Brussels, 20 November 2009
Telecoms: European Commission welcomes EU Ministers' approval of broad reform to bring about a competitive single telecoms market
Today, the Council of EU Ministers unanimously approved the EU's telecoms reform package, first proposed by the European Commission in 2007. Today's Council decision comes after a political agreement on the package was reached in a breakthrough meeting between the European Parliament and Council on 5 November ( ). The new rules will enhance competition and investment in Europe's telecoms market, by giving more certainty to companies investing in high-speed optical fibre and wireless networks. It will also open up airwaves for new mobile services. The European Parliament will vote next week, in its Strasbourg plenary session, to formally endorse the telecoms package. The reformed telecoms rules will become EU law once they are published in the EU's Official Journal in December 2009.
"The Council of Ministers’ adoption of the telecoms package today gives a clear signal for boosting competition and investment in new and faster telecoms networks and services within a stronger single market. The European Commission fought for this reform during two years, and I welcome that many of our European ambitions have been endorsed by ministers, thanks to the leadership shown by the Swedish Presidency", said Viviane Reding, the EU's Telecoms Commissioner . "The Council's approval of the telecoms reform comes at the right time. At a time of economic and financial crisis, with the EU’s GDP expected to fall by 4% this year, the reform will have a very positive macroeconomic impact. The new EU telecoms rules will make a substantial contribution to a stronger, more competitive and more consumer-friendly single telecoms market with faster fibre and mobile networks across Europe. It will also give telecoms operators, whether incumbents or new entrants, legal certainty and ensure that decisions across Member States are taken in a consistent manner."
On the 12 most important reforms of the new EU telecoms package, see
Final vote on the reform package in a third reading in the plenary session of the European Parliament (scheduled for 24 November 2009);
Entry into force of the whole telecoms reform package with publication in the EU's Official Journal (December 2009);
Establishment of the European Body of Telecoms Regulators BEREC (spring 2010);
Transposition of the telecoms reform package into national legislation in the 27 EU Member States (by June 2011).
For more information:
Preliminary text of the agreed reform package: