Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

L 183 of 1997-07-11

Legislative Reference

Decisione 1336/97/EC of 1997-06-17
To establish guidelines covering objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks; to support the interconnection of telecommunications networks, in particular Integrated Broadband Communication (IBC) networks, the setting-up and the deployment of interoperable services and applications, including the required infrastructure.

Abstract

The purpose of this action is to establish guidelines covering objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks. These guidelines set out the domains for projects of common interest (see the "Subdivisions" section of this summary) and the procedure for the identification of specific projects in these domains. Community support is to be made available for the interconnection of telecommunications networks, in particular Integrated Broadband Communication (IBC) networks, the setting-up and the deployment of interoperable services and applications, as well as access to them, with the general objectives of:

- Facilitating the transition towards the Information Society, in particular to promote the satisfaction of social needs and to promote the quality of life;
- Improving competitiveness of European industry and strengthening the internal market;
- Strengthening economic and social cohesion;
- Accelerating the development of new growth area activities leading to job creation.

The priorities for the realization of these objectives are as follows:

- The confirmation of the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications supporting the development of a European Information Society, in particular applications of common interest;
- The confirmation of the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications contributing to economic and social cohesion, by improving access to information across the whole European Union;
- Actions aiming at the stimulation of interregional initiatives, associating less favoured regions with the launch of trans-European telecom services and applications;
- The confirmation of the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications and services contributing to the strengthening of the internal market and job creation, in particular those offering SMEs the means to improve their competitiveness in the European Union and at world level;
- The identification and confirmation of the feasibility, followed by the deployment of, trans-European generic services providing a seamless access to all kinds of information, and which are interoperable with equivalent services at world level;
- The confirmation of the feasibility of new high-bandwidth fibre optic backbone networks, where required for such applications and services, and the promotion of the interconnectivity of such networks;
- The identification and removal of gaps and missing links for an effective interconnection and interoperability (in all their components) of telecommunications networks in Europe and at world level, with a particular emphasis on IBC networks.

A separate Decision, containing a series of guidelines which identify the objectives, priorities, broad categories of measures and a number of projects of common interest concerning the development of EURO-ISDN as a trans-European network.

Subdivision

Four areas:

- Applications:
Application projects are to be identified in the following domains:
. A network for universities and research centres;
. Distance education and training;
. Health telematics;
. Transport telematics;
. Telematics for environment;
. Teleworking;
. Telematic services for SMEs;
. Electronic tendering (for public contracts);
. City information highways;
. Library services;
. Telematic services for the job market;
. Cultural and linguistic heritage;

- Generic services:
Projects of common interest for generic services networks are to be identified for the following:
. Implementation of operational trans-European generic services to include, in particular, electronic mail, file transfer systems, on-line access to electronic data bases, and video services;
. Progressive extension of the generic services towards a multimedia environment;
. Introduction of non-proprietary digital signature as a basis for open service provision and mobility of use;

- Basic networks:
Projects of common interest for basic networks are to be identified for the following:
. Euro-Integrated Services Digital Network;
. Commercial introduction of Asynchroneous Transfer Mode (ATM) and other IBC networks;
. Interoperation of existing and broadband communication networks;

- Support and coordination actions:
Such actions are to involve concertation with European standardization and strategic planning bodies and coordination with actions funded by the different Community financial instruments. This includes:
. Development of target specifications and transition towards these targets;
. Definition of means to access broadband networks;
. Establishment of common specifications;
. Furthering the cooperation among sector actors;
. Cooperation and coordination with Community, European and national programmes.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for implementing the Decision, assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Calls for proposals for projects of common interest are to be launched by the Commission on the basis of a work programme which is to be drawn up in consultation with sector actors and in conformance with the other trans-European network policies. Projects are selected from the call for proposals on the basis of their conformity with the priorities and objectives laid down in the Decision (see the "General Information" section of this summary). In addition, proposals should meet the economic and financial criteria spelt out in the "Regulation laying down the general rules for the granting of Community aid in the field of trans-European Networks". These criteria are:

- The potential economic viability of the project (which should be assured);
- The maturity of the project;
- The stimulative effect of Community intervention on public and private financing;
- The effectiveness of the financial package;
- The direct or indirect socio-economic effects, in particular on employment;
- The environmental impact;
- Coordination of the timing of the different parts of a project (especially for trans-border projects).

Calls for proposals will be published at least once a year for those projects of common interest (see "Subdivisions" section of this summary) of particular importance for the development of the Information Society: generic services and the applications of collective interest concerning distance education and training, cultural heritage, services for SMEs and telematics for transport, the environment and health.

Projects of common interest which are identified from the call for proposals will benefit from Community financial support under Article 129C.1 of the Treaty on European Union (provision of Community support for projects of common interest financed by Member States, which are identified in the framework of guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures in the field of trans-European Networks). Support may also be provided from other Community financial instruments, namely: the Fourth RTD Framework Programme, the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund, the European Investment Bank, and the European Investment Fund. Community financial support is granted in accordance with the Community's competition policy rules, notably those dealing with the financial support of R&D and state aids.

In general, financial support provided by the Community is focused on the applications domains, in particular on the applications of common interest.

The participation of third countries, in order to enable them to contribute to projects of common interest and to promote the interconnection and interoperability of telecommunications networks, may be authorized by the Council on a case-by-case basis. Preference is to be given to third countries which are party to the Agreement establishing the European Economic Area or who have established an association agreement with the Community.

Every two years, the Commission is required to present a report on the implementation of this Decision to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
Record Number: 573 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05