Tomorrow and on Friday, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip will be in South Korea to discuss cooperation on digital priorities such as data flows, standards-setting and cybersecurity. Vice-President Ansip and South Korean partners will take stock of their joint work on 5G mobile technology, more particularly within the 5G Champion research project whose results will be showcased on the occasion of the 2018 Olympic Games of Pyeongchang. They will also share best practices in areas such as e-government. During his visit, Vice-President Ansip will meet the South Korean Minister of Interior Hong Yun-Sik and the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Yang-hee. He will visit the Samsung Innovation Museum and meet the CEO/President of Samsung Electronics Jong-Kyun Shin. He will also visit the Gyeonggi Centre for Creative Economy and Innovation and meet European startups based in South Korea.
Tomorrow and on Friday, Vice-President Ansip will be in Malta to underline the importance of moving forward quickly with the Commission’s proposals to create a Digital Single Market, more specifically under the upcoming Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU (January – June 2017). Tomorrow, Vice-President Ansip will meet Owen Bonnici, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government; Louis Grech, Deputy Prime Minister, and Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary for the Maltese EU Presidency preparations; Chris Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, and Emmanuel Mallia, Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy. They will discuss the Commission’s proposals that could be adopted during the Maltese Presidency, if not earlier: for example, the proposals to ensure Europeans can travel across borders with their online content,tocut wholesale roaming charges, to tackle geo-blocking, to offer more free Wi-Fi access points and to coordinate radio frequencies better. Vice-President Ansip will also meet Therese Comodini Cachia, Member of the European Parliament, who has recently been nominated rapporteur on the proposals to modernise EU copyright rules. The Vice-President will visit the Malta Digital Hub and the Malta Life Sciences Centre, which are part of the Maltese Life Sciences Park. Improving conditions for startups to expand and scale Europe-wide is a priority for the Vice-President. As part of the upcoming initiatives, the Commission will soon propose to adapt EU VAT rules so that they fit better for small e-commerce businesses. On Friday, Vice-President Ansip will address the Maltese Parliamentary Committees responsible for Foreign and European Affairs and for Economic and Financial Affairs, and will then have exchanges with students and citizens at a public event at the University of Malta
We are delighted to invite you to the debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Tuesday the 25th of October at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The debate will investigate the cybersecurity challenges of the European industry digitisation process.
Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are publishing this event now to make sure you save the date.
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About the debate
The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 19 July 2016 and it represents one of the main steps towards the creation of a pan-European digital market along with the launch of the Digital Single Market strategy and the Data Protection reform. While digital technologies allow companies to operate in a more efficient way, reduce their costs and exploit new market opportunities, they also expose them more to cyber security threats.
Although in its early stage of implementation, the NIS Directive requires EU member states to adopt a national ‘NIS strategy’ and to set up a cooperation group – which will be composed of representatives from the member states, the Commission and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and which will coordinate action with the EU-wide network of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) – with the primary aim of facilitating the exchange of information in order to promptly handle possible incidents and risks, discuss cross-border security issues and enact coordinated responses. Furthermore, the directive establishes security and notification requirements for operators of essential services and digital service providers and requires member states both to designate a national competent authority and to create a single point of contact which should liaise with the CSIRTs. More precisely, according to the NIS Directive an operator of essential services will be required to take measures to both manage the risks posed to the security of its network and information system and to prevent and minimize the impact of incidents, in order to facilitate the continuation of the services it provides.
The NIS Directive has notably been put forward by the Commission not only to address the cybersecurity side of the Digital Single Market strategy, but also to ensure that Europe will be able to maximise the benefits of the digitisation process of the European industry. As experts estimate that the manufacturing sector, for example, accounts for around 33 million jobs and has the potential of roughly 60% of productivity growth and that the digitisation of products and services may add over 110 billion euros in revenues on an annual basis, the economic stakes become immediately evident. Moreover, the cybersecurity market in itself is expected to perform as the fastest growing ICT sector on a global scale. Nevertheless, other experts have pointed out how the NIS Directive has adopted a mere risk-based approach, while the increasingly higher number of threats may fail to be countered due to an incorrect evaluation of a given situation’s gravity or due to rapid changes in the threat landscape. While the EU will be in charge of coordination, the identification of essential services, as well as the first situation assessment will be provided in a decentralised manner at member states level.
