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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The 15th plenary meeting of the EaPeReg Network

The 15th plenary meeting of the EaPeReg Network (Eastern Partnership Electronic Communications Regulators Network) was held in an online format on July 2, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 15th Plenary meeting of EaPeReg, initially intended to take place in Baku (Azerbaijan) on May 7, 2020, was postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak. Later, it was decided to organize a virtual Plenary Meeting on July 2, 2020. Organizational support for the meeting was provided by Cecoforma with the financial support of the European Commission.

The event was attended by 40 participants - representatives of telecommunication regulatory bodies from 17 countries (6 Eastern Partnership countries and EU MS incl.: Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Ireland, Hungary) and the representatives of the International Telecommunication Union, the European Commission, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, as well as by the representatives of the World Bank Group and EU4Digital experts from E&Y.

The main goal of the plenary meeting was to discuss the following topics:

  • Assessment of EaPeReg work in the first half of 2020
  • EaPeReg 2020 activities and external cooperation
  • EWGs (IRB EWG, REWG, SEWG) reports
  • Presentation of the EU4Digital Facility experts on project activities
  • Information regarding HDM Panel and Ministerial Meeting
  • Future development of EaPeReg website
  • Establishment of permanent office of EaPeReg
  • Information concerning next plenary meeting

The event was moderated by Ms. Ulkar Sadigova, the representative of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) of Azerbaijan.

The EaPeReg Chair (Mr. Karol Krzywicki, Deputy President of UKE, Poland) and Vice-Chair for 2020 (Mr. Elmir Velizadeh, Deputy Minister of the MTCHT, Azerbaijan), as well as the BEREC Chair for 2020 (Mr. Dan Sjöblom) and the EC representative (Vassilis Kopanas, DG Connect) made welcome speeches.

The agenda included discussions on the EaPeReg’s international cooperation and joint activities with BEREC and ITU, so that the meeting continued with the intervention of both these organizations’ officials as well as EaPeReg representatives. On the cooperation with BEREC, it was suggested to organise joint sessions on the common topics for both parties during the meetings set back-to-back with BEREC. Regarding this matter, it was stated that the Chairs of EWGs will continue online discussions with BEREC representatives. Regarding cooperation with ITU, the newly launched by ITU project on mapping broadband infrastructure and services as well as topics regarding 5G roll-out in European region were mentioned among the main priorities for cooperation between the two parties.

Representatives of the World Bank made progress report on project activities related to broadband strategy and infrastructure mapping. The E&Y experts had the progress report on international roaming, NRA independence and spectrum development after the WB presentation.

Thereafter, the EaPeReg EWGs’ Chairs presented groups’ activities reports on progress that was made during the first half of 2020, as well as the main plans for the second half of the year.

The IRB EWG Chair informed the Plenary about the launch of the broadband mapping project in February 2020 and about the adoption of the new rules of procedure of the group. The adoption of the Methodology on the assessment of the independence of the NRAs and the fulfillment of the study on this topic were also mentioned. In the upcoming period of time, the IRB EWG will analyze the results of the study and agree with the EY experts the structure and content of the report that will summarize the results of the study.

The REWG Chair, in her turn, informed the Plenary that during the first semester of 2020 the group closely cooperated with the EU4Digital experts on preparation of the draft RRA based on the Roadmap towards RRA, which is now in the process of national consultation with stakeholders in EaP countries. During the second semester of 2020 REWG will assist EaP countries with national consultations with stakeholders for completing the process by the end of September. Another very important track for the REWG is the EaP-EU Roaming Study which should be launched in 2020.

The Spectrum EWG Chair informed the Plenary about the questions and topics of the recent 10th meeting, which was organized in virtual format on June 18th. Information on future plans and topics, such as spectrum and infrastructure sharing, emission control and necessity of emission standards revision for EaP countries in the scope of SEWG or/and even broader context were outlined.

The second part of the meeting was dedicated mainly to organizational issues, including information regarding the HDM Panel and the Ministerial Meeting, EaPeReg website, establishment of permanent office of EaPeReg and information concerning next plenary meeting.

The meeting ending was preceded by closing remarks of Mr. Karol Krzywicki, Mr. Vassilis Kopanas, and Mr. Elmir Velizadeh.

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