Phone calls from one EU country to another should cost almost the same as a national call, say S&Ds

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The S&D Group led the European Union’s quest to put an end to roaming charges and it is now pushing for a drastic reduction in the price of intra-EU calls.
 
Yesterday evening the European Parliament’s negotiators reached an agreement with the EU Council for a new legal framework for electronic communications. One of the proposals will reduce the price of phone calls made from one EU member state to another one.
 
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP, the S&D negotiator on behalf of the industry committee in the Parliament, said:
 
“The end of roaming charges was one of the biggest achievements of the EU and of our political group. Citizens know that they can travel around Europe and still call home or use the internet with no extra charges. What we want to do now is to make sure that prices are not excessive when, for example, a person in Belgium wants to call a friend just across the border in Luxembourg, or even in Finland.”
 
Marlene Mizzi MEP, the S&D negotiator on behalf of the internal market parliamentary committee, said:
 
“It is on days like today that I realise how our work as MEPs has a real impact on improving the daily lives of all Europeans. Roaming was a great victory for our citizens, but now it is time for the next big step towards creating a single telecoms market for all European consumers.
 
“After months of very tireless negotiations, yesterday we finally reached an agreement that will lower international call charges in many member states, where the price is still higher than 19 cents per minute. The new rules will also give the flexibility to the market and to the operators while ensuring that we take this important step towards a single market, which will benefit both consumers and businesses in the digital environment.
 
“We are not only going to reduce the gap between national and international calls, but we improved enormously consumers’ rights and rights for people with disabilities in the telecoms sector. We have also agreed that in today's world having access to basic and affordable internet is a universal right that needs to be guaranteed to all EU citizens.”
 
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri added:
 
“This regulation will provide the way for Europe to move into the Gigabit society and 5G-era. We need many more fibre optic cable connections in Europe if we want to be successful with new innovations. Investments will bring new jobs and help in the transformation of our economy.
 
“The agreed package encourages investment; however the S&Ds felt strongly that we shouldn't do it at the cost of limiting consumer choice and driving up prices. This was a risk if big telecom companies who have significant market power would have had their way: regulatory holidays for innovative investments. This can now be avoided thanks to the parliament. Also, among the competition, rules are new tools for regulators to tackle oligopolistic markets.”