§ Mrs. Angela Knight
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Telecommunications Council held on 10 May.
§ Mr. Leigh
The main item of business was the proposal for a Council decision on an action plan far the introduction of advanced television services in Europe.490W Some progress was made towards achieving an agreement, but several key points on the content of the action plan, including the overall amount of any Community expenditure have yet to be agreed. Negotiations will continue at a further Council meeting, scheduled for 16 June.
A common position was agreed in principle on the directive applying open network provision to voice telephony. Council conclusions on the Commission's communication on the European telecommunications equipment industry were adopted without discussion. These invite the Commission to strengthen Community action already under way in four areas: establishment of an internal market, support for research and development, development of the terminal equipment market, and improving competitive conditions in the world market. There was also a short debate on a recent Commission communication on the review of the telecommunications services market, which proposed full liberalisation of telecom services by 1998. On the postal Green Paper the Commission gave a brief oral report on the results of the consultation period. There will be more substantive discussions on both these points at the Telecommunications Council on 16 June.