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Procedure : 2011/2755(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0480/2011

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Debates :

PV 15/09/2011 - 4
CRE 15/09/2011 - 4

Votes :

PV 15/09/2011 - 6.7
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 15 September 2011 - Strasbourg
EU policy approach to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12)

European Parliament resolution of 15 September 2011 on the European Union's policy approach to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Commission Communication COM (2011)0180 of 6 April 2011 on the European Union's policy approach to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12),

–  having regard to the agenda of the ITU WRC-12,

–  having regard to the Digital Agenda within the Europe 2020 strategy,

–  having regard to the RSPG opinion on common policy objectives for WRC-12,

–  having regard to its position on RSPP adopted on 11 May 2011(1),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of 27 May 2011 on WRC-12,

–  having regard to Articles 8a (4) and 9(1) of Directive 2009/140/EC of 25 November 2009 amending Directive 2002/21/EC of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Conference 2012 will conclude with the adoption of modifications to the ITU Radio Regulations;

B.  whereas the EU Member States shall ensure that the international agreements to which they are party in the context of the ITU are in conformity with existing EU legislation, in particular with the relevant rules and principles of the EU regulatory framework on electronic communications;

C.  whereas the spectrum is a scarce public resource which is critical to an increasing number of sectors;

D.  whereas, as underlined in the Digital Agenda for Europe, wireless broadband and communication services in particular are important drivers for growth and European competitiveness at global level;

E.  whereas Europe will only be capable of fully exploiting the potential of a digital economy through creating a well-functioning internal digital market with a pan-European level playing field;

F.  whereas freeing up additional spectrum in a harmonised manner at global and European levels is an important way to alleviate capacity constraints in mobile networks and to encourage new services and economic growth;

G.  whereas a major item of this conference relies on radio spectrum availability and in particular relates to the Digital Dividend in the 800 MHz band;

H.  whereas several other items are relevant for EU policies (information society, transport, space policy, Galileo, internal market, environment, audiovisual policy, research...);

I.  whereas each WRC establishes the agenda for the next conference;

1.  Welcomes the communication of the Commission and agrees with the analysis of the importance of the impact of the WRC-12 on EU policies;

2.  Believes that the EU must speak with one voice in multilateral negotiations to promote its interests and to create global synergies and economies of scale in the use of spectrum; therefore, strongly encourages the Member States to fully endorse these policy orientations and to actively promote and defend them in the WRC-12; furthermore, believes that, as long as the Commission does not hold the right in ITU to speak on behalf of the EU, the Member States should closely coordinate a common Union position on the basis of the RSPP, together with the Commission;

3.  Draws attention to the 25 individual agenda items of the WRC-12 and their potential impact on EU policies and objectives;

4.  Calls on the Member States to safeguard these objectives and resist any modification of the ITU Radio Regulations that would affect their scope and their substance; in this context, asks the Commission to ensure that the principles of the EU Treaty and of the ‘acquis communautaire’ are respected;

5.  Considers that the Commission should assist the Member States with technical and political support in their bilateral and multilateral negotiations with third countries and cooperate with the Member States when international agreements are negotiated, especially agreements with neighbouring third countries where interference can occur due to different allocation plans;

6.  Recalls its position in the RSPP, and – with particular regard to the ITU's own study on IMT Advanced needs – the necessity to allocate sufficient and appropriate spectrum for mobile data traffic amounting to at least 1 200 MHz overall by 2015 to support Union policy objectives and to best meet the increasing demand for mobile data traffic; recalls that any new measures should be transparent and should not distort competition or disadvantage newcomers to the telecommunications market;

7.  Urges the Member States to support the Commission in promoting the inclusion of this relevant point in the agenda for the next WRC conference in 2016; reiterates in this regard the importance of the EU developing an inventory of its existing spectrum use and the efficiency thereof as proposed in the RSPP;

8.  Reiterates its call to the Member States and the Commission to pursue an ambitious harmonisation agenda pursuant to the ITU conclusions and calls on the Commission to assess and review the need for freeing additional spectrum band, taking into account the evolution of spectrum technologies, market experience with new services, the possible future needs of terrestrial radio and television broadcasting and the lack of spectrum in other bands adequate for wireless broadband coverage in order to make this possible, depending on the necessary decisions being taken, by 2012 and 2016;

9.  Stresses that wireless broadband services contribute substantially to economic recovery and growth; sufficient and efficiently managed spectrum is necessary to respond to increasing consumer demand both in terms of capacity and coverage;

10.  Considers that a stronger role for the EU in spectrum policy calls for a stronger formal position of the EU in the ITU and therefore strongly supports the re-examination of its status in the next ITU plenipotentiary conference in 2014;

11.  Underlines the importance of cooperation and coordination among the Member States in order for the EU to benefit from the full potential of the innovation opportunities in terms of radio spectrum technologies;

12.  Emphasises the importance of the EU in acting as a spearhead in radio spectrum technology and setting a global example of best practice and cohesion;

13.  Underlines the vulnerability of devices using radio spectrum to cyber attacks and stresses the need for a coordinated global approach towards strengthening cyber-security;

14.  Asks the Commission to report on the results and the achievements of the WRC-12;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0220.

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