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Digital priorities for future of EU

Met dank overgenomen van Kroatisch voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2020 (Kroatisch voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 5 juni 2020, 8:00.
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Meeting at their second informal video conference, telecommunications ministers held a policy debate on the EU’s digital priorities in the post COVID-19 era.

The meeting was chaired by Oleg Butković, Croatian Minister for the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure. The Commission was represented by Commissioner Thierry Breton.

In the discussion, ministers were invited to reflect on three questions prepared by the presidency:

  • what are the main lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis in the digital sector and the priority aspects of the digital strategy
  • how can we ensure the EU’s competitiveness and digital sovereignty on a global scale?
  • how can we prioritise and increase investments in elements that have proven indispensable during the crisis, namely connectivity, data and digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence?

"A major share of the economy and society has shifted to digital during the pandemic. We agreed today that we should not let this opportunity pass, but make these gains permanent, through increased efforts on the digitalisation of businesses and public services as well as the security and capacity of our networks."

Oleg Butković, Croatian Minister for the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure

The presidency produced a summary of the discussion

Under any other business, the presidency briefed ministers on the state of play of current legislative files. The work carried out on the ePrivacy proposal under the Croatian presidency is summed up in a progress report that the presidency presented to the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) on 3 June 2020.

For the proposed regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and the Network of Coordination Centres, a new mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament was agreed by Coreper on 3 June. The presidency will contact the Parliament’s main negotiator to explore the possibility of organising a trilogue meeting during the remaining weeks of the Croatian presidency.

The presidency also briefed ministers on the latest developments on current non-legislative activities. On 3 June, Coreper confirmed full agreement on draft Council conclusions on shaping Europe’s digital future and decided to use a written procedure for their adoption by the Council. This written procedure will be launched today after the video conference.

The presidency also presented the state of play of the implementation of the EU toolbox on security of 5G networks.

The Commission provided an update on the development of contact tracing and warning apps in the context of COVID-19. Work continues to make these apps interoperable across borders.

The incoming German presidency presented its work programme in the area of telecommunications for the second half of 2020.

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