Report on the outcome of the council meeting of June 6 -7, 2019

10 june 2019

The Council held a policy debate and adopted conclusions on the future of a highly digitised Europe beyond 2020: 'Boosting digital and economic competitiveness across the Union and digital cohesion'. The debate and the conclusions provide guidance for further steps on these issues.

The Council took note of the progress report on a proposal to update privacy rules for electronic communications (ePrivacy). 

The proposed regulation sets out to ensure a high level of protection of private life, communications and personal data in the electronic communications sector. It also aims to create a level playing field for providers of various services and to ensure free movement of electronic communications data and services in the EU. It will replace the current ePrivacy directive, which was last updated in 2009, and complement the general data protection regulation, which became applicable on 25 May 2018. 

The Council held a policy debate on the proposal on 8 June 2018 and an exchange of views on 4 December 2019. 

In addition,Ministers agreed on a decision establishing the positions to be taken, on the behalf of the EU, by member states at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). The conference will take place from 28 October to 22 November 2019 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 

WRC-19 is held under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). 

WRC-19 will revise the ITU Radio Regulations, the international treaty which allocates radio- frequencies to different radiocommunication services and sets the technical conditions for the use of those frequencies in order to avoid harmful interference. 

The envisaged WRC-19 Final Act is aimed at adapting the radio spectrum for different types of networks in response to technological advances and changes in demand. It will be binding on the parties. 

EU negotiating positions are needed because certain WRC-19 agenda items could affect common EU rules or alter their scope. 

The ITU has 193 members, and all EU countries are members of the ITU. Each ITU member has a vote. The EU is a sector member of the ITU, with no vote or right to speak. 

The decision will be formally adopted by the Council on 13 June 2019. 

The Council also held a policy debate and adopted conclusions on the future of a highly digitised Europe beyond 2020: 'Boosting digital and economic competitiveness across the Union and digital cohesion'. The debate and the conclusions provide guidance for further steps on these issues.

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