The European Mediterranean Regulators Group (EMERG) was established on July 1, 2008 in Malta, as an independent platform of National Regulatory Authorities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services.
The origin of EMERG lays in the ideals and principles of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation set out in the Barcelona Declaration of November 28, 1995, which establishes the principles of a partnership aimed to turn the Mediterranean region into a common area of peace, stability and prosperity by way of the reinforcement of the political dialogue and of cooperation in security and economic, financial, social and cultural matters.
According to its Charter, the objectives of EMERG are the following:
- To act as a forum for regular discussions and exchanges of information for its Members on issues relating to electronic communications;
- To promote the approximation to the European regulatory framework and best practices among its Members;
- To monitor the development of the electronic communications in the Mediterranean area;
- To facilitate the cooperation and exchange of ideas and expertise with international organizations, other regulatory networks and sector experts;
- To prepare and contribute to the preparation of a region’s reservoir of documents, reports, benchmarks, presentations, analyses and common positions.
EMERG is open to any National Regulatory Authority (NRA) concerned with the electronic communications sector that is member of or observer in the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) or party to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership launched within the framework of the Barcelona Declaration of November 28, 1995 and/or to the ENP-South countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Currently, EMERG is integrated by the NRAs of 22 countries: Algeria, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, State of Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
The Plenary Assembly
The Plenary is the decision-making body of EMERG, composed by the Presidents, CEOs or designated Board members of each NRA Member of EMERG.
Every year, the Plenary appoints its Chair and Vice-Chair from among its members. The term of office of the Chair and of the Vice-Chair is one year. Before serving her/his term as Chair for one year, the Chair has firstly to serve one year as a Vice-chair. For ensuring continuity of BEREC’s work, the Chair has to serve as a Vice-chair for the year following her/his term as Chair.
The EMERG Chair for 2015 is Ms. María Fernández, Vice-President of CNMC (Spain), who was elected at the Plenary of Amman last February 10-11, 2014). The EMERG Vice-Chair for 2015 is Mr. Hichem Besbes of INTT (Tunisia).
The Chair is supported by the EMERG Permanent Secretariat in fulfilling their relevant responsibilities. For 2015, the EMERG Secretariat is integrated by CNMC (Spain), INTT (Tunisia), TRC (Jordan), ANRT (Morocco) and AGCOM (Italy).
The Plenary is assisted by the Contact Network, which is composed of senior representatives of the EMERG NRAs. The Contact Network ensures the coordination of the proposals to be considered by the Plenary Assembly.
Expert Working Groups (EWGs)
The activity of EMERG is organized into Expert Working Groups, which work on specific topics included in the EMERG Work Plan. They are composed by experts from the NRAs’ Members and are responsible of the preparation of the reports and recommendations on the different topics included in the Work Plan. These reports will be adopted by the Plenary Assembly.
For 2015, EMERG set up three Working Groups:
- EWG on NRAs’ Powers to Request Information.
- EWG on NRAs’ regulatory decision making process, accountability and transparency.
- EWG on Benchmarking and Monitoring.
EMERG Benchmarking Report
Every year, EMERG publishes its “Report on Market Trends and Benchmarking Regulatory Activities 2014” (the Benchmark Report), prepared by the EWG on Benchmarking and Monitoring. The Benchmark Report aims at comparing the regulatory environment and market outcomes of the telecom sector amongst the EMERG Members.
EMERG is fully committed to develop an active cooperation policy with other entities, namely other regulators’ groups, policy makers and international institutions dealing with electronic communications matters.
The close cooperation with BEREC, the Board of European Regulators, is a key-driver element for EMERG. It was materialized in 2014 with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under this umbrella, every yearly EMERG and BEREC organize a workshop together on a subject that falls into both groups’ interest.
EMERG also promotes the establishment of contacts with other regional associations and platforms of regulators, such as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), REGULATEL (Latin American Forum of Telecommunications Regulators) and the EaP (Eastern European Countries Partnership).
Finally, every year EMERG actively participates at the Regulatory Associations Meeting (RA), organized during the Global Symposium of Regulators by the ITU.