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EU Political Update

Talking Tech Highlights: 12-16 December 2016

27 April 2017

A weekly review of tech related political developments in the European Union

Week in Review

Digital Single Market: Commission set to end roaming charges in 2017

On 7 December 2016, the College of Commissioners discussed draft rules which aim to allow European travellers to pay the same price for phone calls, SMS and data as they would at 'home' (their country of residence or the Member State with which they have stable links).

In a previous draft of the rules, the Commission introduced a 'fair usage' policy to the rules in response to concerns from mobile phone operators who feared misuse by consumers who might purchase a contract in a country where rates are comparatively cheap and then continue to use it permanently in their own country. The 'fair usage' policy would allow operators to check consumer usage patterns, subject to certain criteria being met (such as low domestic versus roaming usage). The latest draft provides more detail on how this policy would work in practice. For example, the draft proposes a minimum 'observation period' of four months before operators can check for abusive roaming use and establishes a minimum alert period of 14 days before surcharges can be imposed on consumers. It also provides further detail on who would qualify as having a 'stable link' with a country, such as seconded workers and students who live in a country but do not officially reside there.

Before the rules can be adopted, the Representatives of Member States will meet on Monday 12 December to vote on the draft.

This week in the Institutions 
European Commission 

12 December 

  • Commissioner Günther Oettinger will be in Luxembourg to hold a press conference with Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank to announce their plan to launch a new investment fund for broadband infrastructure; together with Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Dan Kersch, Minister for Home Affairs, for the Civil Service and Administrative Reform of Luxembourg, he will inaugurate the European Commission's new Datacentre in Betzdorf.
  • Commissioner Vĕra Jourová will receive Ms Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President of the "Article 29 Data Protection Working Party"  
  • Commissioner Julian King will receive Mr Andrea Biraghi, Managing Director of the Security and Information Systems Division at Leonardo; and Mr Luigi Rebuffi, CEO of the European Organisation for Security

14 December 

  • Vice-President Ansip will deliver a keynote speech at Eurochambers Conference "Creating an inclusive digital ecosystem," in Brussels 
  • Commissioner Jourová will receives Mr Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor
European Parliament 

13 December 

Debates 

  • Report on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries
EU Political Update

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