From today, 15th May, the price for phone calls and text messages across EU member states has been capped according to new limits introduced by Brussels. This is the second achievement concerning communications, after the abolition of roaming charges, delivering tangible benefits to consumers and businesses all through the EU.
In a statement, Marlene Mizzi, the MEP who negotiated both legislations on abolishing roaming charges and introducing cheaper international calls within Europe said: “Today is a big day and a tremendous victory for European consumers, as well as for me, personally, as the Maltese MEP negotiating both the roaming charges and intra-union calls legislations.”
Following the end of roaming charges in June 2017, these new prices are part of the EU-wide overhaul of telecoms rules aimed to tackle large price discrepancies that exist between Member States. The standard price of a fixed or mobile intra-EU call varied from three to ten times higher than the standard price for domestic calls between the different Member States. This discrepancy has now been abolished.
“After lengthy negotiations we have solved this problem so that European citizens will no longer worry about exorbitant bills and high prices when they call their families and friends in another EU country,” said MEP Marlene Mizzi. “From today, consumers calling from their country to another EU country should pay a maximum amount of 19 cents per minute (+VAT) and 6 cents per SMS message (+VAT).”
“I am proud that, following the roaming regulation, once more I was part of the negotiating team working on this ground-breaking legislation of great benefit to consumers. The moment we negotiated the end to roaming charges, I had pledged that the next step for me as an MEP would be to push for lower and unified rates for phone calls from one EU country to another. It is therefore of great satisfaction that, as of today, we have delivered a promise made and tangible benefits to our citizens,” said MEP Marlene Mizzi.
Telecoms operators across the EU will have to notify the consumers of the new price caps. The rules will apply in all 28 EU countries as of 15 May and soon also in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.