus requires a balancing mechanism in the form of greater coordination of the decisions and views of NRAs at European Union level.

In this context, the Commission proposes:

  • replacing the existing two telecommunications committees with a new Communications Committee, drawing on the expertise of a new High Level Communications Group involving the Commission and NRAs to help improve the consistent application of Community legislation and maximise the uniform application of national measures;
  • reviewing existing legal provisions with a view to strengthening the independence of NRAs, ensuring an effective division of responsibilities between the different institutions at national level, improving cooperation between sector-specific and general competition authorities, requiring transparent decision-making procedures at national level.

4) Implementing Measures

Communication – COM(2000) 239 final
Commission communication on the results of the public consultation on the 1999 communications review and orientations for the new regulatory framework

The consultation highlighted broad agreement in respect of some policy proposals and differing views in respect of others. A large majority of interested parties are in favour of the following proposals:

  • maintaining sector specific regulation in parallel with competition policy and abolishing it once objectives have been met;
  • guiding NRAs;
  • decision-making at national level by implementing the regulatory objectives proposed in the communication;
  • covering all communications infrastructure and associated services;
  • achieving greater harmonisation of regulation in the Member States;
  • extending the use of general authorisations for the provision of communications services and networks;
  • ensuring more efficient management of radio spectrum and establishing a group of experts on radio spectrum policy;
  • maintaining the currect scope of universal service;
  • ensuring the availability of local loop unbundling in all Member States;
  • maintaining the current framework for standardisation;
  • updating the current Telecoms Data Protection Directive;
  • withdrawing the Leased Lines Directive once there is adequate competitive supply of leased lines for all consumers;
  • setting out rules for defining markets dynamically when considering obligations for access and interconnection;
  • providing for strong and independent NRAs.

Areas where there were differing views are as follows:

  • funding of NRAs via licence fees;
  • method of selling spectrum and the possibility of allowing secondary trading of spectrum;
  • the proposal to introduce two thresholds for asymmetric obligations in respect of access and interconnection (significant market power (SMP) and dominance);
  • guidelines for affordability of universal service;
  • number portability for mobile users;
  • institutional arrangements (difference of opinion concerning the role of the communications committee and the high-level communications group);
  • areas where specific authorisations are required;
  • user facilities (such as caller location for emergency calls, per call tariff transparency) and quality of service (NRA intervention on quality of service issues).

On the basis of all these considerations, the Commission will propose five Directives in June 2000, comprising a framework Directive and four other specific Directives covering licensing and authorisations, access and interconnection, universal service consumers’ and users’ rights and telecoms data protection. The main principles that the Commission will take into account are as follows:

  • the guidelines already set out in the communication on the review of the regulatory framework;
  • a broad scope taking account of infrastructure and associated services;
  • a system for granting general authorisations;
  • modification of the notion of significant market power;
  • clear definition of the markets where ex ante regulation is required;
  • protection of consumers’ and users’ rights;
  • number portability;
  • revision of the Directive on personal data;
  • access to caller location information for calls to emergency services.

5) Follow-Up Work

Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) [Official Journal L 201 of 31 July 2002]

Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework Directive) [Official Journal L 108 of 24.04.2002]

Directive 2002/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services (Authorisation Directive) [Official Journal L 108 of 24.04.2002]

Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive) [Official Journal L 108 of 24.04.2002]

Directive 2002/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities (Access Directive) [Official Journal L 108 of 24.04.2002]

Decision 676/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy in the European Community (Radio Spectrum Decision) [Official Journal L 108 of 24.04.2002]

 

ESafety: the use of information and communication technology for road safety

eSafety: the use of information and communication technology for road safety

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about eSafety: the use of information and communication technology for road safety

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

eSafety: the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for road safety

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 September 2003 on Information and Communications Technologies for Safe and Intelligent Vehicles [COM(2003) 542 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

Transport provides for a basic need: mobility. As the number of cars on the road increases, their safety is constantly increased. Nevertheless, 40 000 people still die in road accidents each year which are the main cause of death for people under the age of 45 in Europe. Against this background, new measures are needed to achieve the main objective of the European Action Programme for Road Safety which is to reduce by half the number of road fatalities by 2010.

