At friday’s meeting of the Telecommunications Council, chaired by the Minister of Public Administration, Boštjan Koritnik, the EU ministers unanimously endorsed a general approach on the NIS2 directive, which will make a major contribution to improving the EU’s resilience and cyber incident response capacities. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Digital Transformation, Mark Boris Andrijanič, who chaired the Council’s policy debate on “Digital rights and principles” in the context of Europe’s Digital Decade 2030.
The second day of the meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council focused on approving a general approach on the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (NIS2). The directive strengthens the EU’s joint situation awareness and collective capacity to respond to cyberattacks within the European Union. To this end, it broadens the scope and removes the distinction between operators of essential services and digital service providers by introducing a general size criterion (the inclusion of medium-sized and large companies). The directive also strengthens the security requirements for companies by introducing a risk management approach as a basic requirement for ensuring cybersecurity, including the delegation of responsibility to the management bodies of companies.
Upon the adoption of the directive, Minister Koritnik said: “I am very pleased that today we have managed to reach a general approach on such an important directive as the NIS2 directive. This will significantly improve the resilience and incident response capacities of public and private entities and the EU as a whole in the field of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection. We are also introducing stricter supervisory measures, peer reviews between EU member states, enhanced security of supply chains and a basic framework for coordinated vulnerability disclosure. In this regard, I would like to stress that the adoption of the proposed directive means a minimum level of harmonisation which does not prevent member states from taking additional measures at the national level.”
Under the theme “Digital Rights and Principles”, Minister Andrijanič chaired a debate which involved member states holding a policy debate on the initiative to draw up a European declaration on digital rights and principles. The declaration is in the process of being drawn up by the European Commission. The declaration aims to ensure a sustainable and secure digital transformation, centred on people and European values. It builds on the public consultations carried out, the Eurobarometer survey, and the many efforts made so far by the European Commission and individual member states. Digital technologies bring many opportunities but also some risk of widening disparities between people, and we believe that it is responsible to address digital rights and principles as this is an area of importance for society as a whole.
The Slovenian Presidency has successfully concluded negotiations with the European Parliament on the Data Governance Act (DGA), which will establish robust mechanisms to facilitate the reuse of certain categories of protected public sector data, increase trust in data intermediation services and promote data altruism across the EU. In this regard, Minister Koritnik said: “The Data Governance Act is a major milestone that will boost the data-driven economy in Europe in the years to come. By enabling control and creating trust, it will help unlock the potential of vast amounts of data generated by businesses and individuals.
This is indispensable for the development of artificial intelligence applications and critical for the EU’s global competitiveness in this area. Data-driven innovation will help us address a range of societal challenges and stimulate economic growth, which is essential for the post-COVID-19 recovery.”
The ministers also discussed the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union. In Minister Koritnik’s words, Slovenia is committed to ensuring that the main amendments will allow operators to provide retail roaming services in the EU under the same conditions as domestically, and that the additional measures will ensure that users are provided with quality services and access to emergency services through emergency communications while roaming. “Work at the technical level is ongoing and the text of the proposal is being intensively coordinated.” I expect negotiations to be concluded as early as 8 December,” said Minister Koritnik.
Slovenia also presented the progress made on the final text of the Artificial Intelligence Act, which would allow for adaptation to the future development of AI and AI solutions and support an environment to foster innovation. The Slovenian Presidency is preparing the first compromise text of the proposal.