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Com-ITU sets out European concerns as WCIT 2012 concludes


21 Dec 2012


EU Priorities 2020

Com-ITU sets out European concerns as WCIT 2012 concludes

Copenhagen, 21 December 2012 – The Committee for ITU Policy (Com-ITU) of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) has today published a statement on the outcomes of the ITU’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT 12), which took place from 3-14 December in Dubai, for Europe.


WCIT Outcomes

In advance of the conference, Com-ITU worked hard to develop European Common Proposals (ECPs - on changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) which were based on a set of guiding principles that were objective, balanced and had a legal basis.



The aim of these principles was to foster continued development of international telecommunications services, without overburdening the telecommunications sector with unnecessary and intrusive regulation. 



As a result of extensive dialogue and negotiations, the delegations of the CEPT's 48 member states worked together to delete the most controversial proposals in the treaty including the introduction of internet and internet-related language, dealing with routing, spam and cyber security.  Despite these efforts, some additional provisions were added to the final text (e.g. article 1.1. on the scope of ITRs, article 5A on Security and Robustness of Networks and article 5B on Unsolicited Bulk Electronic Communications) which the majority of CEPT member states felt unable to accept as they were considered to be insufficiently clear and open to misinterpretation of the treaty and in consequence lead to bigger governmental control over international telecommunications services.


For these reasons the following CEPT member states decided not to sign the treaty:



Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.



The following CEPT member states did not share these concerns and decided to sign the ITRs:



Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.



In total, 89 ITU member states signed the treaty and 55 decided not to do so.



Next steps

The new ITRs come into effect on 1 January 2015. Until then, the existing version is applicable. However, since a large number of member states did not sign the treaty, there is legal uncertainty about what will happen after 2015. The legal analysis is being undertaken at national and international level. Some possible solutions will be discussed at future Com-ITU meetings.


A copy of the final acts of the Conference is available at




Notes to Editors


1.                   The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) concluded in Dubai on 14 December 2012. The Conference was attended by over 1600 delegates from 151 ITU Member States representing private and public sector interests. The purpose of the Conference was to update a binding global treaty on technical standards for telecommunications (commonly known as the International Telecommunications Regulations or ITRs) designed to facilitate international interconnection and interoperability of information and communication services, as well as ensuring their efficiency and widespread public usefulness and availability. The ITRs have not been updated since 1988, a time preceding widespread availability of the Internet and liberalisation of the telecoms markets.


2.  The Committee for ITU Policy (Com-ITU) of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) is responsible for organising CEPT’s engagement with the ITU across many activities, including the ITU's Plenipotentiary Conferences and its World Conference on International Telecommunications. More information is available from our website:


3.  CEPT is an organisation where policy makers and regulators from 48 countries across Europe collaborate to harmonise telecommunication, radio spectrum, and postal regulations to improve efficiency and co-ordination for the benefit of European society.


4.  Com-ITU is supported by CEPT's Secretariat office, the European Communications Office (ECO), which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. More information is available at:



Marcin Krasuski

Com-ITU Chairman