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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 9 December 2013

European Commission urges MEPs and governments to cut red tape for telecom companies

As MEPs begin discussions on possible amendments to the draft regulation proposed by the Commission on a Telecoms Single Market, the Connected Continent legislation, Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes is urging both MEPs and national governments to support her drive to cut red tape for electronic communication providers.

Vice President Kroes, the Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, said:

"I am deeply grateful to the European Parliament for working intensively on this proposal. We desperately need the economic benefits of a telecoms single market. The first step is making it possible for telecoms providers to operate easily across borders, especially smaller ones. It’s time for the red tape to go.”

The proposed regulation creates a smoother, easier environment for the expansion of telecoms services in three ways:

  • Replaces 28 different registration requirements with one single point of authorisation and notification in the EU, a one-stop shop effectively. This will lower barriers to market entry for new companies and lower costs for service provision;

  • Ensures more consistent treatment from regulatory authorities for multi-country telecoms providers in the EU – this simplified and level playing field should encourage new business developments in more Member States;

  • Makes it easier for smaller operators to expand across borders, by ensuring operators below a certain size in a market would not have to contribute to regulators' administrative costs or universal service funds (this would be achieved by the application of "de minimis" thresholds).

The Commission believes that the benefits of a simple one-stop shop approach to authorising one’s business will be an essential feature of a finalised regulation.

The Commission also firmly believes that the final regulation will need to give smaller operators a new and fair chance to expand across borders.

Neelie Kroes said: “The Commission wants to harmonise and simplify operating requirements because that is the best way to help expand competition and cross-border services.”

“This is about not only existing telecoms companies, but for the companies of tomorrow.

“We need a regulation that delivers more than a short-term sugar-hit for companies, one that will endure and be useful over the long-term. That is why we designed it the way we did.”


The European Commission has been working to reform European telecoms markets for 26 years, and proposed its most ambitious reform on 11 September 2013.

Launched by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in his 2013 State of the Union speech, the “Connected Continent” legislative package would reduce consumer charges, simplify red tape faced by companies, and bring a range of new rights for both users and service providers, so that Europe can once again be a global digital leader.

The proposal aims at greater Member States cooperation, coordinated by BEREC, the body of European telecoms regulators, rather than a single pan-European regulator.

Useful links

MEMO in all languages on the Connected Continent proposal

Commission proposal on Connected Continent regulation

Website on Connected Continent: a single telecom market for growth & jobs

Hashtag: #ConnectedContinent

Neelie Kroes Follow Neelie on Twitter


Email: Tel: +32.229.57361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU

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