Meeting of the Steering Group Think Tank (SG TT) of Electronic Communications Committee - Berlin

The Steering Group Think Tank (SG TT) of the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) met last 15-16 October in Berlin. The gathering was chaired by the head of the ECC, Thomas Ewers, and attended by about 15 participants, representing various chairs and deputy chairs of the ECC working groups/teams and the director of the European Radiocommunication Office (ERO).

Highlights of the meeting included the debate on each one of the 21 recommendations approved by the CEPT Assembly, specifically discussing their impact and how to implement them in the ECC; it is noteworthy that same are meant to make CEPT a more effective and credible organisation. The chairman of the Conference Preparatory Group (CPG), Eric Fournier, presented a contribution based on which various changes were devised. Some recommendations were not debated in SG TT because they concern areas outside the ECC’s jurisdiction, such as recommendations addressed to the ITU Affairs working group or related to the postal sector.

One of the aspects on which the debate centred concerned recommendation 6, linked to CEPT's need to have a more strategic outlook in its activity areas. Particularly with respect to the ECC, the current view of the Policy Goals and Rolling Policy Agenda was discussed - they had been subject to major attention in ECC PT7 (currently disbanded). It was decided that it would be important to re-launch, with eventual changes/reformulations (and more clearly with respect to the CEPT and non-CEPT environment), the ideas contained in those documents by means of a Strategy Plan. The ECC deputy chairman, Philippe Horisberger, was appointed to produce that document.

Regarding Recommendation 10, concerning a major opening to outside participation, the way to improve the current scheme was debated. Upon analysis of the current ECC rules of procedure (RoP), it was considered that the issue should be examined by the working group on Regulatory Affairs to make clear that the participation of outside entities in CEPT's work is welcome and that there is no need to create memoranda or letter of understanding.

As for the agenda point on the mandates of the working groups/teams, it was concluded that there was no need for alterations (even thought ECC PT1 is about to change its terms of reference, to ensure explicit reference to analysis of the IMT satellite component). With respect to ECC organisation/operational questions, the chairman of project team 42 (PT 42) of the Spectrum Engineering working group (WG SE), Steve Bond, raised the subject of meeting length, namely with a view to shortening the working group meetings. It was concluded that despite the administrations' interest, it would in practice be rather difficult to shorten the meetings given the uncertainty over the details and length of discussion time for each agenda point.

Note that the decision to hold this SG TT was made at the last ECC meeting, and essentially based on the CEPT Assembly recommendations. Other subjects, such as revision of the mandate of each group/team subordinated to the ECC, review of the CEPT Conference and ECC organisation/operational questions were also debated.

The next SG TT meeting is planned for 17 February 2009.