The chiefs of regulatory authorities in the field of electronic communications from the Eastern Partnership Countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) established, on September 11, in Chisinau, the Network of EaP Electronic Communications Regulators and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in this respect.
The idea of creating such a network was launched and discussed during the seminars for EaP regulators, organized with the support of the European Union in Vienna, Austria, (October 2010) and Trakay, Lithuania (June 2011), whereas at the seminar in Barcelona, Spain (November 2011), the participants examined the establishment document for the EaP Regulators Network. In Barcelona it was decided to make this document subject to approval procedures by the relevant authorities from the EaP countries and sign it during a session organized in the Republic of Moldova, the country entrusted with the mission to coordinate the activities of EaP Regulators Networks establishment.
In the first part of the session in Chisinau, Sergiu Sîtnic, the Director of the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), declared that the new organization will offer the EaP regulators new opportunities to exchange experience and take up the European principles and practices of electronic communications regulation. The Manager for Political Affairs of the EU Delegation in Moldova, Dirk Lorenz, and the representative of the DG CONNECT of the European Commission (EC), Vassilis Kopanas, unanimously voiced the idea that the establishment of the EaP Regulators Network will strengthen the cooperation between the EaP and EU regulators, which factor will contribute to more efficient regulatory capacities of EaP regulators. Feliksas Dobrovolskis, Director of the Communications Regulatory Authority from Lithuania and Sven Gschweitl, the representative of the Regulatory Authority from Austria, on behalf of their institutions and other EU regulators, expressed their support and availability to assist the EaP Regulators Network.
The MoU of the EaP Regulators Network was signed by the chiefs of regulators from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The representative of the regulator from Azerbaijan informed that they had not yet finalized the procedure of coordinating the document with the relevant authorities in their country, specifying that the final decision would be taken after this procedure is finished.
In the afternoon, the participants discussed the regulators’ proposals for the Work Plan of the EaP Regulators Network for next year. This document is to be discussed and approved at the Plenary Assembly that will take place at the end of January 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine.
The EaP Regulators Network set as its objective to deepen the cooperation between EaP and EU regulators, to coordinate the regulatory principles in order to improve the efficiency and predictability of their regulatory activity. The main emphasis in the work of the new organization will be placed on ensuring a regular exchange of information and experience between EaP and EU electronic communications regulators, on monitoring market developments and regulatory framework in EaP countries, on approximation to EU standards and the application of best regulatory practices in EaP countries.
For achieving these goals, the EaP Regulators Network will benefit from a technical assistance project funded by the EU, in the timeframe January1, 2013 – December 31, 2014. The project value will be 1 million euro maximum. Exchanges of experience, seminars dedicated to current regulatory issues will be held within this project, as well as comparative analysis of electronic communications market development and evolution of the regulatory frameworks in EaP countries, which will be regularly updated.
The session in Chisinau was organized by the European Commission, in cooperation with ANRCETI, the electronic communications Regulatory Authority of Moldova.
September 12, 2012