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IP/10/641

Brussels, 31 May 2010

Telecoms: Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) established in Riga

European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has welcomed the decision of EU Telecoms Ministers today that the Office of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC Office) will be based in Riga, Latvia. The timely setting up of this Office will allow BEREC to advise the EU institutions on their work to ensure a robust and competitive Single Telecoms Market will be important to further many of the actions foreseen by the Digital Agenda for Europe (IP/10/581). The BEREC Office will work closely with telecoms regulators and the Commission to ensure the further development of consistent regulatory practice in the telecoms sector across Europe.

Neelie Kroes said: "Today's decision is an important step towards our collective aim to create a Single Market for telecoms services. The expertise of BEREC will help us deliver the Digital Agenda for Europe and tackle the remaining obstacles to cross-border telecoms services for European businesses and citizens."

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is made up of the heads of the 27 national telecoms regulators and is assisted by an Office (see SPEECH/10/15). The BEREC Office provides professional and administrative support to BEREC's work in assisting the Commission and national telecoms regulators on a wide-range of regulatory tasks, for example the Article 7 consultation process (see MEMO/09/539), the scope of the universal service provisions and Next Generation Access networks. BEREC will also give advice to other European institutions. In addition, the BEREC Office will collect and share information from national regulators and share best regulatory practice.

The establishment of the BEREC Office is foreseen in the revised telecoms rules adopted in 2009 (MEMO/09/513). The contribution of the BEREC Office towards improving the functioning of EU telecoms markets, as foreseen in the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199, MEMO/10/200), will be essential. In particular, BEREC has a very important role in making progress towards a Single Market in telecoms services instead of the current patchwork of 27 different national markets identified by the latest Commission report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market (see IP/10/602).

Background

BEREC replaces the "European Regulators Group", a national regulators group that could operate on the basis of consensus alone and was not formally integrated into the EU's regulatory process.

The setting up of a new regulatory body involves a number of administrative preparations, such as selecting buildings in the host country and recruiting new staff.

Today's designation of the seat is an important step in this process, which will facilitate the BEREC Office in fulfilling its tasks. It is expected that the first Administrative Manager of the BEREC Office will start working in the autumn of 2010.

For more information on BEREC:

http://berec.europa.eu/

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/berec/index_en.htm


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