Archive pour la catégorie ‘Citizenship’

Erasmus turns 25!

Lundi 30 janvier 2012

The world’s most successful student exchange programme, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Nearly three million students have benefited from a study period or work placement abroad since the creation of the Erasmus programme in 1987. Under the slogan, ‘Erasmus: changing lives, opening minds for 25 years’, the silver anniversary celebrations will be launched today by Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Erasmus mobility is at the heart of the Commission’s strategy to combat youth unemployment by focusing more on skills development – an issue which will be discussed by heads of state and government at today’s Informal European Council.

“The impact of Erasmus has been tremendous, not only for individual students, but for the European economy as a whole. Through its support for high-quality teaching and a modern higher education system, with closer links between academia and employers, it is helping us to tackle the skills mismatch. It also gives young people the confidence and ability to work in other countries, where the right jobs might be available, and not to be trapped by a geographic mismatch,” said President Barroso.

Commissioner Vassiliou added: “Erasmus is one of the great success stories of the European Union: it is our best known and most popular programme. Erasmus exchanges enable students to improve their knowledge of foreign languages and to develop skills such as adaptability which improve their job prospects. It also provides opportunities for teachers and other staff to see how higher education works in other countries and to bring the best ideas home. Demand for places strongly exceeds the resources available in many countries – one of the reasons why we plan to expand opportunities for study and training abroad under our proposed new education, training and youth programme, Erasmus for All.”

In the 2011/2012 academic year, more than 250 000 students will benefit from the Erasmus programme. The most popular destinations for students are expected to be Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, while the countries sending the most students abroad are expected to be Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. The EU has allocated around € 3 billion for Erasmus for the period 2007-13.

Erasmus for All would bring together all the current EU and international schemes for education, training, youth and sport, replacing seven existing programmes1 with one. This will increase efficiency, make it easier to apply for grants, as well as reducing duplication and fragmentation. Under the new programme, the aim is for up to 5 million people, almost twice as many as now, to get the chance to study, train or teach abroad. The Commission’s proposal is currently being discussed by the Member States and the European Parliament, which decide the future budget.

Events marking the celebration
The celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus programme will be launched in Brussels today with a conference which will evaluate the programme’s impact and discuss its future. Denmark, which holds the EU Presidency in the first half of 2012, together with the European Commission, will also organise a follow-up conference in Copenhagen on 9 May. The anniversary will also be celebrated at events organised in the Member States.

“Erasmus ambassadors” from the 33 countries participating in the scheme will be present at many of these events. The ambassadors, one student and one staff member, have been chosen to represent each country, based on the impact that Erasmus has had on their professional and private lives; their role is to encourage other students and staff to take advantage of the opportunities it offers to change lives and open minds. During the conference in Copenhagen in May, they will present the ‘Erasmus Manifesto’ which will set out their vision of how the scheme can develop in future.

Background
The Erasmus programme was launched in 1987 with 3 244 young, adventurous students who took part in learning experiences in one of the 11 countries which initially participated in the programme. Now, 33 countries take part in the scheme - the 27 EU member states, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

In the past 25 years, the programme has seen a constant rise in both the number of students and in the quality and diversity of the proposed activities. Teachers and other staff, such as university international relations officers who are often the first point of contact for potential Erasmus students, can also benefit from EU support to teach or train abroad – nearly 40 000 did so in 2010/2011.

Work placements in companies abroad have been supported through Erasmus since 2007 and are increasingly popular. Up to now, grants have already been awarded to nearly 150 000 students for this purpose. In 2009/10, 35 000 students (one in six of the total) chose a work placement, which was a 17% increase on the previous year.

The Parlementarium celebrates 100 days successfully.

Mercredi 25 janvier 2012

Over 64,000 visitors interested in how the EU and Parliament work have experienced the Parlamentarium since Europe’s largest parliamentary visitors centre opened 100 days ago. The European Parliament’s visitors centre allows children and adults to discover Europe’s history and how the decisions that influence our daily lives are made in a modern and interactive way.

