Hello? EU goes to war with itself over telecoms laws

Commission launches actions against 24 states representing 94% of EU’s population

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

Unbelievably, UK became fully compliant with EU’s telecom laws weeks before it exited

Yesterday in Brussels, the beleaguered EU Commission started legal proceedings against an astonishing 24 out of the 27 member countries of the European Union.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Yesterday the Commission sent letters of formal notice to :-

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden

The EU Commission is taking legal action against countries representing 94% of the EU population

The Commission opened infringement procedures yesterday against 24 member states for failing to enact new EU telecom rules under the ‘European Electronic Communications Code’. This new code is supposed to modernise the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications to ensure, amongst other things, higher standards of communication services including more efficient and accessible emergency communications.

First planned in 2016, ignored by almost all EU countries

It was in September 2016, three months after the UK’s EU Referendum, that the EU Commission decided to “prepare Europe’s digital future”. It proposed the establishment of a European Electronic Communications Code and a Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

In essence this was all about the phone service in EU countries. The new European Electronic Communications Code duly entered into force on 21 December 2018. The deadline for compliance was two years later on 21 December 2020.

Or at least that was the theory.

The reality – in the “rules-based European Union” – was that everyone ignored the new laws, or paid scant attention to them.

Thanks to OfCom and Theresa May’s Remainer government, the UK did not escape this fiasco

At this point we invite readers to take a wild guess at which other European country, in addition to the three EU member states of Finland, Greece and Hungary, complied with the EU’s new law.

The deadline for transposing the Code into national legislation was 21 December 2020. That was 10 days before the UK formally left the Transition Period and supposedly left the EU in full. Amongst EU countries only Greece, Hungary and Finland were compliant.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

However, with only weeks to go before its final exit from the EU on 31 December 2020, the UK implemented the EU’s regulations using a Statutory Instrument. The official document, called ‘The Electronic Communications and Wireless Telegraphy (Amendment) (European Electronic Communications Code and EU Exit) Regulations 2020’ is here.

During the past four years OfCom has worked hard to make the UK compliant with the EU’s new laws, and its actions were not even moderated when the UK left the EU on a legal basis on 31 January 2020, 11 months before the deadline for implementing the EU’s new laws. The policy on this was set by Theresa May's government and never altered.

Reactions to our report have been very quick in coming, here are just two

Today, two former MEPs spoke exclusively to Facts4EU.Org about our report above.

From David Campbell Bannerman, former Conservative MEP and leading Brexiteer:

“The fact that the EU is an undemocratic and remote bureaucracy is clearer than ever now from this, and from the vaccines fiasco.”

From Martin Daubney, former Brexit Party MEP, now Editorial Director at Unlocked UK:

“This is a perfect example of how Theresa May's Remainer government and pro-EU OFCOM sold our souls to Brussels. But even then, Boris could have stopped this. Hats off to the 24 member states who have completely ignored the EU. If only we were one of them!

“Telecom laws are classic tools of EU control: they offer help, but actually create dependency. They then become impossible to untangle from domestic law in the event of a member state leaving. They are the legal equivalent of Japanese knotweed: once Brussels has tangled its way into a land, it becomes near impossible to dig out - and that's the way the EU likes it.”

“More than that, your friends don't take you to court: your enemies do. Today, the EU has told 24 of its 27 member states that it considers them an enemy. One can only hope that our European friends wake up to these Brussels bullies - and give them the boot, just like we did at Brexit.”


Does the EU Commission have a death wish?

It is fair to say that the EU Commission is not having a good week. It has come under attack from all quarters for its gross mismanagement of the EU vaccination programme, and for its quite extraordinary actions in breaking the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement by activating Article 16 of the N.I. Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement.

In particular its President, Ursula von der Leyen, has been fighting a rearguard action to keep her job. (There is no realistic chance that she will be fired, however, as that does not happen in the EU.)

It might have been thought that now would not be the time for the Commission to issue legal proceedings against almost all of its member countries. Perhaps, however, this is just one more example of the sheer arrogance of the unelected apparatchiks who run the EU machine on a day-to-day basis.

Theresa, OfCom, and the Remainer Establishment

When we started researching this article, reading many dozens of official documents, we assumed that the UK would not have been caught up in these new EU regulations. Surely the fact that these laws did not have to be implemented until just before the UK completed its full exit on 31 December 2020 (and 11 months after the official legal exit on 31 Jan 2020) would have meant that the UK would be pursuing its own independent path?

How optimistic we were. It seems that OfCom has been busy on these EU regulations for the last four years, judging by all the documents we have reviewed.

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[ Sources: EU Commission | OfCom | Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) | UK Dept of Culture, Media and Sports ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 05 Feb 2021

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