The Spanish EU Presidency intends to focus on the future European digital agenda action plan'. With this in mind, Madrid has recommended three priorities: broadband internet, the deployment of new networks and universal service. One example is access to the European emergency number 112 to basic telecoms services such as the directory and telephone booths, although there is also a debate on whether or not these services will be offered in broadband.

In short, Spain will try and move forward with those dossiers that have progressed little, or not at all, since the recent revision of the telecoms directives ( telecoms package'). "The telecoms package is almost dead," says a Presidency spokesperson. "The most important thing at the moment is that the Council approve the digital agenda for 2010-2015," he adds. EU telecoms ministers will meet in Brussels on 11 March to vote on a resolution on the subject. Thereafter, the Granada Declaration' on digital strategy will be adopted during the informal Council scheduled for 19 April in Andalusia. The agenda will determine the short, medium and long term projects to help end the crisis (economic and financial), explains a Spanish source.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) will therefore be the first economic sector to establish an action plan under the new Commission, although the Presidency is not expecting it to introduce any legislative proposals in this area, mainly because the commissioner involved - Neelie Kroes, from the Netherlands - will not be up and running before February.

In January, the Presidency will invite all industries in the sector (operators, manufacturers and broadcasters) to decide on a common position. The document will then be used in compiling an action plan which the Commission will propose.

During the Council meeting on 31 May, EU telecoms ministers will focus on broadband internet access. "We are waiting for the Commission to present a document on a broadband internet strategy," the Presidency...

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