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Competition and consumer rights must be ensured by new EU telecoms rules, say S&Ds


03 Oct 2017


Innovation & Enterprise

Strasbourg, 3 October 2017

Sweeping innovation keeps changing the telecoms landscape and demands an urgent update of the EU regulatory framework, which was last revised in 2009. Yesterday evening the industry and research committee in the European Parliament voted on a report aiming at simplifying and updating four existing directives by adopting a European Electronic Communications Code.
S&D spokesperson on industry and research, MEP Dan Nica, said:
“Through lengthy negotiations, S&Ds have managed to ensure innovation and investment while maintaining efficient and effective competition. The main goal of the S&Ds is to avoid any monopoly in the 5G era so that consumers and telecoms providers both benefit.
“Affordable connectivity for all EU end-users should be encouraged and remaining barriers removed if we want to have a competitive market. This is why we need to make sure that companies do not increase prices for intra-EU phone calls or international calls.”
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, S&D spokesperson on this file, said:
“Consumers have already experienced the benefits of good regulation when roaming costs came to an end. With this new directive, we also want to find the right balance between incentives for innovation and investment while making sure that consumers will also benefit from lower prices and greater selection of quality services.
“Despite the opposition of the EPP Group, we ensured that National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) will scrutinise real co-investment projects which are open to all interested parties. They will do that before exempting operators from regulatory burden, but they will also keep the power of regulating access if competition is not ensured and operators begin anti-competitive practices.”
MEP Marlene Mizzi, who is the S&D negotiator for this file in the internal market parliamentary committee, said:
“Roaming was a great political victory, but now it is time for the next big step towards creating a single telecoms market for European consumers. Now, it is time to lower international call charges and to ensure that having access to basic and affordable internet is a universal right to all EU citizens.
“Yesterday, with one vote we have won many battles. We not only lowered the price gap between national and international calls, but we improved enormously consumers’ rights and rights for people with disabilities in the telecoms sector. This proposal will bring many tangible benefits to European citizens and could even save their lives with the new provisions on the emergency numbers 112, and 116 on missing children, and with the adoption of a special public warning system that will inform people who find themselves in danger zones, such as terrorist attacks or natural catastrophes.”




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