Finland calls for well-considered action in development of the EU communications market

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 24.10.2013 13.12
Press release

Finland has certain reservations about the proposal for a Regulation laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications.

While Finland full-heartedly supports the Commission's objectives concerning the digital single market, the proposed measures would not appear to lead to the desired results.

On 24 October, the Government submitted a communication on the draft regulation to the Parliament. The opinions of the stakeholders consulted while preparing the communication to a great extent concur with the Government's views.

In particular, the Government finds the proposal on spectrum harmonisation and the concentration of power to the Commission, also in cases where decisions could best be made at the national level, problematic for Finland.

The Government feels that while the harmonisation of spectrum is a good objective, it should be restricted to the assignment of frequency bands and their uses. The Commission, on the other hand, would also like to assume a power of veto over the terms and conditions of national operating licences.

The proposal for a regulation would also shift national competence to the Commission in a broader sense. The Government finds that this is unlikely to promote taking the special features of each nation into consideration, which is particularly important for Finland, a large but sparsely populated country at the margins of Europe. The government also feels that Finland should be facilitated in maintaining its capacity for fast uptake of new technologies in the future.

Finland to a great extent supports the objectives of the proposal for a regulation regarding improved consumer protection. The consumers must be able to feel that their rights are safeguarded everywhere in Europe. The Government welcomes the objective of eliminating roaming charges, but insists that it should not have negative consequences, such as increasing the national prices of mobile communication or putting the operators' investments at risk.

The Commission proposes that the Regulation enter into force as soon as in summer 2014. The Government does not find this schedule for drafting the legislation realistic.

In parts, the proposal for a regulation is highly technical and detailed, and its impacts are far-reaching. It is thus vital that sufficient time is reserved for debating it in the Council and in other EU institutions.

Further information

Ms Päivi Antikainen, Senior Adviser, +358 50 382 7101
Mr Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director of Communications Market Unit, tel. +358 50 344 3400