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EU super-regulator sets up shop

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The EU's telecoms super-regulator started work today, with the first item for debate being where to build a Hall of Justice.

Europe's latest regulatory body had its first meeting today - bringing together representatives of the 27 national telecommunications regulators, and tasking them with the problem of deciding where they'd like to be based.

The regulators had, of course, met before - they used to meet quite regularly as members of the "European Regulators Group", which has been replaced by BEREC, the "Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications". The European Regulators had to be replaced, apparently because it worked "on the basis of consensus" and "was not integrated into the EU's regulatory process".

BEREC, on the other hand, will "give important expert opinions on the functioning of the telecoms market in the EU", not to mention "advise, support and complement the independent work of national telecoms regulators", which it will be able to do with its team of ten support personnel - once the regional representatives can decide where that team should live.

Until that decision BEREC will have to hang out in Brussels, where representatives from national regulators will vote on what opinions they should express, when asked.

But we shouldn't complain too much: BEREC is the castrated remains of Viviane Reding's super regulator which would have had 130 staff wielding the power to specify technical standards and allocate radio spectrum across Europe. The creation of a powerless talking shop seems a small price to pay to avoid such a thing. ®

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