IRG members reflect on the smartest way to regulate in the digital era


The European Telecoms NRAs have launched an internal reflection regarding the impact of digitalisation on the way to best regulate.

"Online is not a sector"

One of the serie of events gathered IRG* and EPRA*  to analyse concrete examples of cooperation at different stages between different sectorial regulators.

The webinar, was jointly chaired by Maria Donde, EPRA Senior Vice-Chairperson, and Rainer Schnepfleitner, IRG Vice-Chair, and moderated by Philippe Defraigne and Michèle Ledger (Cullen International).

Some of the outstanding Keynote Speakers were Kate Davies (Ofcom - UK)Christophe Cousin (CSA - FR) and Antonio de Tommaso (AGCOM - IT). The Webinar counted also with concrete experiences presented by Celene Craig (BAI - IE)Rebecca Parman (MPRT - SE), Persa Lampropoulou (NCRT - GR) and Pascale Raulin-Serrier (CNIL-FR). 

Some of the key take- aways of the session were: 

  • Online is not a sector: Reinforced cross-sectorial cooperation between regulators at the national and European levels, is a must considering the challenges for regulation posed by the changing online ecosystems.
  • Consider the users' experience: citizens do not see any distinction between sectors. This points to the benefits of pooling common research, publications and jointly regulatory approaches and strategies.
  • Willingness is Key: There is a lot to be done on a volontary basis. If there is a why there is a how.
  • Institutional design: Some structural elements, such as light contracts or MoUs ( Memorandum of Understanding) listing common objectives for regulatory cooperation can be really helpful. Ultimately, having dedicated staff is key to success and effectiveness.  
  • Multistaker engagement: Regulatory cooperation also greatly benefits from collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders including the industry, academia and governments. 

The conclusions of the webinar were highly enlightening for all participants. The New Regulatory Era is open! 

*IRG: The independent Regulators Group is a forum set up in 1997, to share experiences and best practices amongst European Telecoms Regulatory Authorities . IRG is comprised of 37 European Telecoms NRAs (EU Members, UK, EEA/EFTA countries and the EU candidate countries) 

*EPRA: The European Platform of Regulatory Authorities is a forum for informal discussion and exchange of views between regulatory authorities in the broadcasting field in Europe.  EPRA is comprised of 55 audiovisual regulators from 47 countries in wider Europe.