Parlamentarium opened to the public on 14 October and has gained popularity as a Brussels attraction. It is ranked among the top things to do in Brussels on the “Tripadvisor” travel information site.

The visit is accessible in the 23 official EU languages, with sign language in English, French, German and Dutch. Admission is free, it is open seven days a week and the centre is fully accessible to visitors with special needs. It also offers a role play game in which students can step into an MEP’s shoes.

The European Commission wants to reform Data Protection

Mercredi 25 janvier 2012

The aim is the protection of users and reducing costs for professionals.

The European Commission has today proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU’s 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy. Technological progress and globalisation have profoundly changed the way our data is collected, accessed and used. In addition, the 27 EU Member States have implemented the 1995 rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. A single law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year. The initiative will help reinforce consumer confidence in online services, providing a much needed boost to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe.

The Commission’s proposals update and modernise the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights in the future. They include a policy Communication setting out the Commission’s objectives and two legislative proposals: a Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection and a Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities.

Key changes in the reform include:

- A single set of rules on data protection, valid across the EU. Unnecessary administrative requirements, such as notification requirements for companies, will be removed. This will save businesses around €2.3 billion a year.
- Instead of the current obligation of all companies to notify all data protection activities to data protection supervisors – a requirement that has led to unnecessary paperwork and costs businesses €130 million per year, the Regulation provides for increased responsibility and accountability for those processing personal data.
- For example, companies and organisations must notify the national supervisory authority of serious data breaches as soon as possible (if feasible within 24 hours).
- Organisations will only have to deal with a single national data protection authority in the EU country where they have their main establishment. Likewise, people can refer to the data protection authority in their country, even when their data is processed by a company based outside the EU. Wherever consent is required for data to be processed, it is clarified that it has to be given explicitly, rather than assumed.
- People will have easier access to their own data and be able to transfer personal data from one service provider to another more easily (right to data portability). This will improve competition among services.
- A ‘right to be forgotten’ will help people better manage data protection risks online: people will be able to delete their data if there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
- EU rules must apply if personal data is handled abroad by companies that are active in the EU market and offer their services to EU citizens.
- Independent national data protection authorities will be strengthened so they can better enforce the EU rules at home. They will be empowered to fine companies that violate EU data protection rules. This can lead to penalties of up to €1 million or up to 2% of the global annual turnover of a company.
- A new Directive will apply general data protection principles and rules for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The rules will apply to both domestic and cross-border transfers of data.
The Commission’s proposals will now be passed on to the European Parliament and EU Member States (meeting in the Council of Ministers) for discussion. They will take effect two years after they have been adopted.

Background

Personal data is any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, your posts on social networking websites, your medical information, or your computer’s IP address. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights says that everyone has the right to personal data protection in all aspects of life: at home, at work, whilst shopping, when receiving medical treatment, at a police station or on the Internet.

In the digital age, the collection and storage of personal information are essential. Data is used by all businesses – from insurance firms and banks to social media sites and search engines. In a globalised world, the transfer of data to third countries has become an important factor in daily life. There are no borders online and cloud computing means data may be sent from Berlin to be processed in Boston and stored in Bangalore.

On 4 November 2010, the Commission set out a strategy to strengthen EU data protection rules (IP/10/1462 and MEMO/10/542). The goals were to protect individuals’ data in all policy areas, including law enforcement, while reducing red tape for business and guaranteeing the free circulation of data within the EU. The Commission invited reactions to its ideas and also carried out a separate public consultation to revise the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).

EU data protection rules aim to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, and in particular the right to data protection, as well as the free flow of data. This general Data Protection Directive has been complemented by other legal instruments, such as the e-Privacy Directive for the communications sector. There are also specific rules for the protection of personal data in police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA).

The right to the protection of personal data is explicitly recognised by Article 8 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and by the Lisbon Treaty. The Treaty provides a legal basis for rules on data protection for all activities within the scope of EU law under Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Charlemagne Youth Prize 2012

Mardi 24 janvier 2012

The deadline for the submission of applications has been postponed to 13th February.

