Lithuanian Presidency completed negotiations on Trans-european telecoms guidelines

08 November 2013, Last updated at, 12:12 EET
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

On 8 November, Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) endorsed the agreement reached between the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency, the European Parliament and the Commission on the amended proposal for a Regulation on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications (TEN-TELE) networks. This will allow timely enter into force of the guidelines as of January 2014.

 The TEN-TELE guidelines are part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulation and stipulate the funding of broadband networks, prioritizing projects on Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) and ensuring appropriate Member State involvement in the governance of the instrument.

According to the Minister of transport and communications of Lithuania Mr. Rimantas Sinkevičius, the finalization of the Telecoms guidelines is one of the top priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency.

“This initiative is anchored in the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which put digital infrastructures at the forefront as part of the flagship initiative "Digital Agenda for Europe", thus it contributes to the completion of the Digital Single Market in the EU  and will be beneficial for all EU citizens,“ said Minister Sinkevičius.

The second and final informal trilogue of the co-legislators that completed negotiations took place on 5 November. The negotiators of the co-legislators agreed that:

  • the total amount of budget allocated to financial instruments for broadband shall be 15%, i.e. €150 million;
  • one third of the broadband projects financially supported under this Regulation shall aim at speeds above 100Mbps;
  • Europeana and Safer Internet for Children, as well-established DSIs, are particularly identified to be eligible for funding contributing to uninterrupted service;  
  • the establishment of a consultative Expert Group will serve decision-making by the CEF Committee, which will ensure involvement of the Member States in processes of project identification and selection.

The amended Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks was submitted by the Commission on 28 May 2013. 

The proposal takes into account the decision of the European Council to significantly reduce the budget for the telecoms part (TEN-TELE) of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to one billion euros in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework.  

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