EC refers Estonia to Court of Justice over telecoms impartiality

The European Commission is referring Estonia to the EU Court of Justice over failures to guarantee the impartiality of its telecoms regulator.

In a statement, the EC said that the referral owes to the fact that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonia controls state-owned TV and radio broadcast network operator Levira, but also carries out some regulatory tasks, such as allocating radio frequencies and procedures for granting frequency authorisations.

“The Commission sent Estonia a formal request to comply with EU rules in June 2012 but Estonia has not adapted its national law to guarantee the impartiality of the telecoms regulator and this can have negative consequences for competition in the sector,” the European Commission said.

According to EU telecoms rules, national authorities exercising regulatory tasks cannot also be involved in the ownership or control of telecoms companies.