Romania, criticized by EC in a telecom market report

One of the main problems in Romania's telecoms sector is the independence of the regulator, as it does not yet enjoy a stable legal base and some regulatory activities are not separated from ownership tasks, the European Commission said in its report on European telecoms market.

The report notes that the institution has initiated infringement procedures in 2009, on certain irregularities found in the activity of the national regulator.

The 15th Progress Report on European Telecoms Markets 2009, entitled “Telecoms: citizens and businesses pay the price for inconsistent application of EU rules”, found that the platform based competition has remained vigorous in Romania, while most electronic communication services have further expanded in 2009, even if at a slower pace.

Mobile penetration rate continued to increase considerably, reaching 115% in October 2009. As far as mobile broadband is concerned, the number of mobile broadband active users using only dedicated data cards/modems/keys per 100 population was standing at 2.2%. However, broadband penetration and fixed telephony penetration are still lagging behind those in most of other Member States. The Government approved a strategy for 2009-2015 for increasing broadband penetration rate in Romania.

The European Commission's latest annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market shows that consumers, businesses and the EU economy as a whole are denied the full economic benefits of a truly single and competitive EU-wide telecoms market because of inconsistent application of EU telecoms rules.

The report indicates that most Member States' markets have become more competitive, but remain national in dimension and that the level of competitiveness varies strongly between Member States. This is why the Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe calls for swift and consistent enforcement of existing telecoms rules and indicates that the Commission intends to propose appropriate steps to reduce the cost of the absence of a single market in telecoms services.

In May, the European Commission started legal action against Romania for not respecting EU rules that require the separation between those making telecoms rules and those providing telecoms services.

Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society sent on April 22 the sixth letter to the chairman of the Senate, Mircea Geoana, whereby it requests the legislative body to begin the necessary procedures to the emergency ordinance 22/2009 to be passed.

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