In order to achieve this objective, the Commission is banking on new information and communications technologies (ICT). Aware of the possibilities which ICT offers, the European Commission has launched the eSafety initiative which is intended to bring together all the stakeholders in order to work out recommendations and actions at EU level. The final report of the eSafety working group [PDF ] indicates that intelligent car safety systems offer the best prospects for ICT applications. Through this Communication, the Commission outlines its intention to support the development and as broad a dissemination as possible of these systems.

ICT in vehicles: a modern safety system

Accident prevention measures focused on the driver and the vehicle have led to a steady reduction of the number of fatalities on European roads. However, these “conventional” safety measures are reaching their limits. Bearing this in mind, the Commission emphasises the need to develop modern ICT-based safety systems.

In view of the progress already made in developing intelligent safety systems through research and technological development (RTD), the Commission intends to turn it into an area of priority action in RTD.

Intelligent car safety systems reduce the proportion of accidents due to the human factor (95%). These systems make use of ICT to provide solutions for improving road safety in particular in the pre-crash phase. These systems operate either autonomously on board the vehicle or co-operatively through vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. They make it possible to ensure safe speed, lane support, safe following, pedestrian protection, improved vision, driver monitoring and intersection safety. Their two major contributions are that they prevent collisions during lane changes or lane departure and provide vehicles with an automatic emergency call system (eCall).

Support for the car industry

Because of the laws of the market and car manufacturers’ need for profitability, the development and deployment of such large-scale intelligent safety systems cannot be left to the market alone. The fact is that these technologies place serious constraints on the car industry, entailing higher production costs, energy consumption and vehicle weight.

Moreover, developing integrated intelligent road safety systems requires the involvement of many other actors such as telecommunications operators, equipment manufacturers, service providers, motorway managers, road authorities, insurance companies, road safety organisations and user associations.

Against this background, it is the Commission’s view that the European, national and regional public authorities should lend their support to the private sector (in particular to the car industry) to ensure the wide-spread sale and distribution of intelligent vehicles.

Public support can take various forms: promoting standardisation, launching awareness and information campaigns or providing financial incentives.

Actions envisaged by the Commission

To provide support, the Commission proposes actions in the following three categories:

  • promoting intelligent vehicle safety systems:

– continue support for the eSafety forum which is intended to become an autonomous platform;

– clearly defining the objectives and priorities of further RTD;

– designing new human-machine interaction devices;

– promoting an on-board automatic emergency call system (eCall) as a harmonised and pan-European system similar to the E112 location-based emergency call number;

– closely monitoring progress made in the provision of real-time traffic and travel information (RTTI);

  • adapting the regulatory and standardisation provisions:

– removing legal barriers hampering time-limited use of short-range radar, in particular with regard to harmonised access to the radio spectrum in the EU;

– improving current legislation on EC vehicle type approval;

– inviting the European standardisation bodies to establish priorities and draw up a standardisation programme;

  • removing the societal and business obstacles:

– assessing the socio-economic benefits;

– supporting the compilation of the European code of good practice and carrying out cost-benefit analysis of intelligent car safety systems;

– promoting private and public sector road maps.

The Commission also intends to participate in the following actions undertaken by the private sector:

  • developing a methodology to assess the potential impact of introducing intelligent vehicle safety systems;
  • developing validation methodology and procedures for vehicles equipped with such systems;
  • defining, producing, maintaining and certifying a European digital map database with road safety attributes.

The Commission will support these activities through RTD financing instruments. The eSafety forum will monitor the implementation of the actions and recommendations of the working groups and submit reports on this activity.

Related Acts

SUBSEQUENT eSAFETY COMMUNICATIONS

Communication from the Commission of 15 February 2006 on the Intelligent Car Initiative – Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles [COM(2006) 59 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The purpose of this third eSafety Communication on the Intelligent Car Initiative is to respond to societal problems linked to road transport, particularly in terms of accidents and traffic congestion.

Communication from the Commission of 14 September 2005 – The 2nd eSafety Communication – Bringing eCall to Citizens [COM(2005) 431 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this Communication, the Commission calls on national and regional authorities to carry out the actions and investments needed to ensure the functioning of eCall. eCall is a pan-European in-vehicle emergency call service using the European emergency call number 112 in the event of an accident.

