European Competitive Telecommunications Association

THIS PRESS RELEASE IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO ECTA AS AN ASSOCIATION AND CANNOT BE ASSUMED TO REPRESENT THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF EACH OF ECTA’S INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS NOR CAN IT BE ATTRIBUTED TO ANY PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF ECTA.


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ECTA asks the European Ombudsman for clarification on the duty to consult

Brussels, 16 May 2014: ECTA, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, today asked the European Ombudsman to clarify the extent to which the European Commission is bound to consult stakeholders during the preparation of legislative proposals. 

ECTA asks for the European Ombudsman’s views on whether the lack of effective public consultation of stakeholders, ahead of the adoption of the Connected Continent legislative proposal  (September 11, 2013), could amount to maladministration. 

The complaint provides details on the European Commission’s obligation to engage with stakeholders and on the applicable consultation standards foreseen in the Treaty on the European Union  and in Commission Communications . It then provides evidence that the European Commission has in this particular case failed to comply with such public consultation requirements. 

The complaint does not question the validity of the Commission’s proposal but attempts to show that instances of maladministration occurred due to the lack of effective engagement with and public consultation of stakeholders ahead of the adoption of the legislative proposal.

Background - Scope of the European Ombudsman activities

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions. It may find maladministration if an institution fails to respect fundamental rights, legal rules or principles, or the principles of good administration. The Ombudsman role is complementary to that of the Courts. The Ombudsman tries, where possible, to achieve a friendly solution, which satisfies both the institution and the complainant, but if the attempt at conciliation fails, the Ombudsman can issue recommendations to solve the case. The Ombudsman’s decisions are not legally binding but the rate of compliance with his findings is consistently high. If the institution does not accept the proposed recommendations, the Ombudsman can make a special report to the European Parliament.

You can find more information on the role of the European Ombudsman here.

ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association - www.ectaportal.com) is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs and equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile. 

Contact: Inês Nolasco, Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager (+32 2 290 01 03 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

[1] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and Council laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent and amending Directives 2002/20/EC and 2002/22/EC and Regulations (EC) No 1211/2009 and (EU) No 531/2012, COM (2013) 627 final, 11.0.2013.

[1] Article 11 (3) of the Treaty on the European Union requires the European Commission to carry out broad consultations with parties concerned in order to ensure that the Union’s actions are coherent and transparent.

[1]E.g. Communication of 11 December 2002 – COM (2002) 704: "Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogue - General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission”. 

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