REPORT on the joint text, approved by the Conciliation Committee, for a European Parliament and Council Directive relating radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of the conformity of equipment (3635/98 - C40024/99 - 97/0149(COD))

4 February 1999

European Parliament's delegation to the Conciliation Committee
Rapporteur: Imelda Mary Read

At the sitting of 29 January 1998 Parliament delivered its opinion at first reading on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive relating radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of the conformity of equipment

At the sitting of 18 June 1998 the President of Parliament announced that the common position had been received and referred to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy as the committee responsible.

At the sitting of 6 October 1998 Parliament adopted amendments to the common position.

By letter of 8 December 1998 the Council stated that it was unable to adopt all Parliament's amendments.

The President of the Council, in agreement with the President of Parliament, convened a meeting of the Conciliation Committee on 8 December 1998.

At its meeting on 8 December 1998 the Conciliation Committee considered the common position on the basis of the amendments proposed by Parliament. At this meeting it reached agreement on a joint text.

On 13 January 1999 the co-chairmen of the Conciliation Committee established that the joint text had been approved pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 25 October 1993 on arrangements for the proceedings of the Conciliation Committee, and forwarded it to Parliament and the Council, in all the official languages.

On 2 February 1999 Parliament's delegation to the Conciliation Committee adopted the draft decision unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: Imbeni, Chairman of the delegation, Fontaine, Verde I Aldea, vice-chairmen, Read, rapporteur, Giansily, Glante, Herman, Hoppenstedt, Paasilinna, Torres Marques, W.G. van Velsen, Watson, von Wogau.

The report was tabled on 4 February 1999.

A DRAFT DECISION

Decision on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a European Parliament and Council Directive relating radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of the conformity of equipment (3635/98 - C4-0024/99 - 97/0149(COD))

(Codecision procedure: third reading)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee and the relevant declaration (3635/98 - (C4-0024/99 - 97/0149(COD)),

- having regard to its opinion at first reading[1] on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council COM(97)0257 and COM(98)0176[2],

- having regard to its decision on the common position[3],

- having regard to the Commission's opinion on Parliament's amendments to the common position (COM(98)0692 - C4- 0701/98),

- having regard to Article 189b(5) of the EC Treaty,

- having regard to Rule 77(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of its delegation to the Conciliation Committee (A4-0055/99),

1. Approves the joint text, and the relevant declaration;

2. Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, pursuant to Article 191(1) of the EC Treaty;

3. Instructs its Secretary-General to duly sign the act and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal;

4. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission.

  • [1] () OJ C 056, 23.02.98, p. 27
  • [2] () OJ C 248, 14.08.97, p. 4; OJ C 141, 06.05.98, p. 9
  • [3] () OJ C 328, 26.10.98, p. 32

B. EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

BACKGROUND

The objective of this draft Directive is to replace the present system of approval by a telecommunications authority or assessment body in the Member States prior to placing radio and telecommunications equipment on the market with a more flexible regime based upon manufacturer's self-testing and unilateral declarations of conformity.

The European Parliament delivered its opinion at first reading on 29 January 1998 and broadly approved the principle and content of the Commission's proposal. The common position of the Council met positively the Parliament's amendments, as half of them were incorporated directly or indirectly.

THE CONCILIATION PROCEDURE

The 15 amendments of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 6 October 1998 included several formal amendments and clarifications of ambiguities that could lead to misinterpretations detrimental to consumers or manufacturers, better definitions of essential requirements and procedural aspects to ensure the proper implementation and to deal with emergency problems, provisions for more transparency in the implementation of the Directive and prospective issues for the future assessment and revision of the Directive.

Following informal contacts with the Presidency in office of the Council the Parliament was confident that conciliation could be avoided. This proved not to be the case. The Council indicated several problems, of which most were purely formal nature, but there was also a substantive problem relating to consumer protection in one Member State.

After one trialogue meeting and two meetings of the delegation a satisfactory compromise was found. The Council accepted 10 of the 15 amendments as such or with only formal changes. On legal grounds, the EP delegation agreed to withdraw two amendments (1 and 3) which do not affect the content of the directive. Also, for the remaining problems of a political nature a satisfactory compromise was reached by strengthening the rights of the consumers in Article 7 of the Directive (am. 7), by adding a new recital of a clarifying nature relating to Article 8 on free movement of apparatus and by a joint declaration of the three institutions relating to the prevention of harm to the network.

CONCLUSION

The outcome of the conciliation procedure corresponds to the political will of the European Parliament as expressed at its second reading. The modifications of the text accepted in the conciliation in certain cases further improve the clarity of the text and ensure better protection for the consumers. The delegation therefore recommends that Parliament adopts the directives in accordance with the joint text of the Conciliation Committee (see document C4-0024/99).

ANNEX

Joint declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission

'The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission recognise the importance of the requirement relating to the prevention of harm to the network or its functioning which causes an unacceptable degradation of service taking into account in particular the need to safeguard the interests of the consumer.

Therefore, they note that the Commission will carry out a continuous assessment of the situation in order to evaluate whether that risk occurs frequently and, in such a case, to find an appropriate solution in the framework of the Committee acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 15.

Such a solution will, where appropriate, consist of the systematic application of the essential requirement provided for in Article 3(3)(b).

Furthermore, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission state that the procedure described above applies without prejudice to the possibilities foreseen in Article 7(5) and to the development of voluntary certification and marking schemes to prevent either the degradation of service or any harm to the network'.