Category Archives: Current General Legal Framework

The European Commission’s publication in 1987 of the Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment marked the start of the process of liberalisation of the telecommunications sector. The process continued with the gradual introduction of a legal framework for telecommunications comprising five main directives: the ‘Framework’, ‘Access’, ‘Authorisation’, ‘Universal Service’ and ‘Privacy’ Directives. In 2009, the Commission revised the ‘Telecoms Package’ by adopting the ‘Better Regulation’ and ‘Citizens’ Rights’ Directives and setting up the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

Information Society

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Information Society Contents

  • Current general legal framework: Regulatory framework. Competition.
  • Digital Strategy, i2010 Strategy, eEurope Action Plan, Digital Strategy Programmes: Digital Strategy. I2010 Strategy and eEurope Action Plans. Programmes.
  • Internet, Online activities and ICT standards: Internet and Online activities. Fight against illegal online activities. Network security and information system. Coordination and standardisation.
  • Data protection, copyright and related rights: Data protection. Copyright and related rights in the information society.
  • Radiofrequencies: Mobile communications. Radio spectrum.
  • Interaction of the information society with certain policies: The use of ITC for road safety. The use of ITC for electronic commerce. The use of ITC for payment systems. The use of ITC for research. The use of ITC for public health.
  • Enlargement: Ongoing enlargement. Enlargement of January 2007. Enlargement of May 2004.

See also

Overviews of European Union: Information technology.
Further information: Communications Networks, Contents and Technology Directorate-General of the European Commission.

Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment

Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment

Document or Iniciative

Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive is intended to encourage rapid dissemination of innovative technology and thus promote competition in the internal market for telecommunications.

Scope

The Directive applies to radio equipment * and telecommunications terminal equipment *. The Directive also applies where this equipment :

  • incorporates, as an integral part or as an accessory, a medical device within the meaning of Directive 93/42/EEC on medical devices;
  • incorporates, as an integral part or as an accessory, an active implantable medical device within the meaning of Directive 90/385/EEC on active implantable medical devices;
  • constitutes a component or a separate technical unit of a vehicle, within the meaning of Directive 72/245/EEC relating to radio interference caused by motor vehicles;
  • constitutes a component or a separate technical unit of a vehicle, within the meaning of Directive 2002/24/EC relating to the type-approval of two- or three-wheel motor vehicles.

The Directive does not apply to apparatus exclusively used for activities concerning public security, defence, State security and the activities of the State in the area of criminal law; nor does it apply to:

  • radio equipment used by radio amateurs, except when it is commercially available fully assembled;
  • equipment covered by Directive 96/98/EC relating to marine equipment;
  • wires and cables;
  • radio equipment intended to be used solely for the reception of sound and TV broadcasting services;
  • products, equipment or components within the meaning of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 relating to the field of civil aviation;

Essential requirements and harmonised European standards

Member States must ensure that apparatus complies with the essential requirements of the Directive where it is properly installed, maintained and used, which is a condition for its being placed on the market.

The following essential requirements are applicable to the apparatus:

  • protection of the health and safety of the user and any other person, including the security provisions laid down in Directive 2006/95/EC, relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (but with no lower voltage limit);
  • electromagnetic compatibility as per Directive 2004/108/EC;
  • use of the spectrum allocated to terrestrial/space radiocommunication and to orbital resources, which make it possible to avoid harmful interference.

When an apparatus is in conformity with harmonised European standards, in accordance with the procedures established by Directive 98/34/EC, the Member States presume that the current Directive’s requirements have been met.

Information and notification

Member States shall ensure that the manufacturers or the persons responsible for placing the apparatus on the market provide information on its use in the documentation or packaging, together with the declaration of conformity with the essential requirements.

More specifically, for radio equipment, this information must be sufficient to identify on the packaging and in the instructions for use of the apparatus the Member States or the geographical area within a Member State where the equipment is intended to be used.

For telecommunications terminal equipment, such information must identify the interfaces of the public telecommunications networks to which the equipment is intended to be connected.

