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Council stresses the importance of competitiveness within telecommunications

The Council of the European Union has considered the Commission's Green Paper on the Convergence of the telecommunications, media and Information Technology sector, and the implications for regulation. In its conclusion, the Council stresses the importance of maintaining Europ...

The Council of the European Union has considered the Commission's Green Paper on the Convergence of the telecommunications, media and Information Technology sector, and the implications for regulation. In its conclusion, the Council stresses the importance of maintaining European competitiveness in the face of rapid changes in technology and markets driven by the development of the Information Society. The Council welcomes the Commission's Green Paper and takes note of the general consensus that has been established through the consultation process with regard to the need for an appropriate and stable regulatory framework. This should stimulate the development of the Information Society, competition, innovation, investment and the development of Electronic commerce. Furthermore, the Council considers that a comprehensive approach to regulation, which separates infrastructure from content, seems necessary. On the one hand a more horizontal approach should be taken to infrastructure and network related services which should be subject to a coherent and homogenous regulatory framework, taking account of the development of technological convergence. Content regulation, on the other hand, should be linked to the specific characteristics of given content services, including audio-visual services, and with the public policy objectives associated with those services. However, this implies a vertical approach, where necessary, based on the current regulatory structures. Finally the Council invites the Commission to take these conclusions into account when coming forward with new proposals.