MEP Marlene Mizzi urged the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, to support the European Parliament’s efforts in lowering down the charges on international calls and text messages, and in increasing the level of consumer protection under the new telecom rules.

In her role as the S&D shadow rapporteur representing consumers and internal market in the current negotiations of the new draft telecoms bill, Marlene Mizzi asked the Commissioner Gabriel to explain the Commission’s approach on international EU calls and on the level of harmonisation of consumers’ protection rules in different Member States.

Marlene Mizzi said that “some studies shows that in some Member States mobile providers are making an average of over 5,000% profit margin for each international call. On top of it, with abolishing roaming charges, now it is even cheaper for consumer to cross the border and place the international call while roaming.”

“This is a problem that needs to be solved. Unlike roaming which only affects those consumers with the capacity to travel across the EU, abusive pricing of international calling and texting affects every single EU consumer who wants to reach a person, organization or company in a different Member State,”commented Marlene Mizzi.

“The new telecom rules need to provide guarantees for consumers sothat they are not charged unjustified, abusive prices, when calling or texting to a different EU countries,” said MEP Mizzi to Commissioner Gabriel.

Marlene Mizzi also expressed great concerns with the Commission’s approach on the level of harmonisation ofconsumers’ protection provisions. The Commission is suggesting an approach that might have negative impact on consumers’ rights in those Member States where national legislation already provides a very high level of consumer protection.

“In a highly dynamic sector as the digital communications sector, such inflexibility could be very detrimental to consumers.The new rules should not hinder the ability of national governments and regulators to react quickly to problematic developments in their markets and in no way should lower down the existing high level of consumer protection, where it already exists,” concluded MEP Marlene Mizzi.

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