The future of the European electronic communications market was the main topic of the meeting of deputy ministers and chiefs of the national regulatory authorities for electronic communications market from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Poland. The meeting, organised on the initiative of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications, was held on 6 February 2017 in Warsaw under the current Polish Presidency in the Visegrad Group (V4). Poland was represented by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Digital Affairs, Marek Zagórski and the President of UKE, Marcin Cichy.
During the debate moderated by the President of UKE, representatives of V4 Member States discussed the main challenges for the coming years. Participants of the discussion gave particular attention to the draft directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code. They underlined also the importance of presenting the common position of the Visegrad Group on the international forum and especially the importance of cooperation on the regional level. Common priorities of V4 countries include supporting investment in telecommunications infrastructure, efficient allocation of radio spectrum in the light of development of new generation of mobile services and pro-consumer activities.
During the debate President Marcin Cichy emphasised the importance of expert knowledge provided by regulators at the EU level. He also indicated that the review of the EU provisions is a good opportunity to discuss regulatory activities of the European Commission.
At the end of the meeting representatives of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland signed the Common Paper of the Visegrad Group, indicating the common priorities in reference to main proposals of the Code. Ambitious objective of promoting access to, and take-up of, very high capacity data connectivity by all Union citizens and businesses was supported. In order to achieve this objective, national regulatory authorities for electronic communications should be provided with effective regulatory tools which would allow them to keep up with the current trends in ICT development. However, the balance among regulators, the European Commission and BEREC should not be undermined. Taking account of the observed demand for spectrum and dynamic development of mobile networks and services, in the opinion of Visegrad Group member states a change of the current model of spectrum management based on competences of the national authorities is not justified. Regional coordination (e.g. in Central Europe) is necessary rather than transferring powers to the EU level. High level of consumer protection in dynamically developing digital environment remains the priority.
The document will be basis for further active participation of the Visegrad Group in the debate on the future shape of electronic communications market in the EU.