This afternoon, Neelie Kroes is defending the Commission’s draft telecoms reform package in front of an audience that includes many senior figures from Europe’s telecoms industry.
Regular readers of PolicyTracker will be familiar with the proposals, one of the most controversial of which is the so-called “Commission veto” over when national regulators can hold their spectrum authorisation processes.
The chances of the proposals being adopted by the end of this Parliament’s term in spring 2014 should be settled when European leaders meet at the European Council summit at the end of this month. The UK government has reportedly already circulated a note among other EU member states arguing against the “veto” aspect of the package.
Also, four days before the summit, the European Parliament will vote on a report from Catherine Trautmann MEP that calls on the Commission to “initiate the next review of the entire [telecoms] framework, in order to allow a proper debate during the next parliamentary term”.
Kroes is fighting back by arguing that the matter is too urgent to leave to the next Parliament. “We can’t afford to wait,” she was due to tell delegates at the FT-ETNO Summit this afternoon. “Technology is moving on, our global partners are moving on, our economy is weak. We need this urgently, let’s start the ball rolling now”.
The big question is: do Europe’s policymakers share this sense of urgency?