European Parliament votes for communications code and BEREC
The European Parliament has voted in favour of establishing the European Electronic Communications Code and an enhanced mandate for the body of European regulators (BEREC), as proposed by the European Commission in September 2016, as part of the digital single market strategy. Vice-president for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip, and commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel, welcomed the outcome in a joint statement: “Today's vote by the European Parliament is a positive and necessary step towards ensuring that the telecoms sector in the EU is fit for purpose… With these rules, we will be able to ensure faster access to radio spectrum waves, a key resource for mobile communications, and boost investment in high-speed and high-quality networks in every corner of the EU, including in remote areas. Consumers will be better protected and enjoy better services, irrespective of whether they use traditional calls, SMS, or web-based services such as Skype and WhatsApp. They will have access to affordable communications services, including universally available internet, and services such as e-government, online banking and video calls. As of May 2019, people will be able to make calls to other EU countries for a maximum of 19 cents a minute and send SMS for 6 cents. Citizens will also be better protected in emergency situations via the 112 number, in particular by the transmission of public warnings on mobile phones. The new telecoms rules are also a source of inspiration. Let us show the same level of ambition in updating the e-privacy directive.” The Council of the EU will formally adopt the directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code and the regulation establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) on 3 December. MEP Evžen Tošenovský, from the European Conservatives and Reformist Group (ECR), is the parliament’s rapporteur on the report on BEREC that aims to improve cooperation between national telecom regulators. The ECR notes that the European Parliament and Council together rejected the European Commission’s attempts to turn BEREC into a single EU agency or telecoms regulator. Speaking after the vote Tošenovský said: “The new rules governing BEREC will enable it to take on the new responsibilities while keeping the already well-functioning two-tiered structure. Independence of telecom regulators is critical, both at national and EU level. They need to be independent from their governments as well as from the Commission.” Read more and here.
- Tuesday, 20 November 2018