European Parliament Promptly Delays Vote On Roaming

Business | February 25, 2014, Tuesday // 12:50|  views

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The European Parliament decided to postpone a long-expected voting that could lead to scrapping roaming charges across the EU.

One of the key ideas within the bill was to end mobile phone roaming fees by 2016.

A proposal for "net neutrality", envisaging legal protection to the Open Internet, was also on the agenda.

Delaying the procedure on revising the EU telecoms market was explained on Monday with technical reasons as an amendment to the proposed legislation had not been fully translated, the EUObserver has reported.

Bulgarian MEP Ivaylo Kalfin, however, stated in a press release by his office that voting was actually postponed due to a "language dispute" between the Party of European Socialists and the European Popular Party, which are the largest factions in the European Parliament.

In his words, there were complaints that only the English-language version of the bill had been introduced in Parliament with a complete text. He explained this had already been agreed upon by MEPs in order to speed up the approval of the package.

After the decision by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the future of the proposed telecoms package is unclear. The prospects of upholding it before the European elections are dwindling, which means its coming into force could be delayed for at least a year, Kalfin, who is a member of the commission was quoted as saying by the Bulgarian website

The aim of the bill was to enable the creation of a single telecommunications market in Europe - a step which is impossible in the absence of common rules for all EU member states.

Telecoms, on the other hand, are struggling with problems such as consistently sinking revenues and a positive decision on roaming would have been considered by them as a blow to their business.

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Tags: roaming, telecoms, Ivaylo Kalfin, European parliament


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