Extracts from the debate on electronic communications with the participation of Viviane Reding, EP plenary session
End production: 02/09/2008 First transmission: 02/09/2008
Members of the EP debated on 2 September 2008 with the Council and the Commission on the reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communications, including mobile and fixed telephones, broadcasting and the internet. The Industry and Internal Market Committees had already backed the amended "telecoms package" seeking to strengthen consumer rights and privacy protection, to ensure a consistent application of regulatory measures and to modernise radio spectrum use.
The telecoms package will reform the current set of electronic communications rules dating from 2002 by amending five existing directives and one regulation, and by establishing a new European body of national telecommunications regulators. The new rules, approved by the EP's Industry and Internal Market Committee in July, are tabled for a first reading plenary vote at the Strasbourg plenary session of 22-25 September.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Brussels
|| Luc Chatel, French Minister of State to the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment, with responsibility for Industry and Consumer Affairs, and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) on the Trautmann report; saying that Mrs Trautmann has underlined the fact that the Commission should only be playing a role of arbiter and not of judge; she is proposing a mechanism of co-regulation which would have recourse to this renewed regulators group when remedies proposed by one of the groups are called into questions by the Commission; so it is question of finding a compromise between the status quo and the power of veto initially proposed by the Commission which led to some opposition amongst the Member States;
on the Castillo report; saying that a majority of Member States do still have some reservations as regards this Community body; so over the next few weeks they will have to find a compromise there; they need a body that brings together European regulators or they need to think about the creation of an independent body or a separate body, the independence of which has to be guaranteed;
on the question of private life that was dealt with M. Alvaro in an enhanced cooperation procedure; saying that he is also happy that they have taken into account the idea of SMS spamming; as regards copyrights, Mr Harbour says that they should keep a general obligation to inform users; a data breach notification requirement set in by networks providers and electronic services;
|| Eric Besson, French Minister of State to the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Forward Planning, Assessment of Public Policies and Development of the Digital Economy, and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) saying that it is necessary, as emphasized by the Rapporteur, to allocate the Spectrum released as quickly as possible; the Council shares most of the points of views of the Rapporteur, that a coordinated approach of the use of digital dividends at European level will make it possible to optimize its use;
saying that the Council calls upon the Commission to begin studies and necessary consultations to find a common basis for a coordinate use of the Spectrum; the Commission is also invited to support and help the Member States in this objective;
|| Viviane Reding, Member of the EC in charge of Information Society and Media, (in ENGLISH) saying that the Commission welcomes the Parliament's proposals for a Community body; such a community body, with all it entails, has to be fit for purpose; it has to operate in such a way that it is efficient, fair, reliable, and that it is above suspicion that it is perhaps closer to some regulators than to others;
saying that national financing, in whatever proportion, will place the body's credibility into question and will open the door for administrative and legal uncertainty;
saying that they have to find the right means to safeguard the independence of the national regulators in a way that guarantees the Community based approach; but above all, she must stress the fact that the body is a means to an end and not the end in itself; the body is nothing more than an instrument in order to improve regulatory consistency;
saying that in many geographical zones where infrastructures competition proves not to be feasible, appropriate regulation will prove to be the only way to keep competition alive;
saying that she knows that the Parliament takes the protection of the consumers and of the citizens' fundamental rights very seriously and that is why she is so surprised that the breach notification requirements in the Commission's proposals are diluted by the changes now on the table; the default position should be that subscribers know of the breach of security concerning their personal data so that they can take the precautions; it can not be left to the service provider to determine whether such a breach is likely to cost the subscriber harm; it is the subscriber and his own data which have to be protected;
|| Cutaways (2 shots)