Posts on this blog represent my opinion. It may be my considered opinion on the basis of my formal study of law and technology. But it is not legal advice. It must not be treated as, or acted upon as, legal advice and no liability is accepted for doing so.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Telecoms Package: What Now and Where Next?

Following on from my previous post about the EU Telecoms Package, the vote in question took place this morning. Monica Horten, who is far more au fait with the minutiae of EU legislative procedure than I am, has given a very good write-up of what happened.

So, this isn't the end of the process. We now have the Council's view of what the Telecoms Package should be, as well as the Commission's view and the EU Parliament's view. All three bodies will now have to try to hammer out a compromise, and it's clear from Monica's report that there is much unease at the Council (i.e. national) as well as Parliament (direct representatives) level as to the way in which both Amendment 138 and its sibling Amendment 166 - which was dropped by the Council some time back - have been expunged. As I noted earlier, Recital 14a remains in the Universal Service Directive to urge proper due process via national legal systems, so with any luck questions will be asked as to why, if the Council is content to leave it in, there isn't some accompanying Article to ensure compliance with it?

As I see it, there are definitely further opportunities for lobbying and action. The Telecoms Package will have to finish its passage through the EU legislative process - Monica suggests this will probably be over the next few months - and the resulting amended Directives will have to be transposed into UK law over the subsequent two or three years. Our MEPs, MPs and Ministers are not off the hook yet.

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