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Minister Berner to attend EU Transport and Telecommunications Council meetings

Minister Berner to attend EU Transport and Telecommunications Council meetings

Press release 01.12.2017 15.08 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner will represent Finland at meetings of the EU Telecommunications Council and the EU Transport Council, to be held on 4 December and 5 December respectively.

The Telecommunications Council is due to agree a general approach on an updated mandate for the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC). Finland welcomes the fact that the general approach is based on maintaining BEREC in its present form as a cooperative body of national regulatory authorities instead of a separate agency with binding decision-making power, as proposed by the Commission.

The agenda also includes a progress report on a proposal to update privacy rules for electronic communications. Finland considers it important that regulation is balanced and does not unduly delay the development of digital business.

In addition, the Telecommunications Council will hold a policy debate on a draft regulation on the free flow of non-personal data.

“Building a European data-driven economy and increasing the potential of the digital single market are linked above all to how data can be used. In addition to the now-proposed measures on the location of data, it will be important in the future to ensure the availability, portability and interoperability of data as well as clear access rights in the emerging digital services and operating models,” says Minister Berner.

The Transport Council on 5 December will hold a policy debate on the ‘Eurovignette’ directive and pan-European road charging proposals. The Commission presented a proposal on the matter in May 2017 as part of the ‘first mobility package’. In ‘other matters’ at the meeting, Finland will also raise the issue of EU summer time regulation.

“A discussion has taken place in Finland about abandoning the summer time system and particularly on the harmful health effects of changing the clocks. We would now like to hear the views of the Commission and the other Member States as to whether changing the clocks still has the impact originally intended for it and whether the Commission intends to take action on this issue,” says Berner.

Finland supports the revision of the ‘Eurovignette’ directive, but considers it important that a time-based charge for heavy goods vehicles be permitted in a large and sparsely populated country such as Finland for a longer period than to the end of 2023. EU regulation, moreover, should not restrict the development of new kinds of financing models or transport service packages.

At the Transport Council meeting, the Chair will assess the progress of ‘first mobility package’ proposals relating to market access and social aspects as well as on the progress made in Council working groups on the proposed regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport. In addition, the meeting is also due to adopt the Council’s conclusions on digitalisation of transport, trans-European transport networks and the EU’s satellite positioning systems.

Inquiries:

Sabina Lindström, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 059 3706

Maaria Mäntyniemi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 444 0922