Thursday 27 May 2010

EU progress report on single European electronic communications market

In the context of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission has published its annual report (for 2009) on the progress towards a single European electronic communications market:


The report is available in Spanish, Czech, German, English, French, Latvian, Maltese, Portuguese, Slovenian and Swedish (10 out of 23 EU languages).

Two short excerpts:

This Communication reports on market and regulatory developments in the EU’s electronic communications sector in 2009.

Consumers and businesses are still faced with 27 different markets and are thus not able to take advantage of the economic potential of a single market.

After analysis of market developments, the regulatory environment and consumer issues, the report reaches the following conclusions:

To move closer to a true single market, it is vital to step up efforts to address the issues identified in this Communication. The Commission will continue to closely monitor market developments so that problems can be tackled swiftly. In line with the Digital Agenda and the measures it outlines on spectrum, universal service, the regulatory treatment of NGAs [next generation access networks] and privacy, the Commission will also take a number of targeted measures:

(1) to address the divergences in regulatory approaches and the lack of timely and effective enforcement of remedies;

(2) to lay solid foundations for a correct and timely implementation of the revised regulatory framework and;

(3) to ensure an effectively functioning Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

These measures will in turn strengthen competition for the benefit of consumers and ensure that operators function in an environment which allows them to adapt their business models to new realities.

A press release from the Commission, available in 19 languages, offers an overview of the findings, and it hammers in the message that consumers and businesses still face 27 fragmented national markets: Telecoms: citizens and businesses pay the price for inconsistent application of EU rules (25 May 2010; IP/10/602).

The Commission has also released an explanatory summary: Telecoms: citizens and businesses pay the price for inconsistent application of EU rules - country by country breakdown of 15th Progress Report on European Telecoms Market 2009 and glossary (25 May 2010; MEMO/10/211).

The material can also be accessed from the Commission’s (Information society) thematic page.

Additional materials include the Staff working document SEC(2010) 630 (two parts; not yet on Eur-Lex under preparatory acts) and excerpts with country chapters.

Neelie Kroes

My impression is that information society commissioner Neelie Kroes continues her no-nonsense approach in searching for the European public good in the same vein as when she headed competition affairs. Consumers and businesses have reasons to wish her success. The obstacles are often found closer to home.

Ralf Grahn

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