Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications

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The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC; German: Gremium Europäischer Regulierungsstellen für elektronische Kommunikation, GEREK) is the regulating agency of the telecommunication market in the European Union. It was created by the Telecoms Package which was passed in September 2009.[1]

BEREC includes national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on its board and an administrative staff including Community officials. The budget will be €5.5 million. BEREC will issue opinions on market definitions and remedies proposed by NRAs.

The Members of BEREC met for the first time in January 2010 in Brussels to elect a chairman and vice chairmen, who will serve a 12-month term and will likely focus initially on topics such as Next Generation Access, Net Neutrality, Universal Service Obligations and the functional separation of local network access and backhaul network access.

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.[2]

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