CE marking

Apparatus which complies with all the essential requirements bears the CE conformity marking. Manufacturers identify their apparatus by stating its type, batch and/or serial numbers and by the name of the manufacturer or of the person responsible for placing the apparatus on the market.

If a notified body has been consulted by the manufacturer regarding the equipment’s conformity with the Directive, its number accompanies the CE marking.

In its Decision 2000/299/EC of 6 April 2000, the Commission established a class of radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment that cannot be used everywhere in the EU (as in the case of non-harmonised national frequency plans). This type of equipment must bear a corresponding warning mark along side the CE marking.

Placing on the market and free movement

Member States must not prohibit, restrict or impede the placing on the market and putting into service on their territory of any apparatus if it complies with the essential requirements and other provisions of the Directive.

If a Member State decides that apparatus does not meet the requirements of this Directive, it may prohibit, interrupt or restrict the placing on the market and also the putting into service of that apparatus.

Putting into service and the safeguard clause

Member States may restrict the putting into service of radio equipment only for reasons relating to the efficient and appropriate use of the radio spectrum, the need to avoid harmful interference, or public health issues.

If a Member State decides that an apparatus does not satisfy the requirements of the safeguard clause, it may take measures to withdraw it from service, to prohibit its being in service or to restrict its free movement.

Conformity assessment and notified bodies

This Directive lays down the procedures from which the manufacturer may choose for assessing conformity with the essential requirements for different types of equipment. Member States notify the Commission of the bodies they have designated to carry out the conformity assessment procedures.

If the manufacturer so chooses, the procedures for assessing conformity with essential requirements in Directive 73/23/EEC and Directive 89/336/EEC may also be used for assessing conformity with the respective requirements of those directives.

Key terms used in the act
  • Radio equipment: a product, or component thereof, capable of communication by means of the emission and/or reception of radio waves utilising the spectrum allocated to terrestrial/space radio communication.
  • Telecommunications terminal equipment: a product, or a component of a product, which is intended to be connected directly or indirectly to interfaces of public telecommunications networks.
  • Apparatus: any radio equipment, telecommunications terminal equipment, or both.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 1999/5/EC

7.4.1999

7.4.2000

OJ L 91 of 7.4.1999

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003.

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

18.6.2009

OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/29/EEC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Reports

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 9 February 2010 – second Progress Report on the operation of Directive 1999/5/EC, on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity [COM(2010) 43 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Report describes the operation of Directive 1999/5/EC with a view to its future revision.
The Report notes that the objectives of the Directive have been achieved in terms of:

  • protection of health for users;
  • the safety of users;
  • the electromagnetic compatibility of telecommunications terminals and radio equipment;
  • the avoidance of harmful interference.

However, the Report stresses that market entrance for innovative radio technologies and the traceability of the manufacturer or the person responsible for placing products on the market need to be improved.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 22 April 2004 – First Progress Report Directive 1999/5/EC (the R&TTE Directive) [COM(2004) 288 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Report notes that the implementation of Directive 1999/5/EC has contributed towards the development of the internal market for radio and terminal equipment. However, the administrative provisions of the Directive are not sufficiently adhered to, which puts into question of the proportionality of these provisions and the effectiveness of communicating them to the sector.

Decisions

Commission Decision 2005/631/EC of 29 August 2005 concerning essential requirements as referred to in Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ensuring access to Cospas-Sarsat locator beacons to emergency services. [Official Journal L 225 of 31.08.2005].

Commission Decision 2005/53/EC of 25 January 2005, relating to the application of Article 3(3)(e) of Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council to radio equipment intended to participate in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) [Official Journal L 22 of 26.01.2005].

Commission Decision 2004/71/EC of 4 September 2003 on essential requirements relating to marine radio communication equipment which is intended to be used on non-SOLAS vessels and to participate in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) [Official Journal L 16 of 23.01.2004].