Finally, the ways through which businesses’ and consumers’ confidence will increase is still an issue of capital importance. Several institutional and non-institutional surveys acknowledge that financial and/or reputational losses, as well as possible operational disruptions are hindering European industries from making the best of possibilities offered by new technologies. Furthermore, some commentators recognise that the current industrial infrastructure has not been built with security in mind. Therefore in their view Europe would benefit from more business-to-business cooperation and private public partnerships in order to make its industrial infrastructure more secure. Which cybersecurity challenges lie ahead for the digitisation of the European industry?
This event is held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.
The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a debate at 7h30 pm. After the debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.
We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 25th of October at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.
All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.
Following the publication of draft measures related to the end of roaming charges for European travellers as of 15 June 2017, Vice-President Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, said: “Getting rid of roaming charges is one of the best achievements of the European Union in the last few years, and a cornerstone for building the Digital Single Market. For more than a decade, the Commission has been working to reduce the huge surcharges that telecoms operators imposed on their customers each time they crossed a border while using their mobile device on holiday, at the week-end or during business trips (…) We are now at the final hurdle: the complete abolition of roaming charges for European travellers in the EU. This will enter into effect as of 15 June 2017. Those of us who travel do so on average for 12 days per year. But the Commission goes much further by abolishing roaming charges for at least 90 days per year, much more than the average time that a European is roaming with their phone. So in practice these charges will disappear for the vast majority of us. 99% of European travellers are covered. In any event, 90 days is the strict minimum. Mobile phone companies can always offer more or even choose not to apply limits at all. Some have already done so, and we strongly encourage this (…) Without a few safeguards to avoid abuses – safeguards that the European Parliament and Council have asked the Commission to specify – network quality and investments in new capacity in some countries may suffer as people could opt for different territorial operators, and the domestic mobile prices might go up as operators would try to compensate losses. Those who travel to and from work, crossing borders every day, are not concerned by the minimum of 90 days (…) Finally, Europeans will be able to spend their holidays in peace, without the worry of big phone bills when they come home.“
Tomorrow, 8 September 2016, Vice-President Ansip will be in Ireland for a series of meetings on the Digital Single Market and its benefits for Irish people and businesses. In particular, he will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as Minister of State for European Affairs, Data Protection and the EU Digital Single Market, Dara Murphy. The digital performance Ireland will be part of the discussions, especially of the great results of Irish SMEs which are leading on e-commerce and innovation in the EU. They will discuss how Digital Single Market initiatives can help them and other companies grow thanks to uniform sets of rules in the EU – for example on consumer rights – and by removing barriers to the free flow of data. Vice-President Ansip will also participate in discussions with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources. He will meet Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as well industry representatives (Ibec – business and employer association for organisations based in Ireland) and companies such as YouTube and Facebook.
European Commission Vice–President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, welcome today’s publication of guidelines on EU net neutrality rules by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The publication of these guidelines was foreseen in the Regulation on the first EU-wide net neutrality rules which was agreed by the European Parliament and Council last year (press release) and which has applied in all EU Member States since 30 April 2016. The Commission has worked closely with BEREC on the preparation of the guidelines.
Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger said:
“Today’s guidelines provide detailed guidance for the consistent application of our net neutrality rules by national regulators across the EU. They do not alter the content of the rules in place which guarantee the freedom of the internet by protecting the right of every European to access internet content, applications and services without unjustified interference or discrimination. Our rules, and today’s guidelines, avoid fragmentation in the single market, create legal certainty for businesses and make it easier for them to work across border. They also ensure that the internet remains an engine for innovation and that advanced technologies and Internet of Things services like connected vehicles as well as 5G applications are developed today, and will flourish in the future. We are pleased with the intensive engagement with stakeholders in the preparation of the guidelines, which contributed to their quality. The update of the EU telecoms regulatory framework and the action plan to develop 5G in the EU which will be presented in September are our next steps to deliver the first-class quality connectivity and networks which are essential for the Digital Single Market”.
