Brussels, 20 June 2002
More must be done to speed up the introduction of the new Internet protocol IPv6 (Internet protocol version 6), ministers agreed at the EU Transport and Telecommunications Council on 18 June.
IPv6 is gradually to replace the current IPv4, which has a limited number of available addresses. The Commission adopted a communication in February 2002 calling for a European action plan to accelerate the roll-out of Internet protocol version 6.
In its conclusions, the Telecoms Council insisted on the necessity of eliminating all barriers to IPv6's introduction. Ministers urged Member States to promote its introduction through awareness-raising campaigns and educational programmes. They also asked the Commission to examine the social impact of the new protocol and look at security issues.
EU telecoms and information society ministers also backed the new eEurope 2005 plan. The Commission's communication on the project, which aims to promote access to the information society for all of Europe's citizens, was presented at the Council. Spain's minister for science and technology, Anna Birulés, said the action plan is a starting point for helping to achieve the Lisbon goal of making Europe the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world.
Another key item tackled at the Telecoms Council was the international governance of the Internet. The Commission is known to back a stronger role for the government advisory committee in ICANN (Internet corporation for assigned names and numbers), but does not advocate direct government involvement in ICANN's decision-making process.