EU ombudsman rules roaming procedure was too short
see also Ombudsman
The European Union's ombudsman ruled that the EU's executive arm broke its own procedures by shortening the public comment period for a law capping roaming rates for voice calls.
Nikiforos Diamandouros, the ombudsman, said in a Wednesday decision that there was a case of "maladministration" by the European Commission in cutting time limits for public comments on roaming legislation that took effect last year. The commission, the EU's executive arm, fixed the first consultation period for four weeks and a second for six weeks. The normal period is eight weeks.
The complaint was filed by the GSM Association, which represents more than 700 mobile-phone operators. Mobile-phone companies including Vodafone Group and Telefónica, have said that the roaming regulation, which cut the rate companies charge travelers for making phone calls outside their home countries by as much as 70 percent, was not needed because fees were already coming down.
"The commission's decision to substantially shorten the public consultations period" wasn't in accordance with the agency's guidance for proposed legislation, the ombudsman said in the decision.
The ombudsman, who evaluates complaints about faulty administration by EU institutions, can recommend changes to procedures. In this case, he didn't provide a solution because the roaming legislation has already been approved. A "critical comment" will be sent to the commission president, he said in the decision.