9 March 2015

  |  CBI Updates Team


Latvian Presidency to begin trilogues on 'Connected Continent' package

Last week, the Latvian Presidency received the mandate to start trilogues with the Commission and the European Parliament on the EU single market for telecoms regulation, also known as the 'connected continent' package.

The mandate given to the Latvian Presidency by the Council covers:

  1. Net Neutrality (rules on open internet, safeguarding end-users' rights and ensuring non-discriminatory treatment in the provision of internet access services);
  1. Roaming (changes to the current roaming regulation representing an intermediate step towards phasing out roaming fees).

The other parts of the original Commission proposal on the telecom single market (including spectrum) have been left out by common decision of the Council.

On the concrete elements of the Council text (at annex) it can be observed that:

  • On net neutrality, the Council states that end-users shall have the right to access and distribute content, applications and services of their choice without discrimination. At the same time, providers of internet access services may implement traffic management measures. Moreover, agreements on services requiring a specific level of quality will be allowed, but operators will have to ensure the quality of internet access services.
  • On roaming, The Council position sets up a new pricing mechanism, which will make mobile communication abroad cheaper than the current model; users will have a basic roaming allowance. Once this basic roaming allowance is used, the operator may charge a fee, but this fee will be lower than current charges and it cannot be higher than the maximum wholesale rate that operators pay for using the networks of other member states. As the next step, the Commission will be asked to assess by mid-2018 what further measures may be needed with a view to phasing out roaming charges.

Next steps

Trilogues between Council, Parliament and Commission will now start, probably towards the end of March, in order to reach a final agreement on the regulation.


To give your views on this, please contact Emma Collins, Senior Policy Adviser for digital economy policy.