Reding concern over regulator switch

20 Oct 2008

The European Union’s telecommunications commissioner Viviane Reding has voiced concerns over the independence of Romania’s newly established telecoms regulator, the National Authority for Communications (ANC). The new watchdog was created earlier this month after the government dissolved the previous regulator, the National Regulatory Authority for Communications and Information Technology (ANRCTI), under an emergency ordinance. The former president of ANRCTI, Dan Georgescu, was sacked in August but he later won a court appeal against his dismissal; when he turned up at his office to return to work the government responded by shutting down the regulator completely and replacing it with the new body, leaving Georgescu with no legal recourse for his reinstatement. Reding has now written to the Romanian government requesting more details of Georgescu’s dismissal and threatening legal action ‘if the independence of the telecom regulatory authority is not fully respected’. A report from local newspaper Curierul National quotes Reding’s letter, which goes on to say: ‘The independence of the national regulatory authorities is one of the basic principles of EU regulations in the field. It is in the interest of having a fair law, a real competition and of all consumers for the regulatory authorities to be independent in the management of daily tasks incumbent on them.’