Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

No agreement on reform of telecom

Adelina Marini, May 6, 2009

The access to Internet cannot be restricted without prior approval by the judicial authorities, insists the European Parliament, reinstating one of its first-reading amendments. The Parliament voted on first reading the amendments in the Telecom package, subject to an informal agreement between the Council and the EP. In the meantime, the MEP's agreed with the Council about investments in new communication infrastructure, reforming the radio spectrum, clearer consumers's rights and piracy protection.

Probably the whole Telecoms package will be endorsed after the European elections. 407 supported the "no restrictions over the fundamental rights and freedoms of end users without the prior consent of judicial authorities" amendment. 57 of the MEPs voted "against" and there were 171 abstentions.

The MEPs have also approved the proposal for the establishment of a Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications which will consist of representative of the 27 member states and a Commission representative.

What's the situation in Bulgaria? The Ministry of the Interior has tried several times to insert a text in the Electronic messages legislation, allowing Internet and mobile communications monitoring without the prior consent of the judicial authorities. The motive of minister Mikhail Mikov was that the issue of a permission is taking too much time.

Besides, the establishment of a collective body would have prevented the attempts, which in Bulgaria are a fact, to manipulate the legislation regarding electronic communications in the way they were manipulated with regard the digital broadcasting.