EC starts legal action against 20 Member States on late implementation of telecoms rules

The European Commission (EC) has started legal action against 20 Member States of the European Union (EU) which have so far failed to transpose Europe’s new telecoms rules into national law, sending out “letters of formal notice” under EU infringement procedures. The deadline set for implementing the rules was 25 May 2011.

Seven Member States have notified the EC on measures to fully implement new EU telecoms rules into national law (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and United Kingdom), while legislative processes are ongoing in all EU Member States and a majority of them have informed the Commission of some implementation measures.  The twenty other Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) are due to reply to the “letters of formal notice” within two months.

If any EU Member States fail to reply or if it is not satisfied with the answer, the Commission can send the Member States concerned a formal request to implement the legislation (in the form of a “reasoned opinion” under EU infringement procedures), and ultimately refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In the case of Portugal, the Council of Ministers has given its approval today to the draft law which will amend the Electronic Communications Law for submission to the Assembly of the Republic.

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