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TELECOMMUNICATIONS: EIGHT STATES WARNED FOR FAILING TO APPLY NEW REULATORY FRAMEWORK.

This legislative package, which officially entered into force in July, consists of a Framework Directive (2202/21/EC), an Authorisation Directive (2002/20/EC), an Access Directive (2002/19/EC), a Universal Service Directive (2002/22/EC) and a Directive on data protection (2002/58/EC). The deadline for transposition of the Data Protection Directive is a little later on October 31, 2003, whilst the radio spectrum Decision (676/2002/EC) does not have to be transposed into national law. The package was formally adopted by the Council in February 2002, following an agreement in principle in December 2001 (see European Report 2644 for further details).In its Communication of February 2003 on "Electronic Communications: the Road to the Knowledge Economy" (COM(2003)65, the Commission stressed the importance of full, effective and timely implementation of the new regulatory framework for electronic communications. The aim is to create and maintain a competitive environment that offers incentives to innovate, invest, and improve the quality of the services offered. This view was fully been supported both by the Spring Council and the subsequent Telecoms Council in March 2003.

Should the Member States concerned fail to offer a valid response within two months, the Commission may issued reasoned opinions and might eventually refer the cases before the Court of Justice. It nevertheless emphasises that it is just as important to use other means than infringement proceedings to ensure proper application of regulations. In this regard, the Commission indicates that it is working closely with the Member States' authorities and in particular with independent national regulatory authorities. Such co-operation already takes place for example in the Communications Committee (COCOM) and the European Regulators Group (ERG) as well as in the Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) and the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG). It proposes to debate application of the Directives at the next COCOM meeting on November 12.

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Oct 11, 2003
Words:313
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