Thursday, January 28, 2010

New EU Telecoms Regulator Begins

The new Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) officially commenced its activities with its first meeting in Brussels.

BEREC was established by European Council and European Parliament as part of the new EU Telecoms rules that were adopted in December 2009. The new regulatory body is expected to play a key role in strengthening a single telecom market and consistent regulation across Europe. Already there are 12 fixed and 10 mobile telecoms companies offering services in many other EU Member States. Hundreds of service providers are operating across borders. In 2008, Europe's telecoms sector revenues accounted for €351 billion.

The new European telecoms body BEREC will give important expert opinions on the functioning of the telecoms market in the EU. BEREC will also advise, support and complement the independent work of national telecoms regulators, especially when it comes to regulatory decisions with cross-border aspects.

BEREC is made up of the heads of the 27 national telecoms regulators and is assisted by an office that provides the necessary professional and administrative support to BEREC's work. Most decisions will be taken by two-thirds majority and by simple majority when BEREC gives opinions in the context of the Commission's analysis of measures notified to the European Commission by national regulators.

BEREC replaces the "European Regulators Group", a loose grouping of national regulators that could operate on the basis of consensus alone and was not integrated into the EU's regulatory process.

"The first meeting of BEREC will be a step in the right direction for a more competitive telecoms market in Europe. I look forward to seeing real progress in developing further the European single market in telecoms and, in particular, to the positive impact that it will have for Europe's 500 million citizens," said Neelie Kroes, the EU Competition Commissioner.

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