Commission opens infringement procedures against 24 Member States for not transposing new EU telecom rules

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the Commission opened infringement procedures against 24 Member States for failing to enact new EU telecom rules. The European Electronic Communications Code modernises the European regulatory framework for electronic communications, to enhance consumers’ choices and rights, for example by ensuring clearer contracts, quality of services, and competitive markets. The Code also ensures higher standards of communication services, including more efficient and accessible emergency communications. Furthermore, it allows operators to benefit from rules incentivising investments in very-high capacity networks, as well as from enhanced regulatory predictability, leading to more innovative digital services and infrastructures.

The deadline for transposing the Code into national legislation was 21 December 2020. So far only Greece, Hungary and Finland have notified to the Commission that they adopted all necessary measures for transposing the Directive, thus declaring their transposition complete.

Therefore, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Sweden, requesting them to adopt and notify the relevant measures. The Member States have two months to reply.

Background

The European Electronic Communications Code that brings the regulatory framework governing the European telecom sector up to date with the new challenges came into force in December 2018, and Member States have had two years to implement its rules. It is a central piece of legislation to achieve Europe’s Gigabit society and ensure full participation of all EU citizens in the digital economy and society.

To support Member States in transposing the Directive into national law, the Commission has been monitoring the transposition process and has been providing them with extensive guidance and assistance. Furthermore, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has developed and published guidelines to work towards the successful implementation of the new rules.

In line with the Code, in December 2020, the Commission adopted the following legislation to reinforce competition, regulatory harmonisation and a level playing field for all market players, as well as protect consumers and allow fair rates and varied offers for internet and telephone services.

  • A new Delegated Regulation setting single maximum Union-wide voice termination rates that operators are allowed to charge each other for delivering fixed and mobile calls between their networks.
  • An updated Recommendation on Relevant Markets, updating the list of predefined markets which European National Regulatory Authorities are required to regularly review.

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