The EU on 7 June authorised the national regulatory authority of Ukraine responsible for electronic communications to participate in the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the BEREC Office, the agency that supports BEREC.
The European Commission’s Decision specifies the working arrangements: Ukraine’s regulatory authority will take part in the day-to-day work of BEREC’s Board of regulators, without the right to vote, while at the same time Ukraine may appoint experts to join in BEREC’s working groups in areas that include roaming, market regulation, and overall digital regulation.
The European Commission Decision is based on the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, through which both sides have committed to supporting the alignment of Ukraine’s laws with EU electronic communications laws and to promoting cooperation between Ukraine’s national regulator and national regulators across the EU Member States.
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton welcomed the decision, saying it would “allow for closer cooperation on connectivity issues in the current emergency and will lay the groundwork for bringing Ukraine’s rules for electronic communications closer to the EU telecom framework.”
BEREC Chair Annemarie Sipkes said the body and its members had already established an excellent relationship with their Ukrainian colleagues, “as was recently underlined by our cooperation regarding roaming tariffs and joint actions by Ukrainian and EU operators to ensure affordable connectivity for Ukrainian refugees”.
“We’re very pleased to welcome the NCEC in our BEREC family to join us in our project to establish one European digital market, promoting full connectivity and empowering end-users,” Sipkes added.
Earlier this year, telecom operators based in the EU and in Ukraine signed a joint statement to secure and stabilise affordable or free roaming and international calls between the EU and Ukraine, thus helping Ukrainians displaced throughout Europe to stay in touch with family and friends back home and to have access to reliable information.
The European Union’s EU4Digital initiative supports efforts to achieve a common roaming space among Eastern Partner countries, to strengthen the independence of National Regulatory Authorities, and to develop coordinated strategies for frequency distribution.