IT and research ambitions of the Presidency

July 1, 2002

Copenhagen, 28 June 2002

During the Danish Presidency, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Helge Sander, will be the President of two Councils of Ministers: Telecommunications (IT and Tele) and Research. At the summit in Seville last week it was agreed that research will become part of a new council formation designated "Competitiveness", which also includes industry and the single market.

The overall task of the Danish EU Presidency within IT and research will be influenced by the wish to define new high goals for the development of the knowledge and information society in Europe.

In the field of IT and telecommunications the Danish Presidency will commence work on the new action plan “eEurope2005 - The information society for all" (adopted at the European Council in Seville in June 2002).

The overall objectives are the development of new attractive content and services for the internet and third-generation mobile telephony and the roll out of of broadband. The Danish Presidency will focus specifically on network and information security in the new action plan.

- Security and safety are of vital importance to all participants in the information society - be they citizens, enterprises or public administrations. This is particularly true in eCommerce and eGovernment where security is of key importance, says Helge Sander.

During the Danish Presidency every effort must be made to prepare a new draft directive from the Commission on access to commercial exploitation of information provided by the public sector. The background for this is that the public sector builds up large amounts of valuable information in electronic form. The intention of the directive is to create clear and unambiguous EU rules for how this publicly available information can be used by private enterprises, commercially and in general.

- We will head for a fast and efficient negotiation of the directive which will enhance the conditions for the production of attractive contents and new services such as the internet and third-generation mobile telephony, both nationally and at the European level.

The research and innovation policy in the EU for the coming years is now almost in place in the form of the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP6). During the Danish Presidency, just a few remaining issues need to be clarified.

- I hope that all decisions on the FP6 will be made during the first months of the Danish Presidency. An immediate consequence of the FP6 is that an annual 30 billion Danish Kroner will be made available to researchers and enterprises to support their research and development activities.

- The Danish Presidency will also seek to ensure a focused effort on innovation under the framework programme. It is a goal in itself to shorten the distance between the birth of a new idea and the actual production of a new or improved product, says Helge Sander.

Science and innovation are high on the agenda, both nationally and in a European perspective. After the summit in Barcelona in March there is broad consensus that the countries should increase their investments in research and innovation considerably in this decade.

- I would like to use the Presidency to discuss the preparation of a European strategy on how we can become more competitive in relation to the United States and Japan. The most important task is now to ensure agreement on the overall goals. New initiatives are required to give the European research collaboration the lift it needs to create concrete results in the very widely discussed European Research Area, says Helge Sander, who looks forward to an in-depth debate on these issues during the Presidency.

- For universities, we will seek to encourage broad European collaboration on higher education on the basis of the Bologna Declaration of 1999. The Presidency seeks to ensure that the concrete goals will be realised in the member states without delay. The development of collaboration should also be ensured, emphasising quality in education and research, appealing to students and researchers from Denmark as well as other countries and opening towards countries outside Europe, concludes the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Contact information
For more information, contact:
Sidse Ægidius (IT/tele)
(+45) 3392 9867 / sae@vtu.dk

or Knud Larsen (research) (+45) 4677 4371 / kla@vtu.dk

Danish Presidency Website http://www.eu2002.dk/main

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