Members' Research Service By / November 13, 2017

The new European electronic communications code [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which would overhaul the existing legislative framework for telecommunications.

© xiaoliangge / Fotolia

Written by Marcin Szczepański (4th edition, updated on 16.1.2018),

The new European electronic communications code
© xiaoliangge / Fotolia

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation.

The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well as new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G. The Code also ensures that all citizens have access to affordable communication, including the internet. It increases consumer protection and security for users and facilitates regulatory intervention. Furthermore, it introduces a ‘reverse 112 system’ which would alert citizens by text message in case of imminent serious emergencies or disasters (from June 2022). During negotiations the Parliament secured for citizens cheaper caps for intra-EU calls and SMS from 15 May 2019.

Interactive PDF

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European electronic communications code (Recast)
Committee responsible:


Shadow rapporteurs:




Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)

Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP, Spain)

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D, Finland)

Evžen Tošenovský (ECR, Czech Republic)

Kaja Kallas (ALDE, Estonia)

Michel Reimon (Greens/EFA, Austria)

David Borrelli (EFFD, Italy)

Barbara Kappel (ENF, Austria)

COM(2016) 590 of 14.09.2016

procedure ref.: 2016/0288 (COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD, Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Procedure completed.

Directive (EU) 2018/1972

OJ L 321, 17.12.2018, pp. 36–214


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