The creation of a European regulatory agency for telecoms and its limits
Bernardo Rangoni (European University Institute & IBEI)
Over the past decades, delegation to regulatory agencies has been spreading, especially in Europe. First, it has seen the creation of independent regulatory agencies at national level. This was followed by the establishment of informal European networks of national regulatory agencies, thereafter formalized. By 2010, European regulatory agencies had been established in a wide range of social as well as economic regulation domains, giving rise to claims of ‘agencification’. Yet, in contrast to comparable network industries such as securities or energy, telecoms did not witness the transformation of its formal regulatory network into an agency. The institutionally convoluted arrangement created in 2009 (BEREC) makes telecoms an exception and specifically a laggard in terms of agencification, which is all the more paradoxical given its central role in European integration theories. But in 2016, the European Commission has put forward legislative proposals, which have recently been accepted by the European Parliament and Council. This project will therefore explore why the creation of a European regulatory agency for telecoms did not happen in the first place, as well as how far the most recent efforts have been successful in institutionalizing BEREC.
Bernardo Rangoni joined the European University Institute (EUI) as a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow in Law in 2017, right after having earned his PhD in Political Science from the London School of Economics (LSE). His research has appeared (or is currently under review) in the Journal of European Public Policy, Regulation & Governance, European Law Journal, and Oxford University Press. A key element concerns the perceived move from traditional hierarchical 'command and control' to new modes of 'experimentalist governance', involving (i) more inclusive, (ii) recursive rule-making and revision (iii) informed by the comparison (iv) of different decentralized implementation experiences. He is currently analyzing the relationship between experimentalist institutional architectures, actual decision-making processes, and outcomes on substantives policies and preferences across electricity, gas, telecoms, finance, and pharmaceuticals.