Brussels, 24 June 2010
Telecoms: Commission welcomes Polish compliance on subscribers' rights rules; closes infringement case against Poland
The Commission has closed an infringement case against Poland concerning compliance with EU rules on telephone subscribers' rights in Poland. Poland has now complied with a January 2009 judgement of the EU's Court of Justice (see C-492/07) and aligned the definition of a subscriber of telecoms services in its national law with the requirements of the EU's Telecommunications Framework Directive (2002/21/EC). This means that all subscribers, including those who have not signed a contract (for example pre-paid SIM card users, who represent almost half of Polish mobile users), can now enjoy their full rights under EU telecoms rules (for example, an entry in public directories).
The European Commission has decided to close the infringement case against Poland following an amendment of the Polish Telecommunications Act in May 2010. Poland modified its national law to reflect correctly the definition of a telecoms subscriber laid down in the EU's Telecommunications Framework Directive.
On 22 January 2009, the Court of Justice ruled that Poland had failed to correctly implement the definition of a subscriber of telecoms services into Polish law because the term was limited to someone who had signed a written contract. This limitation deprived subscribers such as pre-paid SIM card users, who represent almost half of all Polish mobile subscribers, of many rights under the EU telecoms rules, including the right to have an entry in a publicly available directory, the right to receive non-itemised bills, and some rights regarding the presentation of calling line identification or the possibility to stop automatic call forwarding.
Under EU telecoms rules (Article 2 k of the Telecommunications Framework Directive), the term 'subscriber' means any natural person or legal entity who or which is party to a contract with the provider of publicly available electronic communications services for the supply of such services.
The Commission opened an infringement proceeding against Poland for failure to correctly implement the Framework Directive correctly into national law on 21 March 2005 (MEMO/05/478), after the deadline for implementation expired on 30 April 2004. The Commission referred the case to the Court of Justice on 7 November 2007. On 22 January 2009, the Court ruled that Poland had failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law. On 29 October 2009, the Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Poland concerning its failure to comply with the Court's judgment (see IP/09/1615).
A detailed overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at: