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European Commission - Press release

Digital Agenda: Commission presses 16 Member States to implement new EU telecoms rules

Brussels, 24 November 2011 - The European Commission has written to sixteen Member States which have failed to fully implement new EU telecoms rules into national law, six months after the deadline to do so (25 May 2011). Partial implementation of the EU Telecoms rules limit consumers' rights in these 16 Member States. The new rules give EU customers new rights regarding fixed telephony, mobile services and Internet access. For instance, the right to switch telecoms operators in one day without changing their phone number and the right to clarity about data traffic management practices employed by Internet Service Providers. There is now also better protection of privacy and personal data online (see IP/11/622 , MEMO/11/319 , MEMO/11/320 and MEMO/11/321 ).

The Commission's requests today take the form of "reasoned opinions." Member States which do not fully implement the new laws risk referral to the EU's Court of Justice and potential financial penalties. The 16 Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

Background

To implement the new rules in full, Member States need to implement two new EU Directives into national law: t he Better Regulation Directive and the Citizens' Rights Directive, which together amended five different existing EU Directives (Framework Directive, Access Directive, Authorisation Directive, Universal Service Directive and e-Privacy Directive). However, while legislative processes are ongoing in all EU Member States and a majority of them have informed the Commission of some implementation measures, only seven countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK) met the 25 May 2011 deadline for full implementation.

Therefore, in July 2011, the Commission wrote to 20 Member States requesting further information on implementation (see IP/11/905 ). Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and the Slovak Republic have since notified full implementation to the Commission.

Useful Links

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/824

An overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/infringement/

Digital Agenda website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16) Twitter: @ECspokesRyan

Linda Cain (+32 2 299 90 19)


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