Saturday, 2 January 2010

European Digital Agenda: EU Council presidency trio Spain, Belgium and Hungary

In the blog post European Digital Agenda in 2010 on first day of Spanish EU Council presidency (1 January 2010), we mentioned the TTE Council’s 18 December 2009 conclusions on the post i2010 information society strategy for the European Union and tried to find out how they would be carried on by the Spanish presidency in 2010. The summary of Spain’s work programme was far from conclusive, so we advanced to the [Draft] programme of the presidency trio.

Now is the time to look for more detail in the programme of the presidency trio from January 2010 to June 2011, Spain, Belgium and Hungary: [Draft] 18 month programme of the Council (document 16771/09; 89 pages).

Presidency trio programme

Part I Strategic framework

The post-i2010 strategy (the European Digital Agenda) has to be seen in the context of economic reform issues (EU 2020).

The revision of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs is a major priority (page 6).

The following paragraph evokes issues fairly close to the information society (European Digital Agenda)(page 7):

Research&Development&Innovation should continue to play a key role in this respect, on the basis of the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. Full use should also be made of a strong and well functioning Single Market, including the full implementation of the four freedoms. Europe needs a strengthened industrial base, a modernised service sector and a thriving rural economy.

The programme welcomes the announced “EU 2020 Strategy” and a possible quality framework on services of general interest.

Part II Operational programme

Part II Operational programme starts on page 15 with General affairs – Horizontal issues. Here we find the heading The post-2010 Lisbon Strategy (EU 2020), which the three presidencies see as a key priority. They promise to take into account the work of the Reflection Group headed by Felipe González, when they design targets for growth and jobs.

The presidency trio reiterates its commitment to the internal market (page 16):

The proper functioning and deepening of the internal market is essential. It is our common goal to accomplish a fully integrated internal market where the four freedoms are properly ensured.

Under Economic and financial affairs, the Post-2010 Lisbon strategy reappears on page 24:

The renewal of the Lisbon strategy is a comprehensive task involving many Council formations and stretching over the three Presidencies.

The sub-headings Innovation and intellectual property (page 30), Research & Development & Innovation (page 31), as well as Customs (including negotiations on the pluri-lateral ACTA agreement) (page 33) are among those with points in common with information society issues (European Digital Agenda).

Under Transport, telecommunications and energy, we turn to the sub-heading Telecommunication (page 43) in a future blog post.

Ralf Grahn

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