The EaPeReg 13th Plenary Meeting was held in Tbilisi, Georgia on 15 May, 2019. 37 participants from
15 countries (6 EaP and 9 – EU) participated in the event, the BEREC Chair and BEREC CN Chair among them. Plenary meeting was hosted by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), the Chair of the EaPeReg for 2019. Cecoforma, in cooperation with GNCC, organised all the logistics. The event was sponsored by the European Commission.The Meeting was moderated by Chair of EaPeReg for 2019.
Main goal of the Plenary Meeting was to:
• Assess the EaPeReg work in the first half of 2019;
• Plan the EaPeReg activities for the second half of 2019;
• Overview the EWGs reports on progress made in the first half of 2019 and main plan for the second half of 2019;
• Overview the presentation of the EU 4 Digital project experts on project activities;
• Nominate 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 made welcome speeches. BEREC Chair stressed importance of close cooperation between these two Networks and expressed his willingness to support further development of such cooperation.
The EaPeReg Vice-Chair presented the EaPeReg activities in 2019, among them planned Joint Summit of BEREC-EaPeReg-EMERG-REGULATEL which will be held in Heraklion, Greece, on 2nd October. She explained importance of this event, as well as participation level (High level representation plus CN member) and the possibility of funding EaP Countries participation in this event by the EC. The BEREC Chair supported the EaPeReg Vice-Chair and invited EaPeReg to participate in this event. Moreover, BEREC Chair mentioned that the occasion of the Summit would provide the opportunity to extend the MoU between BEREC and EaPeReg, which is due to expire in November 2019 and so continue the successful cooperation between these two organistions. EaPeReg Chair also supported the EaPeReg Vice-Chair mentioning readiness of the EC to sponsor EaP participation in this event, asking the EaP participants to send the list of nominated participants as soon as possible to prepare the proper ToR and submit it to the EC in time.
REWG Chair, as Ukrainian National Coordinator of “Telecom Rules” presented the information on HDM Panel held on 7th February in Brussels, as well as the Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy held in Bucharest on 28th February.
The EaPeReg EWGs’ Chairs presented Groups’ activities reports on progress made in the first half of 2019 and main plan for the second half of 2019. The IRB EWG (former BBEWG) Chair during her presentation informed the Plenary participants that due to EU4Digital project implementation, the group was rebranded and renamed as IRB EWG, i.e. Independent Regulators and Broadband Expert Working Group. The Plenary participants adopted decision of the Group.
E&Y and the WB experts supporting the EWGs with technical assistance within the EU4Digital Project presented the work already done and the upcoming plans.
 
During their presentation, E&Y experts mentioned that at IRB EWG next meeting, which will be held in Heraklion, Crete, on 3-4th October, 2019, back-to-back to the Joint Summit, the draft Methodology regarding the independence of NRA will be presented. Considering importance of this document, they are requiring participation of the heads/decision makers of the participants from the EaP countries.
The WB representative mentioned Broadband mapping in his presentation. As this topic was indicated by the EaPeReg as a priority action when broadband was included in EaPeReg’s Action plan for 2020, the WB agreed to analyse it. During the next IRB EWG meeting the WB representative will present some ideas/best practices on this matter that might be suitable for the EaP region.
REWG and IRB EWG Chairs together with the EU4Digital Project Team emphasised the need of a strong and serious commitment of the experts assigned to the EWGs for the entire period of the implementation of the EU4Digital project (3 years). They required re-nominating of participants in these EWGs to meet the EU4Digital project requirements. Except the relevant experts, participation of country representatives from each EaP country is a must. Coming from this, the EWG Chairs have been proposed to present the updated lists of EWG participants by the end of May, 2019.
During the Plenary meeting, traditionally, the EaPeReg Chair and Vice-Chair for 2020 were nominated. UKE, the Polish regulator was nominated as the Chair of the Network. The Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan was nominated as the Vice-Chair of the Network. The Plenary participants supported nomination of these candidatures.
After the nomination, the President of UKE presented his ideas and initiatives on further development of the network based on supporting arrangement of workshops and seminars, development of international activities of the network, etc. The representative of Azerbaijan expressed the willingness to actively support the incoming chair in his activities and the network in its further development.
During the preparation of the Plenary meeting, the EaPeReg Chair for 2019 proposed the new initiative, namely: since the Network establishment, the EaP countries have been participating in the thematic Workshops studying and sharing the EU MSs experiences on key regulatory issues to use them in future activities. Chair proposed to share with the EU colleagues how the EaP countries use this knowledge in practice presenting their developments. The EaPeReg Members had no objections against this initiative. During this plenary GNCC presented its new project on fixed internet quality measurement. This project was implemented on the bases of the knowledge got during EaPeReg thematic workshops, as well as some EU countries’ experiences.
During the last session of the meeting the EaPeReg Vice-Chair announced the date and time of next Plenary meeting. It will be held in Riga, Latvia, in the end of November, back-to-back to the 5G Techritory. Thus, Plenary participants will have the possibility to participate in this very interesting event too.
In the end of the meeting, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Network expressed their gratitude towards the EC, Cecoforma, GNCC, as well as participants, organisers, interpreters and all supporters of the event and with this, closed the 13th Plenary meeting of EaPeReg.
The Plenary meeting was closed by the music video - “if your internet speed is poor, please check it” –advertising the GNCC project on Internet quality measurement in Georgia Internet space and Georgian media.
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The 16th Plenary Meeting of The EaPeReg Network

