INFORMATION SOCIETY : EP RACING TO CONCLUDE TELECOMS PACKAGE AND THREE-WAY TALKS.

 
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Will the European Parliament be able to wrap up before the end of its term the information society proposals still on its agenda? The answer will become clear on 24 and 25 February. On those two days, MEPs will be continuing their three-way talks on electronic signature and high-speed broadband on the one hand, and on the other, they will vote in the Committee on Industry (ITRE) on the telecoms package. These meetings will be held outside the plenary session in Strasbourg.

Single digital market. Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes seems to have prodded Parliament and the Council to pick up the pace with her September 2013 presentation of proposals for a single digital market. MEPs went to work immediately, even though it was to take apart the package. The Council, on the other hand, does not intend to deal with this issue before the end of the legislature. The vote in plenary, on 2 or 3 April, will consequently prepare the ground for the next Parliament.

The political groups held technical discussions during the week of 10 February to draft compromise amendments. Questions related to the transparency of contracts seem settled. There also appears to be an agreement to replace the pan-European licence sought by the European Commission with a notification system.

A number of points still need to be settled on other aspects of the package, though. A compromise is taking shape to eliminate extra charges for transfers of calls to another member state (roaming) in 2015. A...

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