03 Mar 2017

Reforming E-Communications Services: A Critical Assessment

Andrea Renda

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At the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Andrea Renda carried out an in-depth analysis of the proposed reform of the e-communications regulatory framework presented by the European Commission in September 2016. While finding that many of the proposed changes appear meaningful, he argues that overall the proposal does not entirely reflect the lessons learned from the past two decades of e-communications regulation in Europe, and ends up being at once too conservative (i.e. incremental with respect to legacy rules); fragile, since its effectiveness crucially depends on governance reform; and ‘retro’, since it does not incorporate principles of flexible, adaptive regulation in its overarching framework. In Renda’s view, the merits of a lighter, ex-post approach to e-communications were not sufficiently gauged by the European Commission in its impact assessment.

The PDF of the report is posted on the CEPS website for free downloading with the kind permission of the European Parliament’s and it can also be accessed directly on the European Parliament’s website. Please also see the accompanying Commentary entitled, “Europe’s telecoms reform fails to fly” prepared by his CEPS colleague, William Echikson, Head of the CEPS Digital Forum.