Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications

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The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) was established by Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, as part of the Telecom Reform package. It replaced the European Regulators Group for electronic communications networks and services which was established as an advisory group to the Commission in 2002.

BEREC commenced its activities in January 2010. In the course of 2011 it became fully functional and ready to fulfil all its assignments as required by the current regulatory framework.

Mission[edit]

“Committed to independent, consistent, high-quality regulation of electronic communications markets for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.”

BEREC contributes to the development and better functioning of the internal market for electronic communications networks and services. It does so, by aiming to ensure a consistent application of the EU regulatory framework and by aiming to promote an effective internal market in telecoms sector, in order to bring even greater benefits to consumers and businesses alike.

Furthermore, BEREC assists the Commission and the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in implementing the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, to give advice on request and on its own initiative to the European institutions and to complement at European level the regulatory tasks performed at national level by the regulatory authorities.

NRAs and the Commission have to take utmost account of any opinion, recommendation, guidelines, advice or regulatory best practice adopted by BEREC.

In particular BEREC is requested to:

  • develop and disseminate among NRAs regulatory best practices, such as common approaches, methodologies or guidelines on the implementation of the EU regulatory framework;
  • on request, provide assistance to NRAs on regulatory issues;
  • deliver opinions on the draft decisions, recommendations and guidelines of the Commission as specified in the regulatory framework;
  • issue reports and provide advice, upon a reasoned request of the Commission or on its own initiative, and deliver opinions to the European Parliament and the Council, when needed, on any matter within its competence;
  • on request, assist the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the NRAs in relations, discussions and exchanges of views with third parties; and assist the Commission and NRAs in the dissemination of regulatory best practices to third parties.

During its 10th plenary meeting held in Vienna on 24 and 25 February 2012, the Board of Regulators approved BEREC’s strategy outlook for the coming 3-5 years, which will further enhance its effectiveness.


History[edit]

The European Telecom Market Authority (more properly known as the European Electronic Communications Market(s) Authority or EECMA) was proposed by Viviane Reding as agency for the European Union in 2007. Although initially presented as having power to override national telecommunications regulators [1], it would in fact essentially act merely as a consultative body for the European Commission.

It is proposed that the Authority be able to issue opinions and recommendations, to the Commission, concerning spectrum issues, market analyses that have not been completed on time by national regulators, and on the possible imposition of remedies such as price control, accounting separation, or indeed functional separation. The Commission would have to take the utmost account of these opinions and recommendations, but would not be bound by them.

It is also proposed that the Authority be able to issue decisions, which would be binding, in the area of the ETNS (which concerns the pan-EU fixed telephone prefix +3883). The Commission would have no say in this.

The Authority would consist of 27 members representing each of the 27 national regulators and voting by simple majority.

It has been reported that a similar system of cooperation exists between the Commission and the European Medicines Agency [2] although in the context of authorisations to market products, rather than regulation of market conditions.

Eventually in 2009 it was decided to transform the established in 2002 European Regulators Group (with office based in Brussels) into the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications and for its office seat was chosen Riga, Latvia in May 2010.[1]

See also[edit]

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