This morning, Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová met with business representatives to update them on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which aims at ensuring high data protection standards for transatlantic flows of data and bringing legal certainty to businesses. The Commission intends to put the new framework in place before the summer. They also discussed the recently adopted General Data Protection regulation, its implementation and its contribution to the Digital Single Market. More information on the Privacy Shield and on the Data Protection reform are available online.
Today and tomorrow Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip is participating in the Ministerial Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the Digital Economy in Cancún, Mexico. Vice-President Ansip, who is also a Vice-Chair of the event, will discuss with ministers and stakeholders from civil society, the business community, labour associations and the internet community, how to move forward, together, in the digital era. Ahead of the event, Vice-President Ansip said: “National or regional interests should not get in the way of overarching objectives: simplifying rules or creating predictable and stable market conditions for businesses, investors and consumers. Open international cooperation and discussions are vital in areas such as the open internet, data flows, privacy and cybersecurity, as well as internet governance” (see also his blog post). This afternoon, Vice-President Ansip will speak at the opening ceremony of the event (his speech will be available hereat around 16.30 CET). Vice-President Ansip will highlight the need for connectivity – which is particularly important as 60% of the world’s population still lacks access to the internet. He will also focus on the need for digital skills to make the most of new technologies. He will chair a panel on New Markets and New Jobs in the Digital Economy tomorrow. He will also have a series of bilateral meetings, in particular with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Singh Bains, Korea’s Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Yanghee Choi, Mexico’s Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena and Deputy Assistant Secretary of US Department of State Daniel A. Sepulveda.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger both spoke this morning at the Mobile 360 Series – Europe event organised by GSMA, the association of mobile operators worldwide. They gave some insight into the upcoming update of EU telecoms rules to be presented in the autumn. It should incentivise and leverage more private investment, provide regulatory predictability and the right conditions for all operators to invest. The importance of better coordination of spectrum was underlined in particular. Vice-President Ansip said: “Coordinated spectrum is vital for a fully connected digital society and economy. It will help to attract investment and to make the next 5G mobile communications generation a success.” (Read his full speech). In order to prepare the upcoming reform of the EU telecoms framework, Vice-President Ansip insisted the proposal on radio frequencies presented by the Commission in February (press release) should be adopted by the end of this year by the European Parliament and the Council. Commissioner Oettinger said: “As I announced at the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Commission is now working together with industry to prepare a coordinated 5G Action Plan for Europe. I am pleased to tell you that you can also contribute. We have just launched a consultation on this Action Plan, which will run until 11 July. So if you have views on 5G deployment, please tell us!” (Read his full speech – see also his blog post on the consultation on 5G
The Commission services are today launching a public consultation to see how to strengthen the single market passport for cross-border investment funds. Cross-border investment funds have an important role to play in building the Capital Markets Union: they channel savings to companies and projects that are crucial to Europe’s economic recovery. Funds have greater potential to grow when they operate cross-border, and increased competition can also deliver better value, more choice and greater innovation for investors. The EU has a successful cross-border fund market and, underpinned by legislation such as UCITS, has grown to more than EUR 13 trillion. We want to look at ways to make the passport work even better, particularly for smaller funds. The consultation will seek feedback from the public, including fund managers, investors, consumer groups, as well as from those who market and sell these funds in order to gain a fuller picture of the remaining barriers to cross-border distribution. Jonathan Hill, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, said: “One of the benefits of the Single Market is that investment funds should be able to do business easily across borders. But at the moment, smaller fund managers are telling us they face challenges when trying to sell their products in different countries. So I want to use this consultation to flush out what the main barriers are to funds operating across borders, so that we can work out how best to overcome them. I want the passport for fund managers to works as well as possible so that we can build a system where investors have more choice and better value, and where investment funds can do business more easily.” These barriers could include the impact of marketing rules, administrative arrangements imposed by host countries, regulatory fees and notification rules. The public consultation is open from 2 June 2016 to 2 October 2016.