All posts by GS

Europe, Quo vadis?

Thoughts on a vision for Europe – centralism vs. subsidiarity Essay by Georg Serentschy Amidst the dramatic repercussions of the 2008 global financial crisis, Austrian journalism giant Hugo Portisch wrote the following in a 2011 book entitled “What Now?”: The world is coming apart at the seams. The situation is serious. It would seem justified to ask: Can Europe still be saved? Or our currency, the Euro? Who actually invented this EU? Who and why? Are we not entitled to a great many answers? 1 Now, six years later, the (rhetorical) questions posed by Portisch and his verdict that “the […]

Europa, quo vadis?

Hugo Portisch schrieb 2011 – mitten in den dramatischen Nachwirkungen der Finanzkrise 2008 – in seinem Buch „Was jetzt?“: „Die Welt ist aus den Fugen. Die Lage ist ernst. Die Frage scheint berechtigt: Ist Europa noch zu retten? Unsere Währung, der Euro? Wer hat eigentlich diese EU erfunden? Wer und weshalb? Ist man uns da nicht eine Menge Antworten schuldig geblieben?“ Diese (rhetorischen) Fragen von Portisch sind sechs Jahre später mehr denn je aktuell, sein Dictum, dass die Welt aus den Fugen sei, ist wohl unübersehbar gültig, denken wir nur an die schwelende Euro Krise (zugedeckt durch die brennende Migrationskrise), […]

Perspectives of the European debate on Net Neutrality and Zero-Rating – can BEREC square the circle?

This note aims to highlight some aspects of the European Net Neutrality debate and its future perspectives after BEREC has released its “Draft Guidelines on the implementation by National Regulators of European Net Neutrality rules”. Consultation of these draft Guidelines closed recently and BEREC is set to present the final version of its Guidelines by August 30, following an extraordinary Plenary Meeting on 25. August 2016. Similar to other jurisdictions, the European debate on Net Neutrality was highly contested from the outset and it was interesting to observe, that the conflicting lines of arguing on the European macro-level (Parliament and […]

Some thoughts on a better aligned European Industrial Telecom Policy

This paper aims to provide food for thought for a better alignment of the European Industrial Telecom Policy against the background of the creation of a Digital Single Market in Europe. 1. Opportunity: The digital economy offers significant opportunities for Europe in terms of economic growth, innovation, technological development and social benefit. These opportunities have been widely recognised: “I believe we must make much better use of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies, which know no borders… Enhancing the use of digital technologies and online services should become a horizontal policy, covering all sectors of the economy and of […]

GROUP20 explores fresh telecom policy ideas

Friday 27. March 2015, Magnus Franklin, a Brussels based senior telecom journalist published an article in MLex on how the European Commission is testing novel forums for gathering fresh outside ideas for their telecom ruling, aiming at sidestepping the trench warfare that up to now characterizes Brussels battles over telecom rules. In his article Magnus Franklin provides some insights on the work devised by GROUP20: “Another route the commission is using to explore fresh policy ideas is a newly formed body of telecom experts known as ‘GROUP20’. Not to be confused with the group of 20 largest economies (G20), GROUP20 […]

Gearing Up for Regulation 2.0 (InterMEDIA March 2015 Vol 43 Issue 1)

The European telecoms sector is faced with significant challenges in terms of rapidly emerging new technologies and new forms of competition and business models driven by these technology changes. The year 2015 will be pivotal for European policymakers, regulators and competition watchdogs to improve the environment for the European telecoms sector and to enable more investment. When defining the trajectory of regulatory modernisation, Europe should avoid going for incremental improvement only and rather aim at an ambitious scenario and step up to a ‘virtuous circle’, based on innovation, investment and smart regulation (“Regulation 2.0”). Based on my recent work for […]

Why Europe’s telecom sector needs regulatory modernization

The European telecom sector is faced with significant challenges in terms of rapidly emerging new technologies and new forms of competition and business models driven by these technology changes. 2015 will be a pivotal year for European policy makers, regulators and competition watchdogs to improve the environment for the European telecom sector. Regulation is the single most important driver in the telecoms sector. HSBC’s Global Regulatory Heatmap report[1] aims to take the regulatory temperature globally and to identify those countries where regulation is most and least supportive of investment, and then to assess how the world’s largest operators are exposed […]

Towards a more competitive European ICT ecosystem

Stuart N. Brotman (Faculty member at the Harvard Law School and The Brookings Institution) is currently working on a thorough comparