ABOUT THE NETWORK
The EaPeReg Project - Eastern Partnership (EaP - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) Electronic Communications Regulators Network, is an independent platform of National Regulatory Authorities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services which was established on the Plenary Session which took place on 11 September 2012 in Moldova, where the Memorandum of Understanding of the Eastern Partnership Regulators Network was approved. The main objective of the project is to contribute to the social and economic development of partner countries by supporting the development of their electronic communications markets through a strengthened long-term cooperation between the EU and the EaP countries in this area. In the timeframe 1 January 2013 – 31 December 2014, the EaP Electronic Communications Regulators Network benefited from a technical assistance project funded by the EU. Starting January 2015, EaPeReg continued its work by its own efforts regarding the organizational issues and preparation of the content of the documents/benchmarking studies/proposals/positions of the network, being financial supported by EC through EU level programmes (e.g. the European Neighbourhood Instrument East – ENI East).
The Network is currently functioning under the EaP Panel on the Harmonisation of Digital Markets (the "HDM Panel") and the new EU4Digital programme implementation initiative.
The importance of electronic communications has increased with the development of a knowledge based society. The reform of the sector has become a prerequisite for delivering universal, affordable, high-quality services that will stimulate future economic growth. Furthermore, the liberalisation of the electronic communications sector brings positive social benefits to society as a whole.
Cooperation in Information Society is essential for sustainable economic and social development in the EaP region as well. This is the reason why Information Society is among the priorities of the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plans established with each ENP Partner country, and the budget for the corresponding activities has been earmarked in the Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013). Cooperation in Information Society has been declared essential in order to contribute to sustainable economic and social development in the EaP region.
In view of the differences in market structure and regulatory approaches across the region, the NRAs recognised in the Memorandum of Understanding that more harmonisation of the principles of their frameworks will contribute to creating a level playing field and increase regulatory predictability. This will promote investment and leverage national development efforts, which will have positive socioeconomic impacts on the electronic communications sectors. Regional cooperation of the regulators is an efficient way to facilitate these developments.
In line with the objectives of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Communication of 2008 and the recent Joint Communication on an Eastern Partnership Roadmap, the Regulatory Authorities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services in the Eastern Partnership region have joined forces to set up a network with the aim of facilitating and strengthening cooperation in the field of electronic communications.
The EaP Regulators and a number of EU regulators have already participated and have been active in technical workshops, organised under platform 4 of the Eastern Partnership. The first such workshop was held at the initiative and with the support of the European Commission and the Austrian Regulator, RTR, in Vienna in October 2010. A second workshop organised at the initiative and with the support of the European Commission and the Lithuanian Regulator, RRT, was held in Trakai at the end of June 2011. The last meeting was held in November 2011 in Barcelona, bringing together the EaP regulators as well as the members of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and REGULATEL. During these workshops, the interest of participants for a deeper and more formalised cooperation became evident. The creation of a network of electronic regulators from the EaP region and the EU was supported by the European Union institutions, the Eastern Partnership regulators, as well as the regulators of the European Union Member States present at the Plenary Session which took place on 11 September 2012 in Moldova, where the Memorandum of Understanding of the Eastern Partnership Regulators Network was approved.