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Wednesday, 23 May 2007 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Roaming on public mobile networks (debate)

  Karin Riis-Jørgensen (ALDE). – (DA) Mr President, only nine months after we debated roaming proposals in Parliament for the first time, we now have a result of which we can be very proud. Commissioner Reding, you very much deserve to be congratulated on your splendid work in the fight for cheaper telephone bills. However, we too have done our bit here in Parliament. One winner emerges from this fight, and that is the European consumer. European customers will notice the lower prices by as early as 1 August 2007. It will cost a maximum of DKK 4.50 to call home from abroad. I shall not shed many tears over the losers, namely the European telephone companies. They have bewailed their fate, but the reality is that they have made heaps of money out of consumers. Getting on for 95% of roaming income was clear profit. That is something we have now fortunately put a stop to. It was hard going, however. We were in a lot of disagreement in the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. My fellow Members Mr Coveney of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats and Mr Muscat of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament each wanted to go in a different direction, and there was no end of balletic manoeuvring within the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Now, we are all united in this House, however. I should like, therefore, to ask you for a second dance, Mr Muscat. Once again, thank you for your constructive cooperation, and I hope that Mrs Reding will now move on to the area of SMS and text messages in general, as this area is missing from the proposal.

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