EU Will Confound Critics With Speedy Telecoms Decision

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European authorities have a reputation for slow decision making with they must prove wrong says the EC’s Viviane Reding

EU telecoms minister met in Luxembourg this week to discuss issues including the future of Europe’s network and IT security, as well as the development of the Internet.

In a statement released this week, the discussions will include the adoption of the EU telecoms reform “package” with the EC represented at the event by EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.

” This is an important week for Europe’s telecoms companies and its 500 million consumers,” said Reding. “Industry needs legal certainty to invest and easier access to radio spectrum for wireless services, in particular in these difficult economic times. Consumers need effective competition among telecoms operators, connection to high-speed broadband internet wherever they are and wherever they go, and a better protection of their privacy on the web”

Reding added that most of the necessary reforms could happen by the end of this year with the vast majority of the telecoms package already agreed between Parliament and Council. “Critics often lament about Europe’s lack of competitiveness, because of the alleged length of the EU’s decision-making processes. In the next days and weeks, Council and Parliament have the unique opportunity to prove these critics wrong,” she said.

The telecoms reform “package” includes a reform of six different EU Directives as well as a new regulation establishing a European Telecoms Authority called “BEREC”.

Last month, all 7 parts of the “package” were approved by the European Parliament at a second reading. “Support was given in particular to the new Directives on e-Privacy and Universal Service, the establishment of the new European Telecoms Authority “BEREC”, a modern set of rules for ensuring efficient management of radio spectrum and helping to remove regulatory obstacles and inconsistencies in the single telecoms market, as well as the GSM Directive,” the EC said in a statement.