The EaPeReg 14th Plenary Meeting was held in Riga, Republic of Latvia, on 27th November, 2019. 37 participants from 17 countries participated in the event, the BEREC Chair, the representative of the EC, the EU4Digital project experts from the WB and E&Y, as well as the Members of EMERG among them. Plenary meeting was hosted by the Utility Regulatory Commission of the Republic of Latvia, the Vice-Chair of the EaPeReg for 2019. Cecoforma, in cooperation with SPRK, organised all the logistics. The event was sponsored by the European Commission. The Meeting was moderated by the Chair of EaPeReg for 2019.
Main goal of the Plenary Meeting was to:
• assess the EaPeReg work in the 2019;
• adopt the EaPeReg Work Plan for 2020, including the eapereg.org development;
• overview the EWGs reports on progress made in 2019 and the WPs for 2020;
• overview the progress reports of the EU 4 Digital project experts (the WB and E&Y);
• elect the EaPeReg Chair and Vice-Chair for 2020;
• discuss some other activities related to Network development.
The EaPeReg Chair and Vice-Chair for 2019, as well as the BEREC Chair for 2019 and the EC representative made welcome speeches. Participation of EMERG members was very well welcomed. It was stressed that close collaboration between the Networks will support their development.
Representatives of the WB made progress report on project activities related to Broadband strategy and infrastructure mapping. After the presentation the beneficiary countries provided their feedback. Discussions were hot, which means that both sides – experts and countries are deeply involved in the working process. The E&Y experts had the progress report on international roaming, NRA independence and spectrum development after the WB presentation. The beneficiary countries gave their feedback after the report. After the presentations, the EaPeReg Chair for 2019 and the IRB EWG Chair expressed their gratitude to the WB and the E&Y experts for their hard work.
After coffee break, according to the request of EMERG outgoing Chair for 2019, Plenary Agenda was slightly changed. Instead of the presentation on the EaPeReg work in 2019, the presentation on introduction of EMERG was made. Both, EaPeReg and EMERG Members stressed importance of close cooperation between the Networks. The EC representative noticed that the EC will support such cooperation ensuring participation of defined number of EaPeReg representatives in EMERG Annual events and vice versa, as well as participation of Western Balkan countries in some EaPeReg events and vice versa.
EMERG presentation was followed by very important activity – election of EaPeReg Chair and Vice-Chair for 2020. Poland was elected as the Chair and Azerbaijan was elected as the Vice-Chair. Incoming Chair and Vice-Chair had short speeches and presented the EaPeReg Work Plan for 2020, as well as the proposals on further development of the EaPeReg web-site: eapereg.org. According to the decision of EaPeReg 8th Plenary Meeting which was held on 22 November, 2016 in Bucharest, Romania, Polish representatives confirmed that UKE would cover the annual fee for the domain of the EaPeReg website.
After lunch, the EaPeReg EWGs’ Chairs presented Groups’ activities reports on progress that was made during 2019, as well as the main plans for 2020. Chair of SEWG presented the draft text of the MoU on Common position on harmonized technical conditions between Eastern Partnership countries (Republic of Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) for Land Mobile Radiocommunication Networks in 694-790 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz Frequency Bands prepared by the group. This initiative was followed by hot discussions. The EC representative mentioned that the presented document and this initiative are very important and the document should be signed at the Ministerial meeting on digital economy by the end of 2020. Coming from this, the MoU should be rebranded and renamed as the Regional Spectrum Agreement (RSA) among the 6 Partner Countries. At the same time, the road-map towards the RSA among the 6 Partner Countries should be drafted and sent to the Country Coordinators, the EU4Digital experts and the EC for consideration.
At the end of the meeting, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Network expressed their gratitude towards the EC, Cecoforma, SPRK, as well as participants, organisers, interpreters and all supporters of the event and with this, closed the 14th Plenary meeting of EaPeReg.