The Regulatory Framework Working Group (RF WG) plays an indispensable and crucial role in the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications. The WG focuses on a wide range of systematic sectoral reviews of electronic communications in Europe and provides technical contributions to the sectoral legislative reforms of the European Commission (EC) and the co-legislators.
Working Group Co-chairs
(Note: This video was recorded in 2022).
Work in 2023
In 2023, the RF WG will continue working on related topics, based on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC) Work Programme 2023.
BEREC Report on the authorisation-related framework for international connectivity infrastructures
To ensure connectivity throughout the European Union (EU) (and especially in its outermost regions) and with other continents, it is essential to invest and modernise telecom submarine cables. In this respect, an important factor for reducing the costs related to such investments is the streamlining of the licensing and authorisation processes for submarine cables.
In line with its remit in the electronic communications sector, BEREC will adopt a report outlining the current authorisation-related fulfilments in place in this sector in the EU in relation to installing international connectivity infrastructures. The report aims to identify the different authorisation, licensing and registration procedures related to international submarine cable systems in each of the relevant Member States for this purpose, examine the guidelines for sharing and colocation of terrestrial network connectivity to submarine landing stations, examine National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) competences regarding the international submarine cables, namely in terms of authorisations, proper functioning of the market, affordability and prices and analyse the regulatory initiatives developed by the NRAs in order to increase and securing submarine connectivity and reduce the risk of cyber incidents and attacks in international connectivity infrastructures.
BEREC Opinion on the functioning of BEREC and BEREC Office for the evaluation under Article 48 of the BEREC Regulation
Pursuant to Article 48 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Agency for Support for BEREC (BEREC Office) – the 'BEREC Regulation' – the EC must, by 21 December 2023 and every five years thereafter, carry out an evaluation in compliance with the EC guidelines to assess BEREC’s and the BEREC Office’s performance. The focus is on objectives, mandate, tasks and location. Depending on the results of the evaluation, the EC may propose that the Regulation be amended or repealed accordingly.
Given the relevance of the evaluation for BEREC and BEREC Office, BEREC, also exchanging with the BEREC Office Advisory Group, will provide support in this exercise with its own assessment and will express its position in an Opinion to the EC.
BEREC Report on national experiences of the implementation of the EECC
Pursuant to Article 122 of Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Electronic Communications Code – the 'EECC' – the EC must carry out by 21 December 2025 a review of the functioning of the EECC. In light of this, BEREC must review the national implementation status throughout the Union. Based on the workshops and experiences of the NRAs, BEREC will compile a list of regulatory areas where the current framework functions well and will put forward topics where there could be further improvement.
BEREC participation in the High-Level Group envisaged by the DMA Regulation
Regulation (EU) 2022/1925 of the European Parliament and of the Council on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector – the 'Digital Markets Ac't (DMA) – requires the EC to set up a High-Level Group with advisory tasks vis-à vis the EC for the implementation of the legal provisions. Together with other European advisory bodies and networks, BEREC is to be part of this Group. BEREC will define how to identify its own representative delegation within the High-Level Group by means of relevant internal procedures.
Moreover, the Regulatory Framework WG may provide ad-hoc input to EU/NRAs on its own initiative and may issue questionnaires or organise workshops with experts and relevant stakeholders to gather their views on the particular topic.
BEREC’s reflections on features of NRAs’ independence
In 2023 BEREC commissioned an external study on the independence prerogatives of electronic communications NRAs, with a view to describing how the relevant guarantees provided by the EU legislative framework translate into national legal orders and apply in practice.
Building on the outcomes of the study, BEREC will develop some considerations concerning NRAs’ independence guarantees in practice in the EU and will try to draw some conclusions also in terms of the impact of the detected NRAs’ independence features on its own capacity to carry out the institutional tasks entrusted to it across the areas covered by the EECC and the BEREC Regulation.
Why is this important?
It is fundamental that the European NRAs are integral part of the legislative process and make their voices heard to ensure that EU legislation is down to earth and effective for the benefit of all European citizens.