TRANSPORT AND ROAD SAFETY

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 2 May 2003: European Road Safety Action Programme – Halving the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010: A shared responsibility [COM(2003) 311 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001: European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to Decide [COM(2001) 370 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 9 March 1997: Promoting Road Safety in the EU – The Programme for 1997-2001 [COM(97) 131 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Communication to the Council of 9 June 1993: Action Programme on Road Safety [COM(93) 246 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

 

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 13 July 2007 – Interconnecting Africa: the EU-Africa partnership on infrastructure [COM(2006) 376 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Infrastructure in Africa: state of play

Limited access to transport, telecommunications, and energy and drinking-water services constitutes an important obstacle to reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. The development of suitable infrastructure and related services will make it possible to increase economic growth and stimulate trade and regional integration.

African transport systems remain underdeveloped, the movement of persons and goods being based essentially on road transport, with its insufficient connections and services. The continent’s energy potential, while high, is not used efficiently. Water resources are unequally distributed and subject to significant seasonal fluctuations; moreover, most of the population does not have access to drinking water and to basic sanitation. Lastly, access to telecommunications services is costly and patchy, with the African digital divide being the highest in the world.

In the 1990s, African governments and European Union (EU) Member States gradually reduced the resources allocated to developing infrastructure in the continent. More investment is therefore needed. The EU intends to pursue the progress that has already been made thanks to cooperation between the Commission, African governments and other donors. For example, the development of trade and regional economic integration have benefited from the improvement of the primary road network and seaports.

A partnership for meeting challenges

Faced with these challenges, the EU is launching a partnership with Africa for the development of large infrastructure networks in the continent. The partnership is based on the EU strategy for Africa and on the objectives defined by the short-term action plan in the field of infrastructure (i-STAP) of the African Union (AU) and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development).

The partnership is based mainly on infrastructure allowing interconnection at continental and regional level in Africa, namely:

  • transport (road and railway networks, ports, maritime and river routes, air transport), in order to reduce costs and improve the quality of services;
  • water and sanitation networks, in order to improve the management of water resources at local, national and cross-border basin level, and also access to drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities;
  • energy, in order to allow network extension, distribution in rural areas and improvement of cross-border connections;
  • information and communication technologies (ICT), to ensure adequate access to affordable technologies by supporting regulatory reform, capacity building and broadband infrastructure development.

The partnership supports physical infrastructure investment, institutional development measures and capacity building, as well as support measures for the political and regulatory framework at national level.

Africa could also benefit from the experience acquired by the EU through the development of Trans-European Networks (TENs) of regional infrastructure, in particular, the methodology for identifying priority projects and the principles for consensus-building on the harmonisation of regulatory frameworks.

Partnership operations are guided by a desire for coherence between investments at continental and regional level and national strategies for the development of infrastructure and combating poverty. The partnership therefore functions at three levels:

  • at the continental level, UA-NEPAD coordinates continental and regional priority setting;
  • at the regional level, regional indicative programmes support the policy and regulatory frameworks accompanying physical investments;
  • at the national level, UA-NEPAD and EU delegations jointly supervise national actions contributing to the achievement of partnership objectives.

The funding of operations under the partnership is based on several instruments:

  • the regional and national allocations under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), i.e. €5.6 billion. This amount represents a significant increase in the resources allocated thus far by the EDF to African infrastructures (€3.75 billion under the 9th EDF);
  • intra-ACP resources, including those allocated through the energy and water facilities.
  • the new fiduciary fund set up by the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB), aimed at cross-border infrastructure investments in particular. This fund is co-financed by the Commission, the Member States concerned and European and African financial development institutions. During the initial phase (2006-2007), the fund was credited with €87 million, which will be allocated in the form of grants from the Community and Member States, and another €260 million to be allocated in the form of loans by the EIB.

In order to ensure the success of the partnership, effective coordination between the Commission, Member States and other international initiatives and organisations such as the World Bank and the EIB is necessary. This coordination should bolster ownership of projects by beneficiaries, in particular through political commitment by governments to applying good governance in all infrastructure sectors. Private sector participation in the partnership is also encouraged.


Key figures of the Act
  • Total population of Africa with no access to drinking water: 42 %.
  • Total population with no access to basic sanitation: 60 %.
  • Total population with no access to electricity: more than 80%.
  • Total potential hydroelectric capacity converted into electricity: 7 %.

Council Resolution on eLearning

Council Resolution on eLearning

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Council Resolution on eLearning

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Council Resolution on eLearning

Document or Iniciative

Council Resolution of 13 July 2001 on eLearning [Official Journal C 204 of 20.07.2001].