Commission Decision 2001/148/EC of 21 February 2001 on the application of Article 3(3)(e) of Directive 1999/5/EC to avalanche beacons [Official Journal L 55 of 24.02.2001].

Commission Decision 2000/637/EC of 22 September 2000 on the application of Article 3(3)(e) of Directive 1999/5/EC to radio equipment covered by the regional arrangement concerning the radiotelephone service on inland waterways [Official Journal L 269 of 21.10.2000].

Commission Decision 2000/373/EC of 26 May 2000 concerning the request by France to maintain pursuant to Article 18(3) of Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (the Terminal Directive) a requirement for telecommunications terminal equipment intended for connection to the analogue public switched telephone network of France Telecom [Official Journal L 135 of 08.06.2000].

Commission Decision 2000/299/EC of 6 April 2000 establishing the initial classification of radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and associated identifiers [Official Journal L 97 of 06.04.2000].

Regulations

Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the interoperability of the European Air Traffic Management network (the interoperability Regulation) [Official Journal L 96 of 31.03.2004].

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 of 16 December 1991 on the harmonization of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation [Official Journal L 373 of 31.12.1991].

Recommendation

Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz) [Official Journal L 199 of 30.07.1999].

Directive

Directive 98/10/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 1998 on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal service for telecommunications in a competitive environment [Official Journal L 101 of 01.04.1998].

Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

Document or Iniciative

Commission Directive 88/301/EEC of 16 May 1988 on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment. [See amending acts].

Summary

Member States are to withdraw any special or exclusive rights to import, market, connect, bring into service and maintain telecommunications terminal equipment * which they have granted to public or private bodies.

Except in certain special cases (absence of technical specifications or the technical qualifications of economic operators), Member States must ensure that all economic operators have the right to import, market, connect, bring into service and maintain terminal equipment.

New public network termination points must be accessible to users and the physical characteristics of these points must be published by 31 December 1988 at the latest. Installations already existing on 31 December 1988 must be equipped with a termination point accessible to all users within a reasonable period.

Member States must communicate to the Commission a list of all technical specifications and type-approval procedures used for terminal equipment and provide the publication references

All other specifications and type-approval procedures for terminal equipment must be formalised and published; the notification procedure set out in Directive 83/189/EEC applies in this case.

With effect from 1 July 1989, responsibility for drawing up the specifications, monitoring their application and granting type-approval must be entrusted to a body independent of public or private undertakings offering goods and/or services in the telecommunications sector.

Customers must be given the possibility of terminating leasing or maintenance contracts for terminal equipment subject to exclusive or special rights at the time of conclusion of the contracts.

Directive 94/46/EC also extended liberalisation measures to satellites.

Background

The Directive is part of the process, which began in the mid 1980s, of liberalising telecommunications markets in the European Union. The initiative was boosted by the Commission’s 1987 Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment, which set two objectives: to establish an integrated European telecommunications network, and to promote the development of lowest-cost services.

The long process culminated on 1 January 1998 when European telecommunications markets were fully opened to competition.

Key terms used in the act
  • Terminal equipment: equipment directly or indirectly connected to the termination of a public telecommunications network to send, process or receive information.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 88/301/EEC 19.5.1988 19.5.1998, except in case of specific provisions OJ 131 of 27.5.1998
Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 94/46/EC 8.11.1994
(valid until 24.7./2003)
8.8.1995
(1.1.1996 in specific cases)
OJ L 268 of 19.10.1994

Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services

Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services

Ensure that every undertaking has the right to provide electronic communications services or put in place, extend or exploit electronic communication networks without restriction.

2) Document or Iniciative

Commission Directive 2002/77/EC of 16 September 2002 on competition in the markets for electronic communication networks and services [Official Journal L 249, 17.09.2002].

3) Summary

Context

This directive continues the trend of liberalising the communications sector, launched by the Commission in 1999. It supplements the European regulatory framework applicable to electronic communications networks and services put in place by a General Directive and four Specific Directives of 7 March 2002.

