Public Consultation Procedure
In accordance with Article 4(5) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Agency for Support for BEREC (BEREC Office) – the ‘BEREC Regulation’ – where appropriate, BEREC must consult interested parties before adopting opinions, regulatory best practices or reports, and give them the opportunity to send their comments on the draft documents within a reasonable period of time.
BEREC also has the obligation to make the results of each consultation procedure publicly available, while taking into account any confidentiality-related issues.
With a view to streamlining the whole process for consulting interested parties on any draft BEREC documents, and in order to increase the transparency of its procedures, the Board of Regulators (BoR) adopted Decision BoR (10) 27 on the BEREC procedures for public consultations held by BEREC.
BEREC may also decide to organise a public hearing on topics of significant interest.
Organisation and process
The public consultations are organised in accordance with the following procedure:
- the BoR decides whether a written consultation or public hearing is needed, or whether both are needed; in doing so, the BoR will take into account the nature of the subject in question, possible alternatives to consultation, confidentiality issues, the interests of third parties, and the urgency of the matter;
- if the BoR decides to organise a written consultation on a draft BEREC document, this has to be made public by means of publication on the BEREC website, together with information about how to submit responses to the consultation;
- if the BoR decides to organise a public hearing, the document that is to be consulted upon, along with an invitation to the hearing, has to be published on the BEREC website;
- the period granted for submitting written contributions should normally be 30 days after the announcement of the consultation;
- BEREC publishes a summary of all contributions received and an explanation as to how the results of the consultation were taken into account in the final position. This will be published on the BEREC website, taking into account any confidentiality requests received;
- all contributions received within the consultation procedure must also be published on the BEREC website, unless specified otherwise by the author of the contribution;
- stakeholders who request confidentiality with regard to all or part of the documents submitted to a public consultation must indicate this upon submission of the documents. If there is no clear indication that all or part of the documents are confidential, BEREC will presume that the documents can be made available to the public.