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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commissioner Reding to EuroFora: EU, No1 Mobile Phone Network worldwide, affords Gift to Citizens

EU Commissioner Reding to EuroFora: EU, No1 Mobile Phone Network worldwide, affords Gift to Citizens

Written by ACM
Thursday, 23 April 2009

Slashing prices on Mobile Phone communications, including Internet, for People travelling among EU Countries, starting from 2009 Summer Holidays, EU takes advantage of the fact that "Europe is the most advanced area in the World on Mobile phones' Network", said to "EuroFora" EU Commissioner for Media and Information Society, Viviane Reding.

Moving "faster than usual", at the eve of the European Elections, EU Parliament agreed with EU Council "in only 7 Months", on a compromise initially drafted by the French EU Presidency since November 2008 and finalized by the Czech Presidency in 2009, for a package of measures which will enter into force from July 1st, 2009.

Luc Chatel, French Government's Spokesman and State secretary on Industry and Consumers' policy, hailed the agreement endorsed by EU Parliament on "roaming"'

- "It's not only because Europe created the GSM Mobile Phone Protocol, which has become now a World protocol.  But also because the EU has the best Network in the World, using one and a same protocol : GSM, and this facilitates inteconnexions. While in other continents mobile communications are still divided between various, different protocols. On the contrary, EU is the most integrated area of all ", Reding told "EuroFora".

On the newest component, that of Internet communications, it's only a beginning :  - "This is a new Market, and it's wiser to let business free to develop it further before any new regulation", she added.

- "Europe's Mobile phone Email and Web surfing is going to be boosted soon by investments in New Generation Networks, able to transmit a much larger amount of Data at Higher speed", said to "EuroFora" a co-Rapporteur for the Telecoms' package, British conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour.

"Mobile Phones' roaming and Telecoms' package are, indeed, both parts of larger developments", he added.

3 Main points wil change from July 1st, 2009 :

- SMS' prices will be lowered from 0,29.€ currently, down to 0,11.€ for each SMS sent between EU Countries, (- 60%).  

- The ceiling for voice Phone calls will be slashed by almost -50% until 2011 , starting with a maximum of 0,43 € per Minute (excluding VAT) for outgoing, and a maximum of 0,15 € per minute for incoming roaming calls.

- For Web Surfing and Data downloading, prices caps will start with 1 € per MB on July 1st, 2009, arriving at 0,50 € per MB in 2011.

To avoid "Bill Shoks" (sometimes Thousands of Euros !) discovered by surprised Consumers only afterwards, there will be Limits on Data Downloads, allowing to interrupt the communication, which should not exceed 50€ per Month.

"EuroFora" knows well the feeling, for having been badly surprised by Bills costing ...several Hundreds of Euros € in the Past, without any previous Warning, simply for surfing the Web the Time to drink a coffee at "Einstein" Café in Berlin's Unterderlinden (Germany) after a Franco-German Summit on Christmas 2005, and only for writting and sending an Article overnight from an Hotel at Brixen/Bressanone (South Tyrol, Italy) during Summer Holidays in 2008 with a French mobile phone...

After many demarches, thanks also to the comprehension of the providers, things were settled, in one way or another. But if we knew, we'd naturally have waited until ..next Morning to use Free Internet connexions at a local Press Center. But often, Time is too short, and Deadlines too strict for all that, so that Efficiency comes first.

Viviane Reding herself, an experienced former EuroMP from the heart of Europe : Luxembourg, strategically located between Brussels and Strasbourg, between France and Germany, should certainly know very well personally what "roaming" really means...

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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).


    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..


    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.

But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".


In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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