Role models for young Europeans

The Charlemagne Youth Prize, which is jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, is awarded to projects undertaken by people between 16 and 30 years old and helping to promote understanding between peoples of different European countries. The winning projects should serve as role models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community. Youth exchange programmes, artistic and Internet projects with a European dimension are amongst the projects selected.

Total prize money of 10,000 Euros

The three winning projects will be awarded funding of €5,000, €3,000, and €2,000 respectively. They will also be invited to visit the European Parliament. Representatives of the best projects from each of the 27 EU Member States will be invited to Aachen, in Germany, on 15th May 2012, to participate in the award ceremony.

2011 winners

In 2011, the UK online lifestyle magazine “Europe & Me” created by young Europeans for young Europeans in 2007 was awarded the first prize in the European Charlemagne Youth Prize competition. The second and third prize went to “Balkans Beyond Borders”, a short-film project from Greece, and to the “Escena Erasmus Project” (Spain), a project addressed mainly to Erasmus students, encouraging cultural and linguistic exchanges, respectively.

Application forms, which are easily filled in, are available in 22 languages on the European Parliament’s Charlemagne Youth Prize website

The European Parliament debate on the Hungarian law

Vendredi 13 janvier 2012

Concerns as to whether the laws implementing Hungary’s new constitution are compatible with EU rules and values were raised by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs in a debate on Wednesday.

The Commission’s Director General for Justice, Françoise Le Bail, said that the Commission’s evaluation of the compliance of the Hungarian laws with EU law was focusing on three issues: measures to retire judges and prosecutors at 62 years old, rather than 70, the independence of the judiciary and the independence of the data protection authority.

Replying to MEPs’ questions, Ms Le Bail explained that the retirement age measure was being checked against an EU directive on non-discrimination in employment, the independence of the judiciary one against Charter of Fundamental Rights Article 47 and the data protection authority one against the 1995 data protection directive.

Ms Le Bail said that the compatibility of some of these measures with EU law was “questionable”, and promised that the Commission would complete its analysis in time for the College of Commissioners to decide on 17 January how to proceed with respect to Hungary. The Commission is prepared to make full use of its prerogatives, which could entail the launching of infringement procedures, she added.

Risk of breach of EU values?

“We don’t have to wait to see what the Commission is doing. Parliament is entitled by the Lisbon Treaty to take action”, said Renate Weber (ALDE, RO). She recalled issues such as the Hungarian media law, the Roma in France, upon which the Commission had begun very bluntly but lost momentum thereafter, and voiced concern over Hungary’s cardinal laws, which she said “would allow legislation to be cemented for the next hundred years”.

Ms Weber added that the Commission should also test Hungary’s laws against EU Treaty Article 2, which states that the EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

“There is every indication that Hungary will realign its legislation according to the Commission’s evaluation”, said Frank Engel (EPP, LU), adding that “I don’t see any reason for all this hysteria”. He proposed to wait until the “regular procedure is fulfilled” before coming to any conclusion “on a decision taken by a sovereign country”.

“We needed this new constitution”, said Kinga Gál (EPP, HU), adding that “it can happen that there are mistakes, but I don’t think this can give raise to any affirmation or rumour saying that there is a breach of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary”.

“The Charter of Fundamental Rights is primarily for the EU, not necessarily legally binding in this way for Member States”, said Axel Voss (EPP, DE), adding that “this should be addressed as a regular breach of the EU Treaties”. On the independence of the data protection supervisor, he said that “it should be discussed, but not in an exaggerated fashion”. “European law must be the cornerstone of our action”, he underlined.

“Let the Commission do what it has to do”, urged Ms Gál, adding that “these issues should not be politicised” and that it is “very good” that the Commission, as guardian of the treaties, “follows this and says what needs to be changed”.

“This is about the risk of breach of fundamental rights”, argued Sophie int’Veld (ALDE, NL), adding that activating Article 7 of the Treaty, in order to assess whether there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values, “would be justified”.

“I support my group’s request for the application of Article 7. These are basic rights that should be respected by all Member States in Europe”, added Sonia Alfano (ALDE, IT).

