Speech given by Minister Marin during an exchange of views with the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 23.7.2019 13.09
News item
Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin (Photo:Jukka-Pekka Flander)
Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin (Photo:Jukka-Pekka Flander)

Speech given by Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin during an exchange of views with the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 23 July 2019.

Madam Chair of the Committee, Members of the European Parliament,

The digital disruption we are facing is full of potential. At the same time, it challenges our traditional business models and forces us to adjust our policies towards the digital era.

The right way ahead for the EU's future is to interlink Single Market, industrial, innovation and digital policies as well as trade policy. However, it is essential that digitalisation is seen as an inherent part of the internal market development.

There are still significant, future-oriented questions to be resolved. Among other things, it is essential to find a balance between the protection of fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of speech, and the trends in digital development.

We also need to keep in mind that digitalisation can increase human well-being.

Therefore, building trust must be the pole star of digitalisation, since human beings will only be able to fully reap the benefits of digitalisation if they can trust the technology.

Digital policies in the field of data usage, privacy, fast connections and network deployment as well as security of the networks will be in focus of Council work during the Finnish Presidency.

Finland's Presidency will put sustainability first. The transition from a fossil fuel economy to a low-emissions economy, and finally to a zero-emissions economy is essential.

Unlocking the potential of the data economy will support the development of digital services as well as of automation and AI. It will help us to achieve the climate goals and contribute to increasing growth in the EU.

To this end, we have chosen a motto in the field of electronic communications: Smart connections for sustainable growth.

Data is the raw material for digital development. In developing the data-driven economy, we should aim at human-centric data policies. This means that we should make it easy for citizens to manage the use of their data.

Other important aspects of data policy are interoperability, fair access, and the quality of data.

I believe that the key to fruitful cooperation is having a shared vision. Regarding data policy, human-centricity could be a common ground for all. After all, our work should aim at catering to citizens' needs.

With this in mind, we will take a horizontal approach and address issues that still require further work bearing in mind the cross-sectoral role of the data economy. Finland's objective is to stimulate the European-level debate on the principles of the data economy. These overarching data principles can guide us to further internal markets and set a new paradigm for data economy.

The Finnish Presidency is committed to continuing the work on the pending legislative files.

One of our common priorities is to improve the availability of high capacity and increasingly fast networks and the deployment of 5G infrastructures and services.

To this end, we are prepared to finalise the CEF regulation should there be an agreement on the MFF negotiations this autumn.

As to the Digital Europe Programme, we are also prepared to continue the work on this file, also depending on the MFF negotiations.

We will continue the negotiations on the ePrivacy proposal and further them with the aim to ensure quality legislation.

We will also continue the work on the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre Regulation proposal. Hopefully we can return to the negotiating table with you and find a common understanding on this file.

To ensure the swift deployment of 5G in Europe, we also need to reflect on the security of these networks based on the Commission's recommendation.

In the Telecommunications and Information Society Council, we want to deepen the discussion especially on data policy and security of 5G networks. The Telecommunication Council under the Finnish Presidency will take place on 3 December.

During the Finnish Presidency, we will organise events to promote the discussion regarding data policies in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in the discussions during these events.

The Finnish Presidency will organise the High-Level Conference on Data Economy. During the Finnish Presidency, we will also organise Digital Transport Days together with the Commission, focusing on the digitalisation of transport. We will also look at digital government policies in one of our events in October.

Madam Chair, Members of the European Parliament,

I would now like to hear your expectations and concerns, and I will do my utmost to take them into account in my own preparations.

Thank you for your attention. Kiitos.