The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel will present a roadmap for lowering roaming charges in the countries of the Western Balkans at an EPP Group Conference hosted by Andrey Kovatchev MEP and European Parliament Vice-President Lívia Járóka MEP.

“Commissioner Gabriel will present a roadmap for lowering roaming charges and rolling out broadband in the region as a way to enhance digital connectivity to the Ambassadors of the Western Balkan countries and stakeholders from the sector”, said Andrey Kovatchev MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for enlargement and Mediterranean policy.

A European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo) is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. During its presidency, Bulgaria wants to achieve visible results in providing connectivity to the Western Balkans - air, transport, digital as well as educational.

Lowering the price of mobile roaming is one of these concrete steps. Now, roaming charges are ridiculously high. For example, a Bulgarian phone subscriber who is in the neighbouring FYROM might pay about €15 per megabyte of mobile internet and about €3 per minute per call.

European Commission representatives met in Brussels with representatives of the Western Balkans telecommunication companies to discuss ways of lowering the roaming charges. Although the companies are commercial bodies, they might explore different options, for example voluntary commercial agreements between them.

We will learn on Tuesday what the latest developments are in this field and what remains to be done.

The event will take place from 09.00 on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, in room JAN 6Q1.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States

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