Tuesday, December 13, 2005

European Commission Initiates Proceedings Against Sweden and Poland on Telecom Rules

The European Commission has decided to take Sweden and Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement EU rules on electronic communications. The case gainst Sweden involved its failure to maintain market safeguard regulations. The case against Poland concerns its failure to ensure effective availability of number portability. The EC is hoping both countries will take corrective actions before court proceedings get underway.

In 12 cases from the previous infringement rounds, the Commission has sent reasoned opinions to the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Finland and the UK. These countries now have two months in which to respond. They could also face action before the European Court of Justice if they fail to comply with the EU telecom rules.

In addition, the Commission has sent letters of formal notice (step one in the infringement procedure -- failure of a Member State to fulfill an obligation) to the UK, Portugal, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

At the same time, the European Commission is closing 9 cases from previous infringement rounds, as the Member States concerned have meanwhile ensured effective implementation of the EU framework for electronic communications.

"Implementing EU electronic communications rules is essential to enable competition and to deliver improved services. I find it regrettable that since the entry into force of the new rules in July 2003, the Commission had to open altogether more than 50 infringement procedures to remedy shortcomings in implementation," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "However, I am pleased that our efforts are now showing positive results in a number of Member States and that we can close today a whole series of cases."