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President Santer addresses TELECOM 95

In his address to the Seventh World Telecommunications Exhibition, Forum and Book Fair, TELECOM '95, Commission President, Mr. Jacques Santer, said he believed the approach in Europe to the Information Society to be balanced, socially progressive, fair and market driven. He co...

In his address to the Seventh World Telecommunications Exhibition, Forum and Book Fair, TELECOM '95, Commission President, Mr. Jacques Santer, said he believed the approach in Europe to the Information Society to be balanced, socially progressive, fair and market driven. He commented that it is designed to encourage entrepreneurship in an open and competitive environment, as well as ensuring that the benefits of the Information Society are fairly and widely distributed. The theme of TELECOM '95, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 3-11 October 1995, was "Connect!". The event focused principally on the convergence taking place in the telecommunications, information technology and entertainment industries and included many new exhibitors making their first appearance, including Microsoft, Intel Corporation and Oracle. President Santer stated that the EU intends to be at the forefront of the information revolution and that it is determined to ensure the presence of a large number of European companies in the top global league. In this context, the completion of the telecommunications liberalization process in 1998, will make the European Union the largest telecommunications market in the world with over 370 million consumers. President Santer pointed out, however, that many challenges still lie ahead, notably in the following areas: - The creation an Information Society accessible to all European citizens and taking full account of the social dimension; - The training of the workforce in response to the change in demands; - The role of the Information Society in redesigning educational systems with a view to providing of lifelong learning and training for all; - The development of a competitive European content industry taking account of cultural and linguistic diversity; - The provision of a defined universal service for all citizens. The approach in the European Union, he confirmed, "is based on integration, concertation and cooperation to avoid fragmentation, chaos and conflict". The EU, moreover, strongly supports the G7 principles for the Information Society, called "...a shared vision of human enrichment...", which were agreed in Brussels and is actively participating in the G7 pilot projects to increase awareness and share experience.