2 Jun

The first day’s agenda of the Competitiveness Council meeting of 27 May 2021 was dominated by two main topics, namely the Digital Services Package and the updated European industrial strategy. First, ministers took stock of the ongoing negotiations on the elements of the Digital Services Package. Hungary agreed that it was timely to introduce new rules to combat illegal content with uniform rules at EU level, while respecting fundamental rights, in particular the freedom of expression and privacy of European citizens. Furthermore, in order to create and maintain a fair digital market competition, which is open for all enterprises, Hungary supports the development a set of obligations aimed at undertakings with significant market power (the so-called gatekeepers), thereby creating legal certainty for all stakeholders. At the same time, Hungary called for putting in place the right enforcement structures, with the greater involvement of Member States’ authorities.

During the debate on the updated European industrial strategy, the Member States agreed on the need to restore the functioning of the internal market and to ensure the free movement of goods, persons and services. In addition, all Member States supported the Commission's objective of reducing strategic dependencies, in particular as regards access to critical raw materials. As for Hungary, it was also mentioned that an incentive system should be developed in order to speed up the process of repatriating key activities.

The next day, at the Research Section of the Competitiveness Council, Ministers endorsed the general approach of the European High Performance Computing Regulation and the Council conclusions on research careers. It was followed by a policy debate on the renewal of the European Research Area (ERA). During the debate Ministers agreed that research and innovation is essential for the Future of Europe and they emphasized the need for a common political agenda for social purposes. They agreed to invest 3% of the GDP in research and innovation and that the new design of the ERA should be implemented in an inclusive manner, respecting specificities of Members States. Furthermore, Ministers emphasized that Research infrastructure, supporting researchers' careers, and institutional capacities and incentives play an important role in renewing the ERA. Hungary underlined that it was inevitable, that the ERA relies on cooperation with the Commission, Member States and R&I stakeholders. The Horizon Europe program should play a key role in translating the vision of the ERA into the programming process.

At last, in the Space Policy formation delegations agreed that a European approach has to be developed regarding Space Traffic Management, in order to have the ability to preserve our space infrastructure and our strategic autonomy. Besides, this European approach is expected to support new entrepreneurial interests in the field and contribute to a leading role at international fora. The roadmap to this common approach, presented by the Presidency, was welcomed by the Member States as well. Hungary underlined the importance of a close cooperation the European Space Agency in this area.