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Press releases

European Commission calls on social networking companies to improve child safety policies
(09/02/2010) 50% of European teenagers give out personal information on the web – according to an EU study – which can remain online forever and can be seen by anybody. Today, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission is passing a message to teenagers: "Think before you post!" It welcomed actions to protect children using social networking websites taken by the 20 companies who signed the Safer Social Networking Principles last year. Most of these companies have empowered minors to tackle online risks by making it easier to change privacy settings, block users or delete unwanted comments and content. Yet more needs to be done to protect children online, the Commission says. Less than half of social networking companies (40%) make profiles of under-18 users visible only to their friends by default and only one third replied to user reports asking for help.

See also: Safer Internet Day 2010: European Commission assesses social networking sites' approach to safety of under 18s

Telecoms: European Commission urges Latvian regulator to set lower fixed and mobile termination rates
(05/02/2010) The European Commission has asked the Latvian telecoms regulator, Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulesanas komisija (SPRK), to change the way it calculates fixed and mobile termination rates so that these fees can be lowered, making calls cheaper for consumers. Termination Rates are the wholesale prices which telecoms operators charge each other for connecting incoming calls to subscribers using their networks and are ultimately included in phone call prices. In May 2009, the Commission recommended an EU wide approach for calculating Termination Rates ( IP/09/710 ) but allowed telecoms regulators to calculate termination rates in other ways for a transitional period. These temporary calculation methods should be based on objective criteria and ensure that termination rates reflect the costs that an efficient operator incurs to provide such services. The Commission has also said that access and price control obligations should be imposed on all operators with significant market power to avoid potential competition problems.

See also: EU Consultation procedures

Telecoms: European Commission urges Lithuanian telecoms regulator to take action on the broadcasting licensing regime
(05/02/2010) The European Commission today has warned the Lithuanian national telecoms regulator, Ryšių reguliavimo tarnyba (RRT), that obliging terrestrial broadcasters to use specific suppliers to transmit their programmes constitutes a barrier to competition and prevents new terrestrial transmission service providers from entering the market. The Commission says that regulators no longer need to intervene in broadcasting markets in principal. However, RRT intends to continue regulating Lithuanian terrestrial broadcasting markets because of the exclusive market position that has been granted to transmission service providers Lietuvos radijo ir televizijos centras (LRTC) and TEO.

See also: EU Consultation procedures

Speeches

European Commission welcomes Parliament's support for an optional Europe-wide contract law
The European Parliament, in a vote of its 736 members plenary today, with an overwhelming majority (521 in favour, 145 against, 8 abstentions) backed optional EU-wide rules for businesses and consumers who are concluding contracts in the Single Market. The vote by Parliament follows a recent policy announcement by European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding that she is considering proposing such an optional European contract law in the autumn (SPEECH/11/411). Her objective is to bring more coherence to contract law in Europe while easing cross-border transactions, notably for Europe's small businesses and its 500 million consumers.
Think before you post! How to make social networking sites safer for children and teenagers?
Safer Internet Day, Strasbourg, 9 February 2010
A new beginning for EU telecoms regulation: EU telecoms regulator starts work
First meeting of the Board of Regulators of BEREC and the Management Committee of the Office, Brussels, 28 January 2010
Privacy: the challenges ahead for the European Union
Keynote Speech at the Data Protection Day, Brussels, 28 January 2010
Convergence in the electronic communications markets: challenges for the EU regulatory policies
CMT's II International meeting: "Regulation in a convergent environment", Barcelona, 23 November 2009
Why the Internet must be open, global and multilingual
Opening speech at the Internet Governance Forum Sharm El Sheikh, 15 November 2009
A European Digital Agenda for the New Digital Consumer
BEUC multi-stakeholder forum on "Consumer Privacy and Online Marketing: Market Trends and Policy Perspectives", Brussels, 12 November 2009