The 16th Plenary Meeting of the EaPeReg Network (Eastern Partnership Electronic Communications Regulators Network) initially intended to take place in Warsaw (Poland) was held in an online format on December 3, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizational support for the meeting was provided by Cecoforma with the financial support of the European Commission.

The event was attended by representatives of telecommunication regulatory bodies from 6 Eastern Partnership countries and several EU Member States as well as representatives of the International Telecommunication Union, the European Commission, BEREC, EMERG, 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 2020 including EWGs (IRB EWG, REWG, SEWG) reports
  • EaPeReg 2020 activities and external cooperation (with BEREC, ITU and EMERG)
  • Presentation of the EU4Digital Facility experts on project work streams activities (roaming, independence of NRAs, spectrum and broadband)
  • Election of the EaPeReg Chair and Vice-Chair 2021
  • Future development of EaPeReg website
  • Information concerning next Plenary meeting (spring 2021)

The event was moderated by the EaPeReg Chair 2020 Mr. Karol Krzywicki, Deputy President of UKE, (Poland).

The EaPeReg Chair 2020, Mr. Karol Krzywicki and Vice-Chair 2020, Mr. Elmir Velizade, Deputy Minister of the MTCHT, (Azerbaijan), as well as the BEREC Vice-Chair for 2020, Mr. Jeremy Godfrey, the EC representative, Mr. Vassilis Kopanas, DG Connect and the EMERG representative, Ms. Paola Calestani made welcome speeches.

The speakers highlighted the key activities of EaPeReg in 2020 and expressed their satisfaction due to the results attained within all three Expert Working Groups. Thus, the targets set for the current year are, as noted positively, almost achieved. The developing regional and international relations of EaPeReg established with different institutions were indicated as well.  

The E&Y project team leader presented the progress report on international roaming, NRA independence and spectrum development. He mentioned that the drafts of Regional Roaming Agreement and Regional Spectrum Agreement are agreed among both EWG members and ready for internal procedures in all 6 countries. Representatives of the World Bank presented the progress report on project activities related to broadband strategy and infrastructure mapping.

In the next part of the Plenary meeting Mr. Vassilis Kopanas from DG CONNECT presented the EU process of defining Eastern Partnership Deliverables post-2020 in relation to the findings of the Summary of the HDM Panel.

Thereafter, the EaPeReg EWGs’ Chairs reported on groups’ activities done in 2020, as well as their visions on directions of groups considering the trends in the telecom field and main plans for 2021.

The next agenda item referred to the information about the EaPeReg’s international cooperation and joint activities with BEREC, EMERG and ITU. EMERG representative expressing the EMERG`s satisfaction with ongoing relations with EaPeReg as a good common platform for cooperation and exchange of experiences proposed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between EaPeReg and EMERG.  

The subsequent part of the Plenary meeting was dedicated to elections of the EaPeReg Leadership for 2021. It was unanimously accepted that EaPeReg Chair in 2021 will be Ukraine/ National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR) while the EaPeReg Vice-Chair 2021 will be Sweden/ Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS).

The final part of the Plenary meeting was mainly devoted to organizational issues, including information on the development of the EaPeReg website and information on the next Plenary meeting in the first half of 2021. As there has been technical and security challenge with maintenance of the EaPeReg website, before the Plenary the EaPeReg leadership addressed the EC and the E&Y project team with the assistance to eliminate the issue. Considering the request, the new concept was presented by the representative of E&Y with the most optimal solution of taking the EaPeReg website under the EU4Digital`s one. The representative also indicated the possibility of both content and technical maintenance at the same time. The participants supported the proposal.

The incoming chair of EaPeReg briefly presented the draft Work Plan for 2021 and expressed the hope of restoring the physical meetings in 2021 and possibility of holding the next Plenary meeting in Kyiv.

At the end the meeting was closed with the final remarks of Mr. Karol Krzywicki and Mr. Elmir Velizade.

Detailed Workshop
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