Summary

The Stockholm European Council (23-24 March 2001) reaffirmed that improving basic skills, particularly information technology (IT) skills, is a top priority for the European Union (EU).

Actions required of EU countries and the Commission

The resolution calls on EU countries to:

  • continue their efforts concerning the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems and the initial and in-service training of teachers and trainers;
  • capitalise on the potential of the Internet, multimedia and virtual lifelong learning environments;
  • speed up the integration of ICT and the revision of school and higher education curricula;
  • encourage those in charge of schools to integrate and manage ICT effectively;
  • ensure more rapid provision of equipment and of a quality infrastructure for education and training;
  • encourage the development of high-quality digital teaching and learning materials to ensure the quality of resources available online;
  • take advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT for facilitating access to cultural resources, such as libraries, museums and archives;
  • support the development and adaptation of innovative teaching that incorporates the use of technologies;
  • take advantage of the communication potential offered by ICT to foster European awareness;
  • support virtual forums for cooperation and exchange of information;
  • capitalise on the experience gained from initiatives such as European School Net and European Network of Teacher Education Policies;
  • foster the European dimension of the joint development of higher education curricula;
  • enhance research in eLearning;
  • promote partnerships between the public and private sectors;
  • monitor and analyse the process of integration and the use of ICT in teaching.

This resolution also invites the Commission to:

  • pay particular attention to the implementation of the eLearning action plan and to the concrete future objectives of education and training systems;
  • support existing European portals in order to promote collaboration and exchange of experiences in the area of eLearning and pedagogical development;
  • implement support actions at European level to ensure that experiences are shared, to establish cross-border links and to encourage information and communication measures;
  • consider together with EU countries whether the eSchola initiative could develop into an ongoing activity;
  • support the testing of new learning environments and approaches;
  • undertake strategic studies on innovative approaches in education;
  • intensify research, experimentation and evaluation relating to the pedagogical, socio-economic and technological dimensions of ICT;
  • support the development of European multilingual educational resources, platforms and services;
  • report to the Council on the results of these activities no later than December 2002. An interim report shall also be presented to the Council in November 2001.

Background

The institutions’ interest in new technologies indicates that the importance of these technologies is increasing. Since the Lisbon European Council (23-24 March 2000), which set the strategic goal of creating a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy and specific objectives relating to ICT and education, several initiatives have been taken: the 2001 employment guidelines, the resolution relating to educational multimedia software, the communication on eLearning and the eLearning action plan. More recently, the Stockholm Council (23-24 March 2001) reaffirmed that improving basic skills, particularly IT skills, is a top priority for the EU.

Related Acts

Decision No 2318/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 adopting a multiannual programme (2004 to 2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning Programme) [Official Journal L 345 of 31.12.2003].

European e-Justice Strategy

European e-Justice Strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European e-Justice Strategy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

European e-Justice Strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 30 May 2008 – Towards a European e-Justice Strategy [COM(2008) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication presents a strategy for e-Justice, which is to improve judicial cooperation on both the national and European levels. e-Justice refers to the judicial systems’ application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their administrative procedures. It enhances these systems’ functional and financial effectiveness, the collaboration between legal authorities, as well as citizens’ access to justice. With this strategy, the Commission aims to encourage the operational priority projects, the decentralisation of the ICT architectures and the implementation of the existing legal instruments.

Several projects that improve the diffusion of information have already been established at national and European levels. To strengthen the exchange of best practices resulting from these projects, the Commission intends to create an e-Justice sub-group within the Justice Forum, which will enhance cooperation among national judicial systems as well as among legal professionals.

In order to also promote European Union (EU) judicial action, with a view to making it more understandable, accessible and efficient, the Commission intends to support Member States in developing appropriate tools. In addition, the Commission intends to develop electronic tools that aim to improve access to justice and collaboration among the relevant stakeholders, as well as to attain a higher level of system interoperability and economies of scale.

The EU’s priorities for action consist of providing citizens with easier access to judicial information and of boosting judicial cooperation. With regard to the first, the Commission will create an e-Justice portal, which will have a minimum of three functions:

  • giving access to information concerning judicial systems and procedures, as well as to practical information concerning the competent authorities and methods of obtaining legal aid;
  • referring users to the Internet sites of European legal institutions, networks and registers;
  • providing a direct access to selected European procedures; in the long-term the judicial procedures could be fully electronic.

