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European Telecom Market Authority proposed

Friday 23 November 2007

The new body would replace the European Network Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the European Regulators Group (ERG). The creation of a European Telecom Market Authority is part of a package of measures to be submitted to the European Parliament in Strasbourg by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding. Once voted by the European Parliament, the proposal must be approved by national governments and is not likely to be implemented until 2010.

The national regulators themselves would also be given new powers in a bid to free them from pressures imposed by local governments. The national authorities would be encouraged to impose functional separation on incumbent operators in dominant positions.

This move is strongly resisted by major players such as Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, but welcomed by new entrants. Also, the governments of Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have recently been accused by the commission of interfering in the affairs of national regulators. The German government is opposed to plans by the European Commission claiming the supra regulator proposal is neither necessary nor consistent with the EU principle of subsidiarity.