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130709-SM-ISC

130709-SM-ISC

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Published by di24pl

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Published by: di24pl on Jul 15, 2013
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08/05/2013

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2013/[…](COD)Proposal for a
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCILlaying down measures to complete the European single market for electroniccommunications and to achieve a Connected Continent
(Text with EEA relevance)THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national Parliaments,Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee
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,Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions
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,Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,Whereas:Europe has to tap all sources of growth to exit the crisis, create jobs and regain itscompetitiveness. The 2013 Spring European Council stressed the importance of thedigital single market for growth and called for concrete measures ahead of itsOctober meeting to establish a single market in Information and CommunicationsTechnology as early as possible. This initiative is a direct response to that call andwill help achieving Europe 2020 Strategy's aims of restoring smart growth and jobcreation in the Union by completing and adapting the existing EU RegulatoryFramework for Electronic Communications in order to establish a single market for electronic communications.The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), one of the flagship initiatives of Europe 2020Strategy, has already recognised the role of ICT and network connectivity as anindispensable basis for the development of our economies and society. To let Europereap benefits of digital transformation, the EU needs a dynamic single market inelectronic communications for all sectors and across all of Europe. Such a trulysingle communications market is the backbone of an innovative and 'smart' digitaleconomy and a foundation of the digital single market.In a seamless digital single market the freedom to provide electronic communicationsnetworks and services to every customer in the Union and the right for each end-user to choose the best offer available on the market should be ensured and should not behindered by the legacy fragmentation of markets along national borders. The current
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regulatory framework for electronic communications does not fully address suchfragmentation, with national, rather than Europe-wide general authorisation regimes,national spectrum assignment schemes, differences of access products available for electronic communications providers in different Member States, and different setsof sector-specific consumer rules applicable. The EU rules in many cases merelydefine a baseline, and are often implemented in diverging ways in each Member State.A truly single market for electronic communications, once established, will promotecompetition, investment and innovation in new and enhanced networks and services by fostering market integration and cross-border service offerings. It will thus helpachieving the ambitious high-speed broadband targets set out in the DAE. Thegrowing availability of digital infrastructures and services will in turn increaseconsumer choice and quality of service, and contribute to territorial and socialcohesion, as well as facilitate mobility across the EU. Finally the establishment of atrue single market for electronic communications may affect the geographical scopeof markets, for the purposes of both sector-specific regulation based on competition principles and the application of competition law itself.The benefits arising from a single market for electronic communications will extend to thewider digital eco-system including EU equipment manufacturers, content andapplication providers and the wider economy, including sectors such as banking,automobile, logistics, retail, energy, transport, who rely on connectivity to enhancetheir productivity through, for example, ubiquitous cloud applications, connectedobjects and possibilities for integrated service provision for different parts of thecompany. Public administrations and general services such as in particular the healthsector will also benefit from a wider availability of e-government and e-healthservices. The provision of connectivity through electronic communications networksand services is of such importance to the wider economy and society, as a general purpose technology, that unjustified sector-specific burdens, whether regulatory,fiscal, planning-related or otherwise, should be avoided.This Regulation should ensure the completion of the single market through action on three broad, inter-related axes. First, it should ensure the freedom to provide electroniccommunications services and networks across borders, building on the concept of aEuropean Passport to put in place the conditions for much greater consistency and predictability in the content and implementation of sector-specific regulationthroughout the Union. Second, it is necessary to enable access on much moreconvergent terms and conditions to essential inputs for the provision of electroniccommunications networks and services, both for wireless broadbandcommunications, for which both licensed and unlicensed spectrum is key, and for fixed line connectivity. Third, in the interests of aligning business conditions and of  building the digital confidence of citizens, this Regulation should harmonise rules onthe protection of end-users, especially consumers, ranging from non-discriminationto contractual information to termination and switching, in addition to rules on accessto online content, applications and services and on traffic management which notonly protect end-users but simultaneously guarantee the continued functioning of theInternet ecosystem as an engine of innovation. In addition, further reforms in thefield of roaming should give end-users the confidence to stay connected when theytravel in the Union, and should become over time a driver of convergent pricing andother conditions in the Union.
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