5. For judicial cooperation, the Commission will develop electronic tools on the basis of the existing legal networks and Eurojust. Information and training on these tools will be developed in collaboration with the competent national and European training establishments, such as the European judicial training network. More specifically, to improve judicial cooperation, the Commission intends to:

  • continue the work on interconnecting the criminal records of Member States;
  • develop the existing instruments to create a secure network for judicial authorities to share and exchange information of confidential nature;
  • promote the use of videoconferencing in cross-border civil or criminal judicial proceedings by endorsing efforts made at national level, while coordinating at European level to ensure interoperability;
  • providing aid with regard to translation by developing automated translation tools, establishing a database of qualified legal translators and interpreters and creating standardised online forms for automatic translation.

A draft action plan that provides a timetable for the Commission’s priority actions is annexed to this Communication. The development of the e-Justice related projects will be covered by the Civil Justice and Criminal Justice financial programmes. The Commission will be responsible for coordinating the actions and for promoting the exchange of best practices among Member States.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internet of Things

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Internet of Things

2 emissions through the development in particular of health monitoring systems, connected trees and cars. The interconnection of physical objects will generate a genuine paradigm shift for society.

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 18 June 2009 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Internet of Things: an action plan for Europe [COM(2009) 0278 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication presents the perspectives and challenges for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Definition and existing applications of IoT

IoT is composed of a series of new independent systems operating with their own infrastructures which are partly based on existing Internet infrastructures. IoT can be implemented in symbiosis with new services. It covers three types of communication which can be established in restricted areas (‘intranet of things’) or made publicly accessible (‘Internet of things’):

  • things-to-person;
  • thing-to-thing;
  • Machine-to-Machine (M2M).

IoT currently covers several applications such as:

  • web-enabled mobile phones equipped with cameras;
  • unique serial numbers or bar-codes on pharmaceutical products;
  • smart electrical metering systems which provide a consumption report in real time;
  • ‘intelligent objects’ in the logistics sector (eFreight), manufacturing or retail.

The challenges of public governance

According to the European Commission, policymakers should also participate in the development of IoT alongside the private sector. Some challenges are indeed policy-related, as highlighted by the World Summit on the Information Society, which encourages IoT governance designed and exercised in a coherent manner with all the public policy activities related to Internet Governance.

Many questions concerning the implementation of the connection of objects arise such as:

  • object naming;
  • the authority responsible for assigning the identifier;
  • ways to find information about the object;
  • how information security is ensured;
  • the ethical and legal framework of IoT;
  • control mechanisms.

Faced with these challenges, the Commission proposes to prepare a set of principles underlying the governance of IoT, as well as a decentralised management structure.

Principles underlying the governance of IoT

The development of IoT must not take place to the detriment of privacy and personal data protection. In this regard, the Commission intends to publish a Communication on privacy and trust in the information society, as well as launching a debate on the freedom for individuals to disconnect from a network at any time.

In order to safeguard information security, the Commission proposes to step up monitoring and protection of critical information infrastructure.

Regarding standardisation, the Commission considers it sensible to take advantage of the deployment of Ipv6, making it possible to directly address objects. The Commission also intends to assess existing standards mandates which may include some issues related to IoT, or create others if necessary.

In the field of research and development, IoT represents a considerable challenge, insofar as it is related to wide societal problems. In this regard, the Commission will fund research projects in the field of IoT under the Seventh Framework Programme. Furthermore, IoT may also have a role to play in the four public-private partnerships set up by the Commission in the following areas:

  • ‘green cars’;
  • ‘energy-efficient buildings’;
  • ‘factories of the future’;
  • ‘Future Internet’.

These research activities are to be supplemented by the launch of pilot projects under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). These pilots should help to promote activities related to e-health, e-accessibility, climate change, or helping to bridge the digital divide.

The international aspect is also essential, insofar as the Commission intends to intensify dialogue with its international partners in order to establish benchmarks for common principles in the field of IoT.

Waste recycling should be facilitated by the implementation of IoT through tags which will make objects easier to distinguish during the process.

The Commission is currently concentrating its work more particularly on the availability of appropriate radio spectrum resources and on electromagnetic fields.

Context

The Internet has reached a turning point in its development. A network of interconnected computers is to evolve into a network of interconnected objects such as books, cars or electrical appliances. Although IoT is not yet actually implemented, this Communication gives an indication of the technology to come over the next 15 years.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Internet governance: the next steps

Internet governance: the next steps

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internet governance: the next steps

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Internet governance: the next steps

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 June 2009 – Internet governance: the next steps [COM(2009) 277 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication gives details of existing Internet governance systems and future action in this field.

