EP approves legislative package on electronic communications

According to a co-decision with the Council, the European Parliament (EP) yesterday passed the 1st reading approving its amendments to the legislative reform package on electronic communications presented by the European Commission in November 2007. Some of these amendments relate to issues of substance, including the creation of the single European regulator.

As opposed to the European Electronic Communications Market Authority (EECMA), proposed by the Commission, the Parliament puts forward the creation of a Body of European Regulators, be a leaner structure and based on the best practices of the European Regulators Group (ERG). The Commission is therefore bound to consult and take the Parliament's views into utmost account.  Supporting national regulatory authorities (NRA), this body will also serve to achieve a coherent and harmonised legislative base across the EU. The Parliament also proposes that the body be funded in part from the Community budget (rather than being supported exclusively by the NRAs as proposed by the Commission) and that half of its employees be recruited from the national regulators.

The EC's proposal was also modified in regard to the process of applying remedies, which will now involve the Commission and the new body. Accordingly, when the Commission opposes a regulatory measure, it can ask the NRA involved to either change the measure concerned or to proceed with other proposals for remedial action.

With respect to the process of imposing functional separation between the network infrastructure and commercial activities of incumbent operators, this may only be used as a last resort and will remain subject to the joint approval of the Commission and the new body.

The next step will be discussion in the EU Council of Ministers on 27 November 2008.

Telecoms Reform: Parliament vote paves way for Single Telecoms Market in Europehttp://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/581&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Telecoms: fair competition and flexible spectrum allocation to boost new wireless serviceshttp://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/052-37899-266-09-39-909-20080923IPR37898-22-09-2008-2008-false/default_en.htm

Further information:

Reforming the current telecom ruleshttp://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/tomorrow/index_en.htm

Related information on ANACOM's website:

Electronic communications - Regulatory frameworkhttps://www.anacom.pt/template2.jsp?categoryId=60209