Study on the NRA independence Final Report

Document number: BoR (22) 189

Document date: 12-12-2022

Date of registration: 19-12-2022

Document type:
Author: Ecorys

Independence is a complex and multi-dimensional concept. It refers to the capacity of national regulatory authorities (NRAs) to resist pressure, in other words, to act without interference or influence from politics (both in government and outside it) and autonomously from other stakeholders such as regulated entities. Independence of the NRA comprises what is embodied in the framing of its legal system (de jure) and in the practices of the NRA and relevant stakeholders (de facto).

The independence of NRAs is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a means of ensuring the effective functioning of authority in pursuing relevant policy objectives, e.g. market supervision, impartial decision-making and the creation of a level playing field.
NRA independence can be understood through different dimensions, reflecting different areas of NRA’s activities. The report focuses on three broad categories: operational, financial and personnel. The dimension of systemic independence has been added in order to reveal the foundation of NRA independence. Accountability and monitoring have also been included, enabling verification of actions taken by NRAs. Finally, a dimension relevant to future challenges for NRA independence has been analysed.

This document has been prepared for the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). However, it reflects the views only of the authors, and BEREC cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.