Internet: architecture and operation

Internet stems from the world of academia and research. Originally, governance was established on a closed model, carried out by engineers and scientists.

Over time, the architecture has gradually opened up, to the benefit of new stakeholders and individual users.

The Internet is now based on an open architecture which is neutral and distributed. This structure constitutes an advantage in terms of security since any localised failure is less likely to interfere with traffic elsewhere.

The private sector has been in the forefront since the Internet began. It provides the investment, expertise and entrepreneurial initiative which foster innovation. The private sector operates most of the international backbone infrastructure, the national cable networks, and provides services that facilitate and manage traffic.

The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), a private body, has developed certain technical rules for the functioning of the Internet. RIPE NCC, another private entity, is responsible for assigning IP addresses at regional level.

The role of governments

Given the increasing role of the Internet in society, it is important that governments play a more active role in its development process.

The financial crisis of October 2008 has also changed public attitudes towards the concept of self-regulation. The public now aspires to more involvement on the part of public authorities in promoting the public interest.

However, the private sector must continue to play its role with regard to the daily management and development of the Internet.

The role of the European Union (EU)

The EU has been at the forefront of the discussions on Internet governance, particularly at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) between 2003 and 2005.

The EU was also a leading actor in the international discussions which contributed to setting up the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The EU also highlights the importance of bridging the ‘digital divide’ and taking into account the interests of users in developing countries in Internet governance arrangements.

The EU puts forward the following key principles concerning Internet governance:

  • the core architecture should be respected;
  • the private sector should retain a leading role;
  • there should be multi-stakeholder participation;
  • governments should participate more actively;
  • inclusion should be a basic principle.

Assigning Internet names and addresses

The coordination of resources with regard to names and addresses is a key element in the functioning of the Internet. Originally, the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) was responsible for assigning Internet names and addresses.

Given the development of the Internet, the American government decided, in the late 1990s, to contract some of the services provided by IANA from ICANN. This organisation operates according to the principle of self-regulation, whilst being responsible to the international community.

The American government agreement with ICANN ended in 2006, replaced by the JPA (Joint Project Agreement (pdf ).

ICANN succeeded in maintaining the stability of the Domain Name System for ten years and encouraged a participative decision-making process. However, some criticisms were made concerning its lack of representativeness and its monopolistic tendencies.

The next steps

The Commission encourages international partners to promote intergovernmental cooperation and dialogue in order to implement public policy principles in cooperation with the EU.

ICANN is also encouraged to complete its internal reforms in order to improve its transparency. It is, moreover, necessary that multilateral accountability should apply to ICANN.

Context

Internet governance is an absolute priority in terms of public policy. The EU has a leading role to play since it includes nearly 19 % of the world’s Internet users.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

ICT infrastructures for e-science

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICT infrastructures for e-science

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – ICT infrastructures for e-science [COM(2009) 108 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at developing the infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs), also known as “e-Infrastructures”, in the area of e-science.

The potential of e-Infrastructures

The performance of information technology is constantly improving with regard to computation capacity, storage capacity and network speed. It allows new needs to be met in terms of modelling and simulation in sectors such as research into climate change or targeted healthcare but generates problems when designing e-Infrastructures.

It is therefore necessary to adopt ICTs to each phase of the scientific process, so that researchers can work together efficiently. This adoption will also allow the scope of research to be extended, which should generate, in the long term, a scientific renaissance and contribute to the success of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs.

The current position of e-Infrastructures

The European Commission’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development has promoted the development and deployment of e-Infrastructures, in order to strengthen scientific excellence, and to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.

 GEANT is the world’s largest multi-gigabit communication network for researchers and educators. In Europe, GEANT is widely used and connects 34 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

E-science grids (devoted to subjects such as high-energy physics and bioinformatics) are also present in Europe, in particular through EGEE which operates a multi-disciplinary grid with over 80 000 computers on 300 sites in 50 countries worldwide.

Scientific data necessitates new tools and methods. Projects are being developed in Europe so that all scientific content resources are accessible through e-Infrastructure services.

A new supercomputer infrastructure has been identified by ESFRI as a priority to improve European scientific performance and meet socio-economic challenges. The combined action of Member States and the Commission will generate the creation of PRACE, a new European e-Infrastructure dedicated to high-performance computing.