“We are facing a drift that is worrying this House”, said Rui Tavares (Greens/EFA, PT). “A dictatorial drift”, he added. “We see again and again that citizens expect us to act on fundamental rights”, he insisted, adding that “democracy means not only that majorities rule, it is also means that majorities change”. “Would a candidate country with this kind of laws have any chance to join the EU?”, he wondered.

Mr Tavares also advocated applying Article 7, in order to determine whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the values on which the EU is founded. This would be an “alert procedure” for Hungary, he said.

Media law, electoral law, church law

Kinga Göncz (S&D, HU), asked the Commission what it expected the Hungarian authorities to do after the legal analysis is concluded, suggesting that a more political answer would be required, and not just a legal one. In the previous year, there had been “cosmetic changes” to Hungary’s media law, she recalled, adding that this should be avoided now. Ms Göncz also asked the Commission to analyse Hungary’s electoral law and church law.

Kyriacos Triantaphyllides (GUE/NGL, CY), asked whether the infringement of labour laws and attacks against political parties were being addressed by the Commission. Krisztina Morvai (NI, HU) also urged that the Hungarian people and workers should be heard.

Csaba Sógor (EPP, RO), defended the media and religious laws passed by the Hungarian government. “There are nine Member States which recognise fewer churches than Hungary”, he said, adding that “in Hungary there is no state religion, as it happens in many other Member States”. He also claimed that the Club radio was not closed in Hungary.

Ana Gomes (S&D, PT), voiced concerns about the electoral laws, which could render the main political opposition party illegal, she said, adding that this debate “is not against the Hungarian people, it is for the Hungarian people”.

“What is happening in Hungary today is very serious for the European project and its universal values. This is a mutation of democracy”, said Louis Michel (ALDE, BE).

József Szájer (EPP, HU), called on the European Parliament to “make an investigation before passing any judgement, as the Commission is doing”. “What Fidesz inherited is something that needed to be restructured, we needed to create a new state that is functional”, he stressed, noting that the Hungarian parliament had passed 230 laws and 30 cardinal laws. “If there are only these 4 or 5 mistakes that we are discussing, I think we did a very good job”, he concluded.

It’s not only about Hungary

We are talking about “shared principles and values” and “Parliament cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening”, said Birgit Sippel (S&D, DE), stressing that “this is not a discussion between the Commission and Hungary only. As the EU we lose all our credibility if one of our Member States is not respecting fundamental rights”.

“This isn’t about Hungary, it is about any Member State of the EU having problems with fundamental rights. I think no other Member State would have been treated differently. The Copenhagen criteria do not disappear when a country joins the EU and Article 7 also allows the Parliament to initiate proceedings”, said Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE).

Sophie int’Veld (ALDE, NL), observed that “Hungary took a sovereign decision to adhere to the EU treaties” and must therefore respect them. “The situation in Hungary is exceptionally serious”, but there are other Member States not respecting fundamental rights, se said, citing the treatment of Roma people in France or that of migrants and asylum seekers in her own country.

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, DE), described the way in which the Roma issue had been handled as a “fiasco”, and called for action to prevent the treaties from being violated.

A strictly legal issue?

“We accept that this is not only a legal issue, it is both legal and political”, Ms Le Bail told MEPs after the debate. “What the Commission is expecting from Hungary is full compliance with EU laws, the wording and the spirit of the EU Treaties and with the Charter of Fundamental Rights”, she concluded.

From Warsow with love

Lundi 2 janvier 2012

The calendar year ended. As usual, the rotating presidency of the EU Council has changed hands. While the Poles say goodbye, the Danes took place for the first half of 2012.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Everything good must eventually have its finale, and the six months of the first Polish Presidency of the European Union Council is finally coming to an end. For 184 days we have tried to serve the European Union and its citizens. Our holding of the Presidency came at a difficult time and one full of challenges, and we hope that we have been able to fulfil this task.

We would like to thank you sincerely for the interest and trust that you have bestowed on us by visiting the official website of the Presidency www.pl2011.eu and the good will you have shown. We express our gratitude for your support and commitment, as well as for your criticism and activity.

