- Working groups
La Valletta (Malta), 17 October 2019 – The Member and Observer companies of ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading providers of digital networks and services, met today in Malta for the 58th General Assembly. During the meeting, chaired by Maltese leading telecom operator GO, ETNO announced its “Europe 2030” agenda as well as the appointment of Steven Tas (Proximus) as Chairman of the Executive Board.
Europe’s political, market and societal reality has dramatically changed in the past years. Unprecedented opportunities and challenges are facing the EU, which requires all actors – including trade associations – to change and adapt their policy agendas.
After having engaged in open tech dialogues with stakeholders from industry and civil society, ETNO members and observers endorsed “Europe 2030: A shared ambition for digital leadership”. The new policy agenda has one main message: all societal and industry actors should work together so that Europe, in 2030, is a global leader in new digital technologies. While remaining firmly open to global competition, Europe should shift from consumer to exporter of digital services and offer a European choice to its ‘digital citizens’. The European Institutions have a major role to play in co-creating a new industrial policy approach – as emerged in President von der Leyen’s initial guidance to the Parliament.
The “Europe 2030” agenda builds on three main pillars: world-class connectivity, leadership in technology and services, and citizens at the centre. Among others, the agenda underlines the importance of increased investment in digital network technologies, sustainability-oriented innovation, demand-side policies and leadership in data-enabled services. It also stresses the need to promote a shift from a market-focussed to a citizen-focussed approach in digital policymaking – one in which environmental, social and governance considerations shape our common actions.
ETNO is proud to welcome two new members, who have been approved by today’s General Assembly. The new full members are Telekom Srbija, the leading Serbian telecommunications company offering converged communication services, and United Group, the leading multi-play telecoms, cable and media provider in South East Europe.
As a new EU political leadership starts working on plans for future policies, ETNO members and observers unanimously elected Steven Tas (Proximus) as Executive Board Chair for 2020. Mr. Tas will be working on three main objectives: increased collaboration on policy messaging across the telecoms industry; an open dialogue with consumer and business organisations; and supporting the new European Commission and Parliament in delivering strong policies for European digital leadership.
ETNO also announced new hires and measures to complement its dynamic and result-oriented team, with a view to further improve its services to members and strengthen its external impact:
In this context, current staff member Anne Valles moves to the role of Senior Governance and Events Manager, focussing on the implementation of ETNO’s statutes, delivery of HR services and organisation of top corporate events.
Lise Fuhr, ETNO Director General, said: “5G, fibre and data-enabled services require a radically new way of going about policy. Our members and observers are key enablers of Europe’s quest for digital leadership. ETNO’s strategic objective for 2020 is to help co-create future-oriented tech policies”.