Clarifications of the concept of electronic communications

Under the new Directive the terms “electronic communications” and “electronic communications networks” include all electronic communications services and/or networks which are concerned with the conveyance of signals by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic means, including therefore, the broadcasting of radio and television programmes. However, the directive excludes from the regulatory framework services providing or exercising editorial control over content transmitted, using electronic communications networks and services. This clarification confirms the distinction made by the new regulatory framework between services and content transmitted by means of networks and services.

Abolition of exclusive and special rights for electronic communications networks and services

The key provision of the directive provides for the abolition of exclusive or special rights granted by the Member States for the establishment and/or the provision of electronic communications networks, or for the provision of publicly available electronic communications services. Before 24 July 2003, each Member State must take the necessary measures to guarantee each undertaking the right to provide services or exploit networks, without discrimination, in accordance with a general authorisation regime which replaces the licensing system.

Only a reasoned opinion on the part of the competent regulatory authority within the framework of a general request for authorisation may prevent an undertaking from providing services or networks.

Vertically integrated public undertakings

Member States must ensure that vertically integrated public undertakings which provide electronic communications networks and which are in a dominant position do not discriminate in favour of their own activities.

Other services and networks

The trend to liberalisation also extends to directory and directory enquiry services, frequencies, television satellites and cable networks with the same objective of abolishing any unjustified restriction which might hinder the development of competing services.

Implementation

Member States must, by 25 July 2003, provide the Commission with the information enabling it to confirm that these provisions have been complied with and effectively implemented.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 2002/77/EC 07.10.2003 24.07.2003

Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals

Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals

Document or Iniciative

Commission Directive 2008/63/EC of 20 June 2008 on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment.

Summary

Member States may no longer grant specialor exclusive rights relating to the importation, marketing, connection, bringing into service or maintenance of telecommunications terminal equipment.

Member States may not refuse the connection of terminal equipment * to the public telecommunications network or the bringing into service of satellite earth station equipment * in their country, unless this equipment does not satisfy the essentialrequirements of Directive 1999/5/EC or the common technical regulations adopted in pursuance of that Directive. Member States may also ask for technical qualifications from the economic operators in question.

Equipment sold on the market must adhere to essential requirement defined in Directive 1999/5/EC and, where applicable, to the common technical regulations adopted pursuant to that Directive. Manufacturers and importers must guarantee that this equipment is designed to:

  • Ensure the protection of the health and safety of the user and any other person identified in the safety objectives which appear in Directive 73/23/EEC on electrical equipment for use within certain voltage limits;
  • Meet safety requirements concerning electromagnetic compatibility which appear in Directive 89/336/EEC;
  • Allow use of the spectrum allocated to earth/space radio communication and to orbital resources in such a way as to avoid harmful interference.

The new interfaces of the public telecommunications network must be accessible to the user, who must be able to use the terminal equipment of their choice. To this end, Member States shall ensure that operators publish technical specifications for the terminal equipment and interface to which the equipment will be connected.

Member States shall inform the Commission of draft technical specifications according to the procedure laid down in Directive 1999/5/EC. All terminal equipment specifications must be formalised and published.

The bodies entrusted with monitoring the application of specifications designated by Member States must be independent from public or private undertakings offering goods and/or services in the telecommunications sector.

Context

This Directive consolidates the provisions of Directive 88/301/EEC as amended in 1994. This Directive represented the first phase of a policy aimed at the liberalisation of telecommunications markets and which lead to the complete liberalisation of these markets on 1 January 1998.

The present Directive repeals Directive 88/301/EEC.

used in the act
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  • Terminal equipment: equipment directly or indirectly connected to the interface of a public telecommunications network to send, process or receive information. Earth station equipment are included in this category.
  • Satellite earth station equipment: equipment which is capable of being used for the transmission only (‘transmit-only’), or for the transmission and reception (‘transmit/receive’), or for the reception only (‘receive-only’) of radio communication signals by means of satellites or other space-based systems.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2008/63/EC

11.7.2008

OJ L 162 of 21.6.2008

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 626/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2008 on the selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services (MSS).

