Germany refutes the idea that its six months at the helm of the EU, which began on 1 January, promise to be difficult' on the telecommunications front. The opposite even appears to be the case. At national level, Berlin is of course preparing to be slapped with infringement proceedings once it has adopted its law that supposedly gives an advantage to the historic operator Deutsche Telekom for the construction of an optical fibre wideband network, at the expense of competitors, according to the Commission.

A well-informed source nonetheless notes that it would be in the European Commission's interests to present a maximum number of initiatives during the next six months, since Berlin will be obliged to attach more importance to working out compromises by the 27 member states then to defending its national interests.

The German EU Presidency will probably see the proposal for a revision of the telecoms regulatory framework slip through its fingers, however. The Commission has announced on several occasions that it would be presented "by the summer," although it had originally been anticipated for the start of the year. Germany also refuses to see that as a ploy by the Commission to avoid the Presidency. Its programme includes an interim report, followed by a policy debate at the Telecommunications Council of 6-8 June.


At that same Council, the Presidency hopes to work out a political agreement on the proposal for a regulation on roaming prices [calls to another country from a cell phone]. In the...

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