At the 27th plenary meeting of the European Regulators Group (ERG), held in Budapest, Hungary on 2-5 December, the Group was congratulated on the progress made progress made in the first reading by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament of the framework review package. However, despite positive expectations with respect to the most recent development, the ERG stressed certain issues which merit work at greater depth, governance, the size of the Secretariat and the respective legal form, financing and participation of the new Body of European Regulators in Telecommunications (BERT).
The group debated the progress that has been made with respect to the deployment, of Next Generation Networks and issued a statement on the issue in which it set out that it considered such deployment to be an essential enabler of a sustainable economic growth, stating that it considered the respective investments one of the key elements of the Commission's recovery plan to the current financial and economic crisis. It likewise emphasised that the European regulatory framework remains fit for purpose, and that private investments may be complemented by public financing, as long as private investments remain the main driving force.
At the meeting, the ERG elected Matthias Kurth of BnetzA as its chairman in 2009 and approved the 2009 work programme, based on the respective public consultation report, highlighting the accompaniment of the review of the regulatory framework and the international roaming regulation, the development of NGN/NGA, the scope of universal service and the monitoring of compliance with common positions. At the same time approval was given a document on the activities of the I/ERG in 2008, which highlights the active advisory role, both in terms of the review of the regulatory framework and in terms of key policy dossiers.
At the same time, the 4th General Assembly of the Independent Regulators Group (IRG) was held, which saw the election of the members of its management bodies. Besides Matthias Kurth, of BNetzA, who will be president of 2009, the IRG Council of the IRG will be composed of: Daniel Pataki, of NHH, John Doherty, of ComReg (will be chairman in 2010), Chris Fonteijn, of OPTA and Roberto Viola, of AGCOM.