EC proposes Pan-European telecoms regulator

The European Commission wants to create a pan-European regulatory telecom committee and give itself the power to suspend decisions by national regulatory organs.

European Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, speaking at the Mobile Business Forum here, said EU ministers will discuss the creation of a new committee at the telecom council next month.

“The package is on the table now and will be discussed by the ministers next month,” said Liikanen.

The Commissioner is pleading for a single regulatory framework in Europe, saying he wants to guarantee “minimal regulation” for this “fast growing sector.” Liikanen specifically pointed to investors in the sector as beneficiaries.

After the countries operate by the same rules Liikanen wants to “try to get the countries to compete.” The new committee will provide benchmarking and statistics to power up the European telecom market, Liikanen added.

Per Haugaard, spokesman for Commissioner Liikanen, described the new body as a “high level regulatory committee” that would consist of representatives of the national regulatory authorities and the European Commission.

Haugaard added that the Commission has no intent “to interfere in each and every decision of national authorities.”

“The Commission wants to have the possibility to suspend decisions by national bodies in case European law is not followed and when businesses or consumers are threatened to be hurt,” Haugaard said. Companies and consumers will be able to file complaints with the European Commission, he added.

The proposal for the pan-European body comes forth of comments from the industry, Haugaard said. “Companies have explained that they encounter different rules and regulations in different countries. We want to establish a platform to have a liberal playing field in Europe,” he said.

Haugaard said Liikanen, known for his high velocity governing, hopes the committee will be in place as soon as possible next year.