The European Parliament voted in favour of establishing a European Electronic Communications Code in Strasbourg today. This means that four EU Directives will be fundamentally modernised and integrated in a single legal instrument. The Code will include in particular more flexible rules on market regulation. The aim is to create incentives for investment in high-speed communications networks especially in rural areas. In addition, the Code will strengthen consumer rights. As of 15 May 2019, people will be able to make calls to other EU countries for a maximum of 19 cents a minute and send SMS for 6 cents.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: "The overarching Directive establishing the Code will lay the foundations for Europe's digital future in many key areas, including market regulation, spectrum policy and the protection of end users. I expect this to provide fresh impetus for a faster expansion of gigabit networks in Germany and in other parts of the EU. Furthermore, the Code will establish modernised and harmonised consumer protection rules at a high level in the telecommunications sector. This is important not only for consumers, but also for businesses that want to operate and grow in the Digital Single Market. I am convinced that the Council will adopt the Directive on 4 December so that it can enter into force before the end of this year."
The new European telecommunications rules are an essential building block for the completion of the Digital Single Market. They lay the foundations for the expansion of efficient communications infrastructures by the private sector throughout Europe and for access to very high capacity data connections. This is a key precondition if Germany and Europe are to remain competitive in an ever more digitised world and to ensure that all EU citizens benefit from the digital transformation.