“Radical” EC Telecom Package could be in place by next Easter, says Kroes

Neelie KroesThe European Commission should be in a position to deliver a complete Telecoms Single Market package by Easter next year, based on a “radical legislative compromise”, according to Neelie Kroes, EC vice-president.

Addressing the European Parliament, Kroes said: “This is the opportunity to stand up and be counted. I will fight with my last breath to get us there together.”

Kroes said radical action was needed to stimulate the digital economy, but that this would require compromises from member states “because everyone will have to give in order to get”.

“I am not promising a single market package that gives you everything you dreamed of. This package will have to strike a sensitive balance if we are to agree it quickly,” Kroes told the Parliament. “But I am promising to spend the next 12 months building a bridge with you to our citizens, your constituents. Whether they need it for travel, for trade, or for transactions – our people need this reform. Everyone loves the benefits of EU price cuts to roaming. It is the one thing even ‘Eurocritics’ agree the EU did well. And it could never have happened without the EU.”

Kroes said that a strong single market package was a way to break the logjam that prevented telecom and digital issues other than roaming from reaching the top of the European political agenda and that parliamentarians had a responsibility to deliver this.

“In telecoms, of all sectors, there is no place for borders. It’s called a worldwide web for a reason. There is no other sector of our incomplete European single market where the barriers are so unneeded, and yet so high. The time for change is now,” said Kroes.