Thursday, July 6, 2006

European Commission Cites Progress in Enforcing EU Telecom Rules

The European Commission has closed another 18 cases as Member States have taken steps to comply with EU telecoms rules. These steps range from enabling national telecoms regulatory authorities to promote competition, to protecting telephone users' privacy.

At the same time, five new cases have been opened, four of which concern the non-conformity of national "must-carry" rules with the EU "Universal Service" Directive in Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels), the Netherlands and Finland. In addition, pending proceedings against three Member States (Finland, Latvia and Poland) have been carried forward. European Court of Justice proceedings are being brought against Poland and Latvia, for failing to ensure the publication of a comprehensive directory and a comprehensive inquiry service. Finally, Finland faces infringement proceedings for failing to ensure that its national telecoms authorities have sufficient powers to regulate the market for terminating fixed to mobile calls.

"I am satisfied that national measures to enforce EU telecoms rules are getting results", said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "It is good news for consumers that comprehensive directory and enquiry services are being made available in almost all Member States. Many users are also now availing themselves of the possibility, foreseen in EU rules, to keep their numbers when switching to cheaper operators. However, we remain vigilant and are launching new infringement proceedings whenever necessary."

See also