The year that is now coming to an end has been important for Europe. In the New Year wish all of you optimism and solidarity, and also what is expressed in the motto of our Presidency: ‘More Europe in Europe’.

Now the presidency of the EU Council passes to our friends from Denmark. And we guarantee - you can count on us. Good luck! I kan regne med os. Held og lykke!

Thank you and best regards,

The team of the Polish Presidency

And the European Capitals of Culture for 2012 are …

Lundi 2 janvier 2012

Two European Capitals of Culture were designated in 2012: Guimarães and Maribor. Discover these two cities, respectively Portuguese and Slovenian!

Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) take over the title of European Capitals of Culture 2012 on 1 January. Both cities have a busy calendar of events planned for the year, with the aim of showcasing themselves to the world and building a lasting legacy for their citizens. The official programme of events begins on 13 January in Maribor and 21 January in Guimarães.

The official launch of Maribor 2012 will take place over the weekend of 13-15 January, with music, theatre and dance performances. Numerous and varied cultural events, combining traditional and innovative approaches, from carnival to contemporary dance, are planned throughout the year. Young audiences will be a particular focus of the events.

Guimarães will open its festivities on Saturday 21 January with a theatre and multimedia open-air show. Its programme for the year focuses on four themes: City, Community, Thought and Arts.

Representatives from Tallinn (Estonia) and Turku (Finland), the 2011 European Capitals of Culture, will attend the launch events in both cities to pass over the baton to the 2012 Capitals.

Background

Organisation and funding of the European Capitals of Culture are principally the responsibility of the cities and Member States concerned.

The European Commission has contributed with a €1.5 million grant to each city. Known as the Melina Mercouri Prize after the Greek Culture Minister who inspired the initiative, the grant is awarded on the basis that the city’s cultural programme meets three criteria: it highlights the European dimension, fosters the participation of the public, and is an integral part of the long-term cultural and social development of the city.

The European Capital of Culture title is an excellent opportunity for cities to improve or even transform their image, to put themselves on the world map, and rethink their development through culture. The title has a long-term impact, not only on culture but also in social and economic terms, both for the city and for the surrounding region. For example, a study has shown that the number of tourists staying for at least one night increased by 12% on average compared with the year before the city held the title; this figure was as high as 25% for Liverpool in 2008 and Sibiu (Romania) in 2007.

The current rules and conditions for hosting the title are set out in a 2006 decision (1622/2006/EC) of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Following Guimarães and Maribor in 2012, the future European Capitals of Culture will be Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013, Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014, and Mons (Belgium) and Plzeň (Czech Republic) in 2015.

The European Union is launching a European network for health services

Jeudi 22 décembre 2011

The European Commission today launched the network “Health online” to facilitate the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare.

For the first time, EU legislation includes provisions on eHealth with clear objectives to find modern, innovative solutions for providing better and safer healthcare for all Europeans.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda said The new eHealth Network promises to bring the health benefits of the digital economy to citizens across Europe. Interoperable eHealth can help improve the safety and efficiency of care of millions of Europeans who travel within the EU every year.

The Network’s mission
The Network will bring together the national authorities responsible for eHealth on a voluntary basis to work on common orientations for eHealth. The aim is to ensure EU wide interoperability of electronic health systems and wider use of eHealth. The eHealth Network is expected to translate the results of numerous research projects and pilot projects into real-life accessible services for European citizens.

Background
eHealth is healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and information communication technologies (ICTs) .

eHealth can play a central role in making health systems more efficient and effective by allowing for example remote diagnosis, remote monitoring of patients’ conditions and secure sharing of patient records between healthcare professionals. The eHealth Network will play a key role in facilitating the future development of such services across Europe.

Council Conclusions in 2009 called for an alignment of eHealth with health strategies both at EU and at National level. In 2010 a Joint Action and Thematic Network were launched under the Health Programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme.

To ensure coordination, coherence and consistency of work on eHealth at EU level and to avoid duplication of work, article 14 of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive (2011/24/EU) of 9 March 2011 sets up the voluntary eHealth Network adopted by today’s Decision.

