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[FYI] EP 11-01-1999: Clearer rules for electronic signatures etc


Plenary Session of the European Parliament 11.01.1999


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Clearer rules for electronic signatures 

Clearer rules for electronic signatures
    Co-decision procedure - first reading. Simple majority required
    for amendments to be adopted. (A4-0507/98 - Ullmann)

    Wolfgang Ullmann (D, Greens) will be reporting for the Legal
    Affairs Committee on Commission proposals which aim to
create a common legal framework for electronic authentication services
and the use of electronic signatures within the EU.. 

    Mr Ullmann agrees with the general approach of the proposal,
    believing that it represents a step in the right direction, not
least because it focuses on flexibility - a necessity in view of the
kind of technological development and needs for international
co-ordination in this specific field. He also agrees with the key
concept of legal recognition of electronic signatures and the
establishment of basic requirements and responsibilities for service
providers to reach this goal. He notes that the proposed framework
needs to take global developments into account to avoid conflicts
between the different international initiatives. Finally he is tabling
a series of amendments which seek to clarify parts of the text.

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Support for an "Internet Charter" 

Support for an "Internet Charter" 
    (A4-0366/98 - Malerba)

    Franco Malerba (I, EPP) for the Economics Committee will be
    expressed strong support for the Commission's
proposals to strengthen international coordination in order to meet
the challenges of globalisation and the Information Society. He
approves of the idea of establishing an "Internet Charter" - a legally
non-binding document setting out internationally agreed objectives and
principles in areas such as taxation, liability, jurisdiction and
data-protection. From the European point of view, he considers that
the main purposes of this Charter should be to ensure that European
companies and organisations can fully participate in the opportunities
offered by Internet and electronic commerce, to avoid premature and
conflicting regulation and to ensure that the interests of consumers
are safeguarded. In drawing up this Charter, Mr Malerba stresses the
need to closely with other countries - notably the USA - and with

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An EU strategy for global navigation satellite systems

An EU strategy for global navigation satellite systems
    (A4-00/98 - Langenhagen)

    The Commission is calling on the member states to agree by early
    1999 on the strategy which the EU should
adopt with regard to global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). This
is an expanding world market which could be worth $50 bn within 7
years, with many applications in the transport sector as well as in
agriculture and oil and gas exploration. The Commission considers that
in the long term the ideal would be to cooperate with all the EU's
international partners. To this end it is calling on the member states
to start consultations with the main international operators with a
view to studying the possibility of achieving an acceptable joint
system. It considers that if this is not possible, the EU should opt
for the establishment of an independent European GNSS, taking into
account the technological developments which might substantially
reduce the cost of development of such a system. The financing of a
European GNSS system (which should cost between EUR 400m and EUR
400bn, depending on quality) could be undertaken through a
public/private partnership. Any delay in deciding on its strategy
could impair the prospect of Europe achieving a competitive position
in this market.

    Brigitte Langenhagen (D, EPP) for the Transport Committee will be
    welcoming the Commission's proposed
action plan. Amoing other requests she wants the member states to
convene a European Space Council at Head of State or Government level
to give clear decisions on the strategic, technical and budgetary
guidelines, and considers that Council should assess the desirability
of holding a World Conference on the issue. She is also calling on the
Commission to take all necessary meaures to promote international
cooperation in the field of GNSS.

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