Office Activities related to EU
Since the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union (EU) (1 May 2004), the CTO's activities related to EU membership have been the responsibility of the International Relations Department, which co-operates with other specialised CTO Departments. These activities include, in particular:
- Participation of CTO representatives at the regular meetings of the working and advisory bodies of the European Commission, Communication Committee (COCOM), Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC), Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) and Telecommunications Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM), and participation in the implementation of the conclusions adopted at those meetings:
- The Independent Regulators Group (IRG) is outside the EU structures. It associates the national regulatory bodies of European states, including those that are not members of the EU. The CTO became its regular member and participant at its meetings from 1 January 2003. The main benefit of IRG membership is the sharing of experience and opinions related to issues of common interest in developing the European electronic communications markets as well as sharing of the regulatory best practice for national markets in the process of making future legislative measures.
- The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is the new grouping of European regulators that will carry on ERG tasks. The inaugural meeting was held on 28 January 2010 in Brussels. BEREC was established by the Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office with the goal to force cooperation between national regulators, cooperation with European Commission, embedded this cooperation in regulatory framework and to strengthen common position of regulators. BEREC is managed by the Board of Regulators composed of 27 representatives of the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) (one member per Member State).European Commission,, EEA States and the member of states that are candidates for accession to the European Union shall have observer status at BEREC meetings. The Czech Republic is represented by the Chairman of the Council of the CTO. Main Agenda of the first plenary meeting of the BEREC was streamed on the election of the chairman of the Board of BEREC and the election of vice chairmen for the years 2010 and 2011, and also the Rules for BEREC, the topics of work plane for the year 2010 and proposal of the budget for this year were approved on this meeting. The activity of the Office that will provide administrative assistance for the BEREC will start during this year.
- The Communication Committee (COCOM) is a legislative advisory body to the European Commission. It provides a platform for the Member States to express their comments on the proposed new regulations and to exchange information about the development of electronic communications markets and about regulatory activities. CTO representatives, together with representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, take part in preparing the documents at COCOM meetings. The issues addressed by COCOM include – in addition to those of international roaming and implementation of the regulation thereof, reviewing the regulatory framework and simplifying the process of analysing the relevant markets – also themes such as the reservation of the ‘116’ numbering range of the harmonised numbers for harmonised services of social value and the implementation of these harmonised toll-free numbers, authorisation of the pan-European mobile satellite services (MSS), harmonised call termination pricing regulation, regulation of the next generation access networks (NGA), issues of terrestrial digital broadcasting switchover, and speeding up the availability of the digital dividend. CTO officers take part in the working groups that address these issues.
- The Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) is another advisory body to the European Commission. It takes measures to ensure harmonised and effective utilisation of the radio spectrum in the EU. The CTO has been represented on the RSC since its establishment. In 2008, the RSC adopted a number of European Commission Decisions – on allowing the use of the radio spectrum for equipment using ultra wideband technologies (UWB); on harmonisation of the radio spectrum for use by short-range devices (SRD); on selecting the operators of pan-European mobile satellite services (MSS) in the EU; on the harmonisation of the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands for terrestrial systems capable of providing pan-European electronic communications services in the Community.
- The Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)) is an advisory body to the Commission for the strategic issues of frequency spectrum utilisation. It expresses its opinions concerning the basic issues such as, for example, the digitisation of television broadcasting, the ways of utilising the spectrum that has become available as a result of digitisation (the digital dividend), the ways of improving the effectiveness of spectrum management methods, flexible utilisation of the spectrum, priorities of spectrum use for the development of the single market and for the formation of the information society. Its conclusions are formulated, in particular, in RSPG Opinions and RSPG Reports. The documents adopted by the RSPG provide guidance for preparing specific measures by other bodies, including, in particular, the RSC and COCOM. The CTO is represented on the RSPG and its representatives take part in the activities of the working groups established ad hoc to prepare RSPG documents on the various issues.;
- A CTO representative also takes part in the meetings of the Telecommunication Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM), which is an advisory body to the European Commission for implementation of Directive No. 1999/5/EC on Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment and the Mutual Recognition of their Conformity;
- Ensuring co-operation with EU Member States' regulators in the area of regulation and EC law approximation;
- Shared high-level responsibility for the electronic communications area, responsibility for regulation and for the approximation of the aquis communautaire, and co-operation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic on works related to the administration of the databases of the Information System for the Approximation of Law (ISAP) (for more information see ISAP);
- Membership in the Sectoral Co-ordination Group of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic - co-operation on preparing materials for the meetings of the COREPER (Committee of permanent representatives of EU Member States);
- Preparing a long-term conception of the use of the frequency spectrum and its harmonisation with the commitments based on international treaties and the Czech Republic's EU membership; co-operation on preparing materials for meetings concerning these issues, preparation of the draft frequency band allocation plan and the draft appendices to the frequency spectrum utilisation plan (for more information see EFIS);
- Organisational preparation of international meetings and provision of foreign-language CTO publications.