IRG - Independent Regulators Group

The Independent Regulators Group - IRG - was established in 1997, on the initiative of the French Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

In the beginning, the Group included only the NRA (National Regulatory Authorities) of some European Union Member States, Portugal included. Today, the IRG consists of the NRA of the fifteen Member States, the countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland, a debate still being held as to the membership of the NRA of the candidate countries to the European Union (Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus).

This group aims to operate as an informal discussion forum for the sharing of experiences and points of views among its members on issues of common interest such as interconnection, prices, universal service, and other important issues relating to the regulation and development of the European telecommunications market.

The IRG has an unheavy and functional structure, in order to avoid the duplication of discussions held within other entities (UE, CEPT), having constituted several working groups, that monitor the development of specialized issues (Transparency and Retail Tariffs, Resolution of Cross-Border Conflicts, Cooperation between National Regulatory Authorities and National Competition Authorities, Local Loop Unbundling, Significant Market Power, Mobile Access, Market Analysis and IRGIS - Independent Regulators Group Information Sharing).

The IRGIS Working Group is responsible for implementing the IRGIS project, in the scope of the Information Systems and Technologies, aiming for the sharing of information and the support to the collaborative work being carried out by all its working groups. This projects operates by means of the information sharing between the European regulatory authorities, members of the IRG, whether as questionnaires or merely requests for information, enabling data to be obtained on several subject/issues as to various European markets.

IRG undertakes discussions on a regular basis, in plenary meetings, as to issues of common interest of a regulatory nature, and where appropriate, adopts guiding documents, of a non-binding character, such as the Principles of Implementation and Best practice (PIB’s) and Common Positions (CP's).

The representation at the IRG plenary meetings is generally carried out by the senior officers of the regulatory entities.

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