Five EU Member States to be fined for not adopting telecoms rules

The European Commission has announced that it will refer five European Union Member States to the EU Court of Justice for failing to implement the new telecoms rules into national legislation in the deadline prescribed.

The countries in question are Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia.

The new telecommunications rules that ensure a more competitive telecoms sector and  better services for customers were adopted by the European Parliament and Council in late 2009. The rules among other enable users to switch their phone operator in one day without changing their number and give users the right to be informed without delay when their personal data is stolen online.

The rules had to be implemented into national laws of all European Union countries by 25 May 2011.

In July 2011 the European Commission started legal action against 20 Member States that failed to adopt the telecoms rules into national legislation by May of that year. Among these Member States Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia have still not completed the legislative process to transpose the rules into national law.

The Commission has now refereed these states to the EU Court of Justice.

The Commission also suggested the Court impose a daily penalty payment on each Member State to be be paid as from the date of the Court’s ruling until full transposition of the rules into national law is notified. These penalties range from €70,353 per day for Belgium to €13,063 per day for Slovenia.

The European Commission may discontinue the cases once it has been notified of appropriate measures by the five Member States.

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