A review of some of the top issues for Denmark during its EU Presidency

Last week, the Danish government presented the programme of the Danish EU PresidencyEurope at work’ for the next six months. The programme includes the four fundamental priorities for the Danish Presidency - a responsible Europe, a dynamic Europe, a green Europe and a safe Europe – and the Council configurations.  The Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council configuration will ensure the access to a digital single market for EU citizens and businesses. This chapter notes that “the Presidency will generally prioritise areas that support the development of the digital single market.”

In regards to the Digital Agenda, the Presidency will focus on: lowering mobile roaming rates to approach national prices for SMS, voice and data services; reaching the European targets for the roll-out of broadband access in all parts of Europe; reviewing the PSI directive on the re-use of public sector information for the purpose of enhancing the possibilities of digital content innovation; and revising the current electronic signatures Directive.

With respect to the Green Europe priority, the Danish Presidency will work to ensure the EU a strong voice at the Rio+20 Summit, secure the adoption of initiatives for promoting energy efficiency, promote a well-functioning internal market for energy through expansion of the European energy infrastructure, strengthen sustainable future agricultural and fisheries policies, ensure a well-connected transport system and reduced air pollution, and develop a better regulation of chemicals that affect human health.

Concerning the social policy, the Danish Presidency will focus on: how to respond to the demographic challenges that Europe is experiencing, how the labour supply may be strengthened by more young people and women entering the labour market, changed family patterns, better reconciliation of work and family life, lifelong learning, breaking the intergenerational inheritance of social inequality and delaying the exit from the labour market.

Telefónica believes that the Danish EU’s policy in IT and telecommunications for the next 6 months rightly focuses on the roll out of broadband in Europe to foster competitiveness and close the digital divide. Therefore it is of utmost importance that governments take a leading role in the development and implementation of policies that stimulate the demand, as demand is the main driver for investment. Regarding roaming we encourage the Danish Presidency to work on a regulation that will allow sustainable competition in the international roaming market to emerge. It is paramount for the success of any structural solution to create competition that the price caps are authentic safeguard caps, which provide sufficient margin to attract entry in the roaming market.