Since April 2012, European citizens have a new and innovative democratic right: the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). This gives citizens the right to propose EU legislation when they find the support of one Million people. Amongst one of the first initiatives registered was also one demanding a flat rate roaming tariff. The initiators are Vincent Chauvet and Martin Wittenberg.
Our group warmly welcome this proposal. In fact, some of our activists were amongst the key people that made this new democratic right a reality. We believe that with proper preparation, an ECI can be very successful and could prove to be a very effective.
But there has been some confusion regarding the question how our campaign and this ECI relate and we feel that some clarification is necessary: Our group, Europeans for Fair Roaming is not involved or connected with this ECI in any way. While we have been in contact since the initiative was registered, we are not actively working with them.
Our campaign, Europeans for Fair Roaming started in 2010 and has since developed into a network that unites more than 150000 people, 14 MEPs and 20 organisations. Together, we successfully managed to positively influence the new EU roaming regulation that comes into force on July 1, 2012.
Update (28/11/12): The “One Single Tariff” ECI just opened their website and their ECI will launch on December 7. Visit their website to find out more!
Last week, the European Parliament voted for new price reductions for roaming in the European Union. This was a big success for our campaign and will make using your mobile phone abroad a lot more affordable over the next two years.
If you are wondering what exactly the new rules mean for you, here is an overview over the most important changes (please note that prices don’t include VAT yet):
- Starting in July 2012, making calls will cost no more than 0,29 €/min. Until 2014, this will go down to 0,19 €/min.
- Receiving calls and sending SMS will cost 0,09 €/min from July 2012 and 0,06 €/min from July 2014.
- Internet usage will become cheaper for the first time in July 2012 and cost 0,70 €/MB. Until 2014, prices will go down to no more than 0,20 €/MB.
- From 2014 on, you will be enabled to choose another, cheaper operator when abroad – without having to change your phone number!
- When outside of the EU, you will be warned if your bill approaches 50€ of data usage.
- Operators will not be allowed to block traffic and apps like Skype or Messengers.
A word of caution
Get the amazing Info Graphic about the FairRoaming campaign here!
Europeans for Fair Roaming has been instrumental in once again bringing down roaming charges in Europe, as the campaign evaluation done by us over summer has shown.
Over the time of the last two years, the Europeans for Fair Roaming campaign managed to build a network of many thousand citizens, 20 associations and 14 Members of the European Parliament. We took part in all steps of the legislative process for the new EU roaming regulation which came into force in July 2012 and managed to successfully campaign for some important changes to the EU rules on roaming. The campaign was mentioned in TV news on ZDF and Euronews, the New York Times, Die Welt, Newsweek, Daily Telegraph, Salzburger Nachrichten, TheParliament.com, EurActiv, ZDNet and more than 70 other sources. The positive and important impact of our work was noted by several key decisions makers. Continue reading
In reaction to the new EU roaming regulation that was demanded and supported by us, the European telecom regulation agency BEREC started a consultation in July about the technical implementation of some of the new rules. One of the aspects BEREC is currently researching is how the “decoupling” process will work. From 2014 on, this decoupling will allow mobile phone users to shop around and change their operator when abroad. This will create a real market where competition will drive down the prices for roaming even more. We are working to ensure that this will be as simple and transparent as possible for the end users.
We therefore today presented our answer to the consultation to BEREC. You may download the full document here: FairRoaming – Decoupling Consultation – August 2012
Filed under News, Statements
On July 1, the new EU roaming regulation came into force. On this occasion, we asked some members of the European Parliament who supported us for interviews. So, without further ado, read Arlene McCarthy (UK Labour), Judith Merkies (Dutch PvdA), Róża Thun (Polish Platforma Obywatelska) and Dr. Paul Rübig (Austrian ÖVP) debate the new roaming regulation, our activities and other work they are currently doing in the European Parliament:
Bengt Beier (FairRoaming.org): On July 1, the new EU roaming regulation came into force. It will lead to lower price caps for using mobile phones abroad and better consumer protection against bill shocks. From 2014 on, users will also get the right to choose a different operator for roaming services. How happy are you with this result? Continue reading
Filed under News, Statements