What is BEREC?
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) was established by Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, as part of the Telecom Reform package. It replaced the European Regulators Group for electronic communications networks and services which was established as an advisory group to the Commission in 2002.
BEREC commenced its activities in January 2010. In the course of 2011 it became fully functional and ready to fulfil all its assignments as required by the current regulatory framework.
“Committed to independent, consistent, high-quality regulation of electronic communications markets for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.”
BEREC contributes to the development and better functioning of the internal market for electronic communications networks and services. It does so, by aiming to ensure a consistent application of the EU regulatory framework and by aiming to promote an effective internal market in telecoms sector, in order to bring even greater benefits to consumers and businesses alike.
Furthermore, BEREC assists the Commission and the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in implementing the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications. It provides advice on request and on its own initiative to the European institutions and complements at European level the regulatory tasks performed at national level by the NRAs.
The NRAs and the Commission have to take utmost account of any opinion, recommendation, guidelines, advice or regulatory best practice adopted by BEREC.
In particular BEREC is requested to:
- develop and disseminate among NRAs regulatory best practices, such as common approaches, methodologies or guidelines on the implementation of the EU regulatory framework;
- on request, provide assistance to NRAs on regulatory issues;
- deliver opinions on the draft decisions, recommendations and guidelines of the Commission as specified in the regulatory framework;
- issue reports and provide advice, upon a reasoned request of the Commission or on its own initiative, and deliver opinions to the European Parliament and the Council, when needed, on any matter within its competence;
- on request, assist the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the NRAs in relations, discussions and exchanges of views with third parties; and assist the Commission and NRAs in the dissemination of regulatory best practices to third parties.
The BEREC Strategy 2015-2017 as amended after the public consultation and approved by BEREC during the 21st plenary meeting of the Board of Regulators (Brussels, 5-6 December 2014) outlines the 3 strategic pillars for BEREC’s activities, as follows:
1. Promoting competition and investment;
2. Promoting the Internal market;
3. Empowering and protecting end-users;
The document emphasised the importance of the quality of BEREC output and the operational efficiency, which could contribute directly to achieving BEREC’s strategic vision. BEREC will reflect its vision in its work programmes, and seek to improve its work planning in order to optimise the use of its resources.
The achievement of this objective will be developed at three levels: by working to improve the quality and consistency of individual NRA decisions through guidelines and best practices, by engaging and cooperating effectively in particular with the Commission and other stakeholders and by improving working methods and the quality of the output.
During the 32nd BEREC plenary meetings (5-6 October 2017, Bucharest, Romania) the Board of Regulators adopted BEREC Strategy for 2018-2020. BEREC continues to plan its annual work around above mentioned three strategic objectives for the period 2018-2020 and, in doing so, will take into special consideration the 5 strategic priorities:
- Responding to connectivity challenges and to new conditions for access to high-capacity networks;
- Monitoring potential bottlenecks in the distribution of digital services;
- Enabling 5G and promoting innovation in network technologies;
- Fostering a consistent approach of the net neutrality principles
- Exploring new ways to boost consumer empowerment
The strategic priorities are based on the market developments and point to particular areas of interest that BEREC should cover under one or several of the strategic objectives in the medium-term. The strategic priorities do not define the full scope of BEREC work for 2018-2020, but will be recurring topics in the Work Programmes for the coming years.