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.
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President of UKE (Poland) and Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (Azerbaijan) officially elected for the posts of the EaPeReg Chairman and Vice-chairman for 2020

27-

27. November 2019

During the 14th plenary session of the Electronic Communications Regulators Network of the Eastern Partnership countries (EaPeReg) in Riga on 27th of November, 2019, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) from Poland and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) of Azerbaijan were officially elected for the posts of Chairman and Vice- chairman of the network for 2020, respectively.

For the first time since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of EaPeReg in 2012, the presidency in this network will be conducted by the regulator from the country outside the direct EaPeReg members, i.e. the President of UKE.

Both administrations have been involved in the Network’s activity since 2010. Azerbaijan closely participates in the works of EaPeReg and signed the MoU in May 2019.

Therefore this election was met with a positive response from the regulators from the EaP countries. “I am glad that the President of UKE and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan will take over the responsibility for EaPeReg next year. The experience of those authorities will help us to better achieve our goals.” – said representative of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC).

“President of UKE has been supporting us substantively for years. Taking over the chairmanship in EaPeReg is another proof that the Polish regulator is actively operating on the international arena, supporting other Eastern-European regulators” – added representative of the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization of Ukraine (NCCIR).

In 2020, under the leadership of UKE and MTCHT, the EaPeReg will continue its activity within the commitment, stated in “Eastern Partnership – 20 Deliverables for 2020 – Focusing on key priorities and tangible results” of June 2017, in particular regarding “Harmonisation of Digital Markets” and EU4Digital Initiative launched in 2016. Priority actions for the EaPeReg will be in three main areas:

-          Conclusion of an agreement between EaP countries on harmonised roaming pricing and roaming tariffs and conducting the study of possibility of a common international roaming space and reduction of roaming tariffs between EaP countries and EU Member States;

-          Strengthening the independence of national telecom regulators in the EaP countries;

-          Alignment of priorities for spectrum coordination both between the EaP countries and EaP and EU countries, including for 694-790 MHz (`700 MHz band`) and 3.5 GHz, in order to free these bands for 5G deployment.

The mentioned activities, overall, have been realized by the relevant Expert Working Groups of EaPeReg with the EC’s financial support and close assistance of Ernst & Young and the World Bank.

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