Sacre blur!! EU to pore over French regulatory amendment

14 Jan 2011

Online portal Europolitics has published an article saying the European Commission (EU) is gearing up to review ‘very closely’ an amendment to local law being put forward by the French authorities that would establish the position of government commissioner to the national telecoms watchdog, Arcep. The amendment being tabled concerns the EU’s new regulatory framework for the telecoms industry, which all 27 member states must adopt by May. However, EU officials are concerned the amendment could infringe the independence of the regulator – contrary to European law. A spokesman for Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said rules governing autonomy in this area ‘are very specific’, while even in France it has already caused tension between Arcep president Jean-Ludovic Silicani and the country’s Digital Economy Minister Eric Besson. The minister has acted quickly to deny that the move is designed to somehow supervise Arcep, but Silicani is concerned that if implemented, it will blur the lines between the state and the regulator.

France, Arcep