The European Commission has recently drafted a Working Paper on Telecommunications and Development, with particular reference to its role in the European Union. The Working Paper examines the relationship between telecommunications and development and presents EU activities with regard to the following: - General telecommunications policy; - Research and development policy; - Telecommunications development programmes within the European Union; - Telecommunications projects in developing countries. New issues for regional and international cooperation in the area of telecommunications and development are also discussed, including the following: - Interconnectivity and interoperability of networks and services; - Diffusion of new, advanced technologies of telecommunication (e.g. satellites) to developing countries; - Advanced telecommunications for agriculture, education and training, commerce and health; - Liberalization and restructuring of the telecommunications sector; - Regional cooperation with developing international organizations; - Financial assistance for rural and low-income areas. The paper underlines EU support for telecommunications reforms, including cooperation on policy aspects with other countries as well as assistance and financing by the Commission through the PHARE and TACIS programmes, the European Development Fund and the EIB.