HC Deb 28 June 1995 vol 262 cc667-8W
Mr. Merchant

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Telecommunications Council on 13 June.

Mr. Ian Taylor

The Commission made a presentation on progress within the Commission on drawing up a draft legislative framework for the single market in postal services, and undertook to produce proposals by July. The presidency adopted conclusions on the principles of terminal dues for the delivery of international mail, although there was no agreement at this stage within the Council.

The Council agreed a resolution on a future regulatory framework for telecommunications, necessary to implement the full liberalisation of network infrastructure and services by 1 January 1998, agreed in principle at the last Council on 17 November 1994. A resolution on policy in the mobile and personal communications sector was also agreed.

The Council also agreed a common position on the resubmitted directive applying open network provision to voice telephony. In addition, the Commission reported to the Council on the amendments made by the European Parliament at its second reading to the Council's 22 December 1994 common position on a directive on standards for digital television. The draft directive was referred back to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for further discussion.

Following a short debate, the Council agreed conclusions on a draft Commission directive on the use of cable television networks for the provision of telecoms services already liberalised by the Community

The Commission made representations on the progress of multilateral negotiations on basic telecommunications, and on its communication on the status and implementation of Commission directive 90/338/EEC on competition in the markets for telecoms services. There was also a Commission presentation and a short debate on a Commission communication on a methodology for implementation of the information society application areas identified by the Bangemann group, and a draft proposals for a decision on guidelines for the development of telecoms Trans-European networks.

No formal vote was taken at this Council.

Mr. Allen

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish the minutes of the meeting of the Council of Telecoms Ministers in the week beginning 12 June. [30243]

Mr. Ian Taylor

The minutes of the Telecommunications Council have not yet been produced. The outcome of the Telecommunications Council is summarised in the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Merchant) and the Council secretariat press release giving an account of it has been deposited in the Library of the House. The procedures set down in Council decision 93/731/EC—printed in theOfficial Journal of 31 December 1993 also deposited in the Library of the House—provide for public access to Council documents. The hon. Member may request access to the minutes from the Council secretariat.

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