The top priority of the next six months will be to hammer out an agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on the draft regulation on roaming. The matter is urgent because the 2007 regulation, amended in 2009, expires on 30 June 2012.

The text presented by the Commission, on 6 July, proposes structural solutions for the first time, with the goal of tackling the root of the problem: the absence of competition on the roaming market. The cap on wholesale and retail prices, in place since 2007, has not succeeded in creating real competition. In parallel, the text introduces a new ceiling for retail prices for data services and maintains caps on retail prices for voice calls and SMS and on wholesale prices.

Apart from the question of reducing the gap - considered too large by certain MEPs - between retail and wholesale prices, the debate is expected to focus on implementation of the structural solution for decoupling domestic service from roaming. More specifically, the technical aspect will be addressed. Should one method be used or should there be a combination of several? Is it advisable to specify the method(s) selected in the legislative text or to keep a technologically neutral approach, as supported by a large majority of operators?


The debate on the Commission's proposal to set up a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will also be high on the Danish EU Presidency's agenda.

This mechanism, which will provide 50 billion for investments to improve European networks (transport, energy and technology) for the period 2014-2020, aims to boost growth in line with the goals of the Europe 2020' strategy. For digital technology, it proposes 9 billion (7 billion for investment in broadband internet infrastructure and the remainder for European public services and network infrastructure).

The Council and Parliament will no doubt engage in intense debate on how to share out the finance among the different areas, on the very idea of allocating public money and how to select projects for funding.

Another top priority is the Commission's proposal to amend the directive on the re-use of public sector information, presented in the framework of the strategy on open data, on 13 December. The Presidency will initiate discussions on this text to generalise the re-use of public documents for commercial or non-commercial purposes. It also lays down the principle whereby public authorities may not ask users to pay more than...

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