Global Virtual Research Communities are growing fast, which is opening up new perspectives for collaboration in the field of research on a worldwide scale.

European strategy for e-Infrastructures

The Commission proposes a renewed strategy to meet the challenges of e-science for 2020 and beyond. Three interrelated vectors are key to this strategy:

  • attaining worldwide leadership in e-science;
  • establishing e-Infrastructures;
  • exploiting these e-Infrastructures in order to promote innovation.

GEANT must continue to increase its performance in collaboration with NRENs, so as to facilitate access to resources and equipment for researchers, educators and students. Both developed and developing regions must be covered. In this regard, Member States must prioritise the use of GEANT as an experimental platform.

Industry is to be invited to use European e-Science grids. To this end, Member States must develop National Grid Initiatives (NGIs). The European Commission plans to facilitate interaction between European e-Science grids and global grids.

Access to scientific information must be improved by developing data-centric science. Member States thus have a duty to invest in the field of scientific data infrastructures and exchange best practice.

A new generation of supercomputing facilities must be implemented. The European Union must comply with the ESFRI objectives which aim to achieve peta-flop performance by 2010 and move towards exa-scale computing in 2020. Research and development in software and hardware must therefore be intensified so as to implement supercomputers. The preparatory work carried out by PRACE is a starting point for Member States that are also invited to invest in associated research fields. In the mid-term, the Commission will prepare a European scientific agenda in the field of supercomputing, covering the components, systems, software and services required.

Member States are also requested to fully exploit infrastructures to serve science and research. The objective is to host global virtual research communities.

Context

A new vision for the European Research Area based on the free movement of knowledge (the “fifth freedom”) was defined at the 2008 Ljubljana Council meeting. Moreover, the Aho Report of May 2008 highlighted the importance of developing infrastructures that would allow e-science to be disseminated. This indeed represents a new scientific revolution. It is essential for the European Union to be at the cutting edge of innovation in this field.

Standardisation: information technology and telecommunications

Standardisation: information technology and telecommunications

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Standardisation: information technology and telecommunications

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Standardisation: information technology and telecommunications

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 87/95/EEC of 22 December 1986 on standardisation in the field of information technology and telecommunications [See amending acts]

Summary

This decision aims to implement a Community policy on standardisation in the field of information technology and telecommunications.

Objectives

Standardisation measures help to facilitate the exchange of information throughout the EC. They reduce the obstacles created by incompatibilities arising from the absence of standards.

Proposed measures

Specific measures are proposed to:

  • promote standardisation in Europe;
  • draw up and apply standards in the field of ICT;
  • draw up and apply functional specifications in the field of telecommunications.

Actions

The provisions of the decision aim to draw up and establish European standards * and functional specifications. The European standards institutions and European technical bodies in the information technology and telecommunications sector base their work on international standards *.

These same bodies are invited to prepare technical specifications which will form the basis of European standards to make up for the absence of international standards.

The Member States are also required to take measures to:

  • facilitate the application of the standards and functional specifications through coordination between Member States;
  • promote the application of standards and functional specifications relating to public sector orders and technical regulations.

In the context of differences between existing national procedures, the Member States are required to make reference to:

  • European standards and European pre-standards *;
  • international standards when accepted in the country of the contracting authority, in public procurement orders relating to information technology and telecommunications.
Key terms used in the act
  • Standard: a technical specification approved by a recognised standards body for repeated or continuous application, compliance with which is not compulsory.
  • International standard: a standard adopted by a recognised international standards body.
  • European standard: a standard which has been approved pursuant to the statutes of the standards bodies with which the Community has concluded agreements.
  • European pre-standard: a standard adopted under the reference (EPS) in accordance with the statutory rules of the standards bodies with which the Community has concluded agreements.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 87/95/EEC 07.02.1988 OJ L 36 of 07.02.1987
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 807/2003 [Procedure CNS/2001/0316] 05.06.2003 OJ L 122 of 16.05.2003

Related Acts

Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity [Official Journal L 91 of 07.04.1999]

This Directive establishes a regulatory framework for the placing on the market, free movement and putting into service in the EU of radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment.

Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations [Official Journal L 204 of 21.07.1998]

This Directive aims to eliminate or reduce the barriers to the free movement of goods which can arise from the adoption of different national technical regulations.