Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, 08-09/06/2017

Council of the EU

Main results

Telecommunications issues, 9 June 2017

The Council agreed on a general approach on a proposal to increase regulatory oversight and price transparency for cross-border parcel delivery services. The new rules aim to improve competition on the market and bring down prices especially for citizens and small businesses.

Ministers held a policy debate on the reform of the EU telecoms rules. The revision aims to improve fixed and mobile connectivity across Europa by encouraging investment, competition and innovation, while also providing strong consumer protection. Today's debate focussed on the desired degree of EU coordination to achieve the ambitious connectivity goals. In the debate many member states considered that increased exchange of best regulatory practices using existing structures would facilitate the roll-out of 5G mobile broadband and investment in next generation networks in general. "We have to get the new telecoms rules right if we are to deliver high-quality and very high speed connectivity for everyone," said the Maltese presidency. "Today's debate provides valuable impetus for future work to achieve this". 

Ministers also looked at the progress made on a proposal to update privacy rules for electronic communications (ePrivacy). 

In addition, the presidency briefed ministers on the state of play of two other legislative files: 

The wholesale roaming regulation was published in the EU Official Journal today. Having this regulation in place was a pre-condition for 'roam like at home' to begin on 15 June. "I invite all citizens to celebrate this by sharing their experiences with the hashtags #RoamLikeAtHome and #EURoaming," said the Maltese presidency. 

A political agreement was reached on the draft WiFi4EU regulation on EU-funded internet hotspots on 29 May. The objective is to have the WiFi4EU scheme ready as soon as possible, so that public sector bodies and citizens can quickly start benefiting from it. 

The Commission briefed ministers on the state of play of the digital single market strategy, cybersecurity issues and the latest Europe's digital progress report.

Lastly, the incoming presidency presented its work programme.

Transport issues, 8 June 2017

The Council agreed on a general approach on updated rules for the training and qualifications of professional lorry and bus drivers. The update puts greater emphasis on safety in the training and will improve recognition of qualifications obtained in another EU country.

The Council adopted two sets of conclusions: on the priorities for the EU's maritime transport policy up to 2020 and on road safety. The maritime conclusions identify competitiveness, decarbonisation and digitalisation as guiding principles for EU policy in this area. The road safety conclusions set a target of halving the number of serious injuries on roads in the EU by 2030 from the 2020 baseline. Both sets of conclusions endorse declarations adopted at informal ministerial meetings organised by the presidency in Valletta in March 2017.

"Today we discussed a large number of initiatives to make transport safer, greener and fairer. The two sets of Council conclusions will guide our maritime policy in the years to come and encourage us to redouble our efforts to improve road safety."

Maltese presidency

Ministers expressed their initial views on the mobility package unveiled by the Commission on 31 May. "While member states are still analysing these recent proposals, they generally welcomed the Commission's efforts to clarify the existing rules and step up enforcement," said the Maltese presidency. "However, some key parts of the package will need detailed assessment in respect of their social, economic and in some cases also environmental impact." 

The information items also included, among other topics, aviation security, in particular electronic items in cabin luggage, and a presentation by the Commission of its 'Open and Connected Europe' initiative, which was published today. 

As regards professional qualifications in inland waterways, the presidency highlighted the importance of transport on the inland waterways as an efficient way to alleviate congestion on the European roads and to reduce emissions in the transport sector. The presidency remains committed to finalising the negotiations with the European Parliament on this file.

Over lunch, ministers discussed work on enabling the International Maritime Organisation to adopt an ambitious initial strategy in 2018 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships as agreed in October 2016.

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