EMERG Plenary Assembly 2021. 07.04.2021

On 7 April 2021, EMERG held its Plenary assembly, virtually, due to the persistent Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was chaired by EMERG Chair 2021, João António Cadete de Matos, ANACOM President (Portugal): around 40 representatives from the EMERG Members participated together with representatives from the European Commission (Gerard Galler, DG Connect and Talander Jansen, DG Near); BEREC Chair 2021 Michel Van Bellinghen (BIPT, Belgium) and representing EaPeReg, Nataliia Lado (NKRZI, Ukraine). The NRA from Montenegro also participated as an observer. DETECON also participated as it is the EC consultant to EMERG.

On the relevant documents, the Plenary approved the Work Plan for 2021-2022, presented by ANACOM. On the other main documents, namely the 2020 Benchmark report as well as the 2020 Annual report and its annexes were also presented by DETECON and MTIT (Palestine)/ EMERG Chair 2020, respectively. These documents will be subject to final comments and approved after, by electronic procedure.

Work Plan 2021-2022

Regarding the Work Plan, EMERG decided to expand it in 2 years, creating new working groups (WGs), in addition to the two already existing (on international roaming and on open Internet), as follows:

·       International Roaming (IR) WG;

·       Open Internet (OI) WG;

·       Connectivity (CNECT) WG;

·       Digital platforms’ markets regulation (DIGIT) WG;

·       End Users / Consumer Protection (EU) WG;

·       Future Strategy and Planning (FSP) WG;

·       Ad Hoc on Communication (Ad Hoc COM) WG.

The EMERG Chair asked the Members to commit human resources on this planning to make it effective and fruitful for both sides of the Mediterranean basin.

International activities

Regarding the EMERG international activities, the BEREC Chair 2021, Michel Van Bellinghen, recalled the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with EMERG: the renewal of the cooperation between the two organizations on the topics of common interest has always been considered a key priority by EMERG Members in the view of the approximation to the EU Regulatory framework.

During 2020, EMERG participated to some of ITU-GSR initiatives, including the Global Symposium for Regulators 2020, as it was mentioned by AGCOM representative: EMERG has been considered worthwhile as a regional platform on electronic communications sector. At the same time, EMERG started to participate to the PRIDA project (an initiative supported by the European Commission and by the African Union) to promote ICT in the African continent and to overcome the digital divide, particularly relevant in this pandemic period. NTRA/Egypt reported about the activities undertaken last year.

Finally, EMERG confirmed its availability to strengthen the cooperation with the EaPeReg group, considering the fruitful exchange of best practices between the two regional groups and the promising future initiatives.