EMERG at the ITU 21st Global Symposium for Regulators: Regional Regulatory Roundtable for Europe and Africa

EMERG, represented by Mr. João Cadete de Matos (EMERG 2021 Chair from ANACOM, the Portuguese NRA), was one of the invited speakers at the virtual roundtable discussions on the regulatory dialogue across Europe and Africa, organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), on the 14 April 2021 (see the stream session at http://pscp.tv/w/1vOGwEVVpQoxB

Exactly one week after EMERG’s 2021 Plenary meeting, the EMERG 2021 Chair went on addressing the top priorities for a regulatory association in its dialogue with its members and its external counterparts, briefly presenting the strategic objectives of EMERG for 2021-2022. Stating that a new cycle is about to start, he stressed the idea that EMERG aims at being a regulatory reference and to keep itself committed to its fundamental objective, that is to deliver approximation among the members of the EU-Middle East and North Africa regions and to share good practices, based on an open dialogue and sound recommendations.

In order to do so, cooperation within the regulatory groups is key, as well as having data and common indicators, so that it is possible to achieve sound political approaches to improve connectivity. Likewise, independence and inclusive regulatory dialogue are basic to make the digital revolution a reality. This is so as challenges are more than ever of a transnational nature, such as digital platforms, while other issues (such as last mile access or issues with end users) remain with a special national focus. So, the dialogue channels need to be kept open among regional regulatory groups and between these and the political decision level, so that best approaches are shared in order to overcome common challenges.

As an example of the open dialogue channels between regulators groups, Mr. Cadete de Matos highlighted the recently renovated MoU between EMERG and BEREC, recognizing that this cooperative link has been there for long time and has delivered many sound and concrete outcomes when it comes to sharing information and good practices among the Mediterranean region, covering not only EU regulators but also their counterparts from the Balkans, the Middle East and the North Africa. Also, cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Regulators Group (EaPeReg) and the participation at the Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA), a joint initiative of the African Union (AU), the EU, and the ITU, are key drivers to the regulatory dialogue.

The panel on “Exploring regional perspectives on Regulation4digital transformation: Accelerating inclusive connectivity, access and use” was moderated by Sofie Maddens and shared by the following regulators groups: BEREC, EaPeReg, EMERG, ARTAC, EACO, ATU, as well as by private stakeholders such as ETNO, GSMA and ESOA.  These sessions were joined by over more than 250 participants. Next 21-25 June, there will be the core sessions of this year’s Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) under the theme:
Regulation 4 digital transformation: Accelerating inclusive connectivity, access and use.

More information: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Conferences/GSR/2021/Pages/EUR-AFR.aspx