The opening-up of the telecommunications market to competition has acted as a catalyst on a sector previously reserved for oligopolies. To keep up with these changes, Europe's decision-making bodies have adopted legislation in tune with technological progress and market requirements. These developments have given rise to the adoption of a new regulatory framework on electronic communications, the main aim of which is to strengthen competition by making market entry easier and by stimulating investment in the sector. The European Union`s legislation liberalising national electronic communications market was first adopted by all EU Member States in 1998. Since the beginning of the 21st century, several improvements of the EU framework have been made to ensure competition, investment and the creation of a single market in this area. This was done by means of legal directives that are mandatory for transposition in to the EU Members States` legislation. Depending on the date of their issuance, these additions are often reffered to as “The 2003 and 2009 European Union regulatory frameworks”.

 

The collective name, EU 2003 regulatory framework, encompasses the five following directives:

  • Directive 19/2002/19/EC, “The Access Directive” – deals especially with the access obligation that the national regulatory authority can impose on the SMP operators, which means the SMP operators can be obliged to provide access to their networks and services, ensuring non-discrimination, transparency and cost-orientation
  • Directive 2002/20/EC, “The Authorisation Directive” – facilitates market entry by requiring a general authorisation regime, which means that everybody can provide electronic communications services without the need for a licence or the need to pay inappropriate fees
  • Directive 2002/21/EC, “The Framework Directive” – sets the legal environment required for the independent national regulatory authorities to perform regular market analyses and adopt appropriate remedies when competition is insufficient
  • Directive 2002/22/EC, “The Universal Service Directive” – contains several provisions to ensure consumer protection, especially the requirement to ensure that a basic level of electronic communications service is available on the whole territory of the country and for every end-user, even in cases when it would not be provided under normal market conditions
  • Directive 2002/58/EC, “The Privacy Directive” – deals with the protection of personal data in electronic communications

Often added to this list is another legal act, Decision 2002/676/EC, “The Radio Spectrum Decision” – which deals with the regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy in the EU.

 

In December 2009, the European Union (aiming to improve the regulatory environment, customer protection and market competition), amended some of the provisions of the abovementioned framework. The two Directives and one Regulation are known under the collective name of the EU 2009 regulatory framework:

 

In addition, the European Commission issued on 7 May 2009Recommendation No. 2009/396/EC on the Regulatory Treatment of Fixed and Mobile Termination Rates in the EU.

Another important part of the regulatory framework is the Commission Recommendation 2007/879/EC on relevant product and service markets within the electronic communications sector susceptible to ex-ante regulation in accordance with Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of theCouncil on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services. In the document, the European Commission lists the 7 relevant markets where it recommends exercising market analysis and stipulates the methodology to be used when identifying other relevant markets.

In order to encourage innovation and increase productivity, employment and competitiveness, and ultimately to create economic growth and achieve the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, on 11th September 2013 the European Commission has adopted the Commission Recomendation on consistent non-discrimination obligations and costing methodologies to promote competition and enhance the broadband investment environment. The recommendation aims to create an environment that is both competitive and investment-attractive for the development of high-speed broadband internet.

 

  • About us

    Welcome to EaPeReg, the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) Electronic Communications Regulators Network,...

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  • Policy of EaPeReg

    The EaPeReg Network Members gathered in Chisinau for the Plenary Assembly of 11 September 2012, where the Memorandum of Understanding of the Eastern Partnership...

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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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