The eHealth network is mandated to draw up guidelines on a minimum set of common data to be included in patients’ summaries; on methods to enable the use of medical information for public health and medical research; and on common identification and authentication measures to ensure transferability of data in cross-border healthcare.

The European Commission selects the Capitals of Culture for 2017

Jeudi 22 décembre 2011

Nicosia and Paphos are competing for the title of European Capital of Culture 2017

The selection panel appointed to assess the cities applying to be European Capital of Culture in 2017 has recommended that Nicosia and Paphos are preselected as the Cypriot contenders for the 2017 title. The panel’s decision was announced in Cyprus today by Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. The preselected cities will now flesh out and complete their applications by next summer for the second and final selection round.

In accordance with the Decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers which sets the criteria for the European Capital of Culture event (1622/2006/EC), Cyprus and Denmark are the two Member States entitled to host a European Capital of Culture for 2017.

Cyprus invited applications from interested cities at the end of 2010. Three cities applied: Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos.

The selection panel meeting in Denmark took place on 25 November, with the panel recommending Aarhus and Sønderborg be preselected for the title.

Background
The selection panel which makes the pre-selection recommendation consists of 13 members, seven appointed by the European institutions and six by the Member State concerned. The members selected by the European institutions are:

- Appointed by the European Commission: Manfred Gaulhofer (Austria), Director-General of Graz 2003 and manager of many European projects; Sir Jeremy Isaacs (UK), television producer and former director of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

- Appointed by the Council: Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (Luxembourg), former Minister for Culture, MEP and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, currently chairwoman of many national and international cultural organisations; Constantin Chiriac (Romania), former vice-chairman of Sibiu 2007 and currently director of the national theatre Radu Stanca.

- Appointed by the European Parliament: Andreas Wiesand (Germany), consultant and researcher in cultural policy; Danuta Glondys (Poland), director of the Villa Decius Association and of many other activities in the field of international culture.

- Appointed by the Committee of the Regions: Elisabeth Vitouch (Austria), a member of the Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Culture and local councillor in Austria.

The process for designating the European Capitals of Culture involves two selection rounds: a preselection, in which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up, and a final selection round nine months later. The two selected cities are then officially named by the Council of Ministers of the EU.

Future European Capital of Culture
Following Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) this year, the next Capitals of Culture will be Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) in 2012, followed by Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013, Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014, then Mons (Belgium) and Plzeň (Czech Republic) in 2015.

The “roaming” on the radar of the European Parliament

Mercredi 21 décembre 2011

The goal is for Parliament to reduce prices and promote competition for communications made ​​abroad.

Ms Niebler backs the two-track approach proposed by the European Commission in July 2011, i.e. to set new caps on retail prices (charged to clients) and wholesale prices (split between operators) as of 1 July 2012 on one hand, and to introduce structural measures to boost competition on the other..
One proposed “structural” solution would be to require operators to offer clients domestic and international roaming services separately, so that they are able to choose a different supplier of roaming services if they so wish, with effect from July 2014.
The new retail and wholesale price caps proposed by Mrs Niebler go beyond those proposed by the European Commission.

Reducing roaming prices
According to Tony Shortall, Director at Telage, a telecoms consultancy, the structural problem is at the wholesale level: wholesale costs are extremely high and must drop significantly.

Boosting competition
Emmanuel Forest, of Bouygues Telecom, argued that the “structural” solution, i.e. enabling clients to buy roaming services separately, would be complex and probably inefficient in terms of competition, because the costs of doing so would be higher for smaller operators.
He suggested that an alternative solution would be to oblige operators to offer customers a genuine European tariff, close to domestic prices.
However, Jacques Bonifay, of Transatel, warned that setting roaming price caps too low would reduce competition.

Transparency and consumer protection
Industry Committee rapporteur Angelika Niebler also backed an amendment proposed by Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee rapporteur Eija-Riita Korhola (EPP, FI), that would require operators to notify customers when they approach a €50 “safety cap” on roaming charges.