Summary

This Directive aims to create an internal market for mobile satellite services (MSS) open to competition and to reduce the digital divide by progressively improving coverage in less developed areas of the European Union (EU).

The Decision establishes a unique selection procedure at EU level and set outs common authorisation conditions for the operators of mobile satellite systems* by the 27 Member States. This will enable an effective use of the 2 GHz frequency band, comprising radio spectrum from 1 980 to 2 010 MHz for earth to space communications, and from 2 170 to 2 200 MHz for space to Earth communications.

Selection procedure

After the call for applications, the Commission shall organise a comparative selection procedure for operators. This procedure will comply with strict rules on transparency, fairness and non-discrimination. External experts may assist the Commission in assessing the applications.

Operators submitting an application must comply with the following eligibility criteria:

  • they shall be established in the Community;
  • they shall identify the amount of radio spectrum requested. This should be no more than 2 x 15 MHz. Evidence concerning the radio spectrum requested, the required milestones and the selection criteria should also be appended to the application;
  • they shall commit to providing mobile satellite systems covering at least 60 % of the aggregate land area of the Member States from the launch of the project and at least 60 % of the aggregate land area of each Member State by the time stipulated by the applicant or no later than seven years from the date of the selection decision.

The Commission may request additional information on the eligibility criteria. The applicant has between five and twenty working days to provide the requested information.

The selection procedure comprises two phases:

  • In the first selection phase, the Commission shall assess whether applicants have demonstrated the required level of technical and commercial development of their respective mobile satellite systems. Such assessment shall rely on the satisfactory completion of five pre-defined milestones (including satellite manufacturing and the satellite launch agreement).
  • In the second selection phase, the technical and commercial quality of the mobile satellite systems offered by the applicants is assessed according to criteria based on geographical coverage, benefits for consumers, the achievement of policy objectives and spectrum efficiency.

The Commission shall publish the list of selected operators who must then obtain authorisation at the national level.

Authorisation

Member States shall guarantee the selected operators the right to use radio frequencies and to use a mobile satellite system. These rights are subject to compliance with the following conditions:

  • selected operators must use the radio spectrum for the provision of MSS assigned to them;
  • selected operators must follow the milestones regarding satellite mating, the launch of satellites, frequency coordination and the provision of MSS within the territories of Member States (see the Annex to the Decision 626/2008/EC), in the two years following their selection;
  • selected operators must honour the commitments made during the selection procedure;
  • selected operators must provide an annual report to the competent authorities of all Member States ;
  • the rights of use and authorisations shall be granted for a duration of eighteen years from the date of the selection decision.

Complementary ground components

Once operators have been selected and authorised to carry out their activities in the 2 GHz frequency band, Member States must issue the necessary authorisations for the use of complementary ground components* of mobile satellite systems in compliance with certain common conditions. In particular, operators must use the assigned radio spectrum for the provision of complementary ground components and use them in an integrated way with the associated satellite system. In case of failure of the satellite component of the mobile satellite system, independent operation of complementary ground components shall not exceed a limited period of eighteen months. Lastly, the rights of use and authorisations of complementary components shall be granted up to the expiry of the authorisation of the mobile satellite system.

Committee

The Commission shall be assisted by the Communications Committee.

Context

This Decision forms part of the guidelines of the European Parliament Resolution of 14 February 2007 entitled “Towards a European Policy on the Radio Spectrum Policy”, which emphasises the importance of the diffusion of broadband, mobile communications and new wireless technologies in achieving universal coverage in the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU).

Pan-European satellite services also enable the expansion of geographical coverage of broadband in line with the i2010 initiative.

