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Commissioner Van Miert calls for global progress in information superstructure liberalization

Mr. Karel Van Miert, Commissioner for Competition, outlined the European Commission's approach to liberalization of the information superstructure at a recent meeting in Brussels. "The message the EU will bring to the G7 debate is not 'fortress Europe' but global progress", sa...

Mr. Karel Van Miert, Commissioner for Competition, outlined the European Commission's approach to liberalization of the information superstructure at a recent meeting in Brussels. "The message the EU will bring to the G7 debate is not 'fortress Europe' but global progress", said Mr Van Miert. The EU will host a G7 ministerial meeting on the information society on 24-26 February 1995. Commissioner Van Miert highlighted the following priority areas: - Rapid progress in liberalizing the core sectors of the information society in Europe. The EU must carry through a tight programme of concrete liberalization measures during 1995. This relates in particular to cable networks, alternative infrastructures and mobile communications; - Encourage competitors to offer the same level of market access as that available in the EU; - The relationship between the objectives for the EU of liberalization on the one hand, and development of public services on the other. Mr. Van Miert emphasized the significance of the G7 meeting on the information society and presented the following considerations: - Competition and public services are compatible as long as it is recognized that public services do not necessarily mean monopoly provision or public operators; - Given the rapid technological change and pressure from competitors in the US and Japan/South-East Asia in the context of the information society, the EU cannot afford to let unnecessary delays block progress in liberalization; - In the course of 1995 the schedule for liberalizing telecommunication services and infrastructure must be adhered to. This involves measures to be completed by 1998 as well as more immediate proposals for mobile services and the use of available capacity for already liberalized services; - In the international context the EU must encourage market access to third countries as well as the protection of European cultural identity and intellectual property rights.

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