Despite some severe criticism, the Council of the European Union green lit the ‘Connected Continent’ telecoms reform package in its meeting yesterday in Brussels.
The new EU Electronic Communications Regulatory Framework proposal, launched by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in his 2013 State of the Union speech, aims at uniting the 28 national telecoms markets into a single EU telecoms market and clear the “regulatory mess” of differing prices and rules.
Said the Council of Ministers:
Overcoming fragmentation, promoting effective competition and attracting private investment through an improved, predictable and stable EU-wide legal framework is crucial, while ensuring high level of consumer protection and allowing Member States a degree of flexibility to take additional consumer protection measures. In this context, the European Council welcomes the presentation by the Commission of the “Connected Continent” package and encourages the legislator to carry out an intensive examination with a view to its timely adoption. It underlines the importance of better coordinating the timing and conditions of spectrum assignment, while respecting national competences in this area.
Find out more about ‘Connected Continent’ in Aphaia’s white paper ‘Review of the new EU Electronic Communications Regulatory Framework proposal’.
UPDATED [25.10.2013]: In response to the Council decision Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission wrote that yesterday was “a good day for Europe” and that “the European Council will be returning to [the] issue in 2014.”
As Dr Boštjan Makarovič, Aphaia’s Chief Consultant warns, however, BEREC’s comments and Aphaia’s white paper/SWOT analysis of the proposal show that there are several pitfalls in the proposal that will have to be addressed by the Parliament and the Council before the ‘Connected Continent’ can be adopted.
UPDATED [29.10.2013]: The Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (ITRE) has launched a public stakeholder consultation on the new ‘Connected Continent’ telecoms regulation proposal. Stakeholders can provide their input on the proposal by 5 November 2013.
Picture: European Council
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