Key terms of the Act

  • Mobile satellite system: electronic communications networks and associated facilities capable of providing radio-communications services between a mobile earth station and one or more space stations, or between mobile earth stations by means of one or more space stations, or between a mobile earth station and one or more complementary ground components used at fixed locations. Such a system shall include at least one space station.
  • Complementary ground components of mobile satellite systems: ground-based stations used at fixed locations, in order to improve the availability of mobile satellite systems in geographical areas within the footprint of the system’s satellite(s), where communications with one or more space stations cannot be ensured with the required quality.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition into the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 626/2008/EC

2.7.2008

OJ L 172 of 2.7.2008

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation defines the rules on the establishment and functioning of the Body of European Regulators (BEREC). The main task of BEREC is to advise and assist the European Commission in developing the internal market and to form a link between national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and the Commission. It should also serve as a body for reflection, debate and advice for the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the electronic communications field. BEREC should accordingly advise the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, at their request or on its own initiative.

What is BEREC’s role?

BEREC will contribute to the functioning of the internal market for electronic communications networks and services.

Its objective is to:

  • develop and disseminate among NRAs regulatory best practice, such as common approaches, methodologies or guidelines on the implementation of the EU regulatory framework;
  • assist NRAs in the regulatory field;
  • deliver opinions on draft decisions, recommendations and guidelines;
  • issue reports and provide advice on the electronic communications sector;
  • assist the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission as well as NRAs in the dissemination of best practices.

How is BEREC to be structured?

BEREC shall be composed of a Board of Regulators, whose members shall be heads or representatives of the NRAs established in each Member State with primary responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the markets for electronic communications networks and services. The main responsibility of the Board shall be to take all decisions relating to the performance of BEREC’s functions and to exercise BEREC’s tasks which include:

  • publishing opinions on draft measures of NRAs concerning market definition, the designation of undertakings with significant market power and the imposition of remedies as well as cooperation and collaboration with NRAs in this context;
  • consultation on draft recommendations on relevant product and service markets;
  • publishing opinions on draft decisions on the identification of transnational markets and on the development of common rules and requirements for providers of cross-border business services;
  • consultation on draft measures relating to effective access to the emergency call number 112, and the effective implementation of the 116 numbering range;
  • monitoring and reporting on the electronic communications sector, and publishing an annual report on developments in that sector.

BEREC will be assisted by the Office which comprises a Management Committee and an Administrative Manager. The Office Management Committee shall be composed of members of the Board of Regulators and a member representing the Commission. Under the supervision of the Management Committee, the Administrative Manager shall be responsible for heading the Office.

The main tasks of the Office shall be to:

  • provide professional and administrative support services to BEREC;
  • collect information from NRAs;
  • disseminate among NRAs regulatory best practice.

What financial provisions apply to BEREC?

BEREC’s resources will mainly consist of:

  • a subsidy from the European Union;
  • voluntary contributions from Member States or NRAs.

The budget shall be established by the Administrative Manager and drawn up by the Management Committee. It shall become final after the adoption of the general budget of the European Union.

BEREC may be subject to a financial audit as part of internal controls.

Context

Decision 2002/627/EC established the European Regulators Group (ERG) for Electronic Communications Networks and Services. The role of the ERG should however be strengthened. For this reason BEREC has been created to replace the ERG and to act as an exclusive forum for cooperation among NRAs and the Commission.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition Official Journal

Regulation (EC) n° 1211/2009

7.1.2010

OJ L 337 of 18.12.2009

Current general legal framework

Current general legal framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Current general legal framework

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Current general legal framework

The European Commission’s publication in 1987 of the Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment marked the start of the process of liberalisation of the telecommunications sector. The process continued with the gradual introduction of a legal framework for telecommunications comprising five main directives: the ‘Framework’, ‘Access’, ‘Authorisation’, ‘Universal Service’ and ‘Privacy’ Directives. In 2009, the Commission revised the ‘Telecoms Package’ by adopting the ‘Better Regulation’ and ‘Citizens’ Rights’ Directives and setting up the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

Regulatory framework

  • The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
  • Regulatory framework for electronic communications
  • Authorisation of electronic communications networks and services
  • Universal service and users’ rights
  • Access to electronic communications networks
  • Data protection in the electronic communications sector
  • Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Competition

  • Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals
  • Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services
  • Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment