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EU Demands Romania To Separate Regulatory from Ownership Functions in Telecoms

Oct 29, 2009, 5:43:36 PMArticle by Tsvetelina Gavrilova
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October 29 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Thursday it has opened infringement proceedings against Romania for not respecting European Union rules that require the separation of those making telecoms rules from those providing telecoms services.

EU Demands Romania To Separate Regulatory from Ownership Functions in Telecoms

“The Commission today reiterated its call on Romania to make sure its telecoms regulators had no business interest in the telecoms market,” the EU executive said in a statement.

The Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society has specific tasks that the EU consider to be of a regulatory nature. At the same time, ministry also exercises ownership and control activities in two companies providing telecoms networks and/or services, Romtelecom and Radiocom.

“I therefore call on the Romanian authorities to ensure that this EU legal requirement is applied to the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society,” EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said in the statement.

“In the opinion of the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society, the European Commission gives wrong interpretation of the situation in Romania and the request of the Commission is actually forcing the privatisation of the stakes of the Romanian state in the companies Radiocom and Romtelecom which could not happen in the actual market conditions, “ the ministry said in a separate statement.

The Commission today sent Romania a letter of formal notice, the first phase of an infringement proceeding, the Commission said.

This is the second infringement proceeding the Commission has launched against Romania over the independence of its telecoms regulator. The first case, also ongoing, was launched in January 2009 over the regulator's dismissal over the independence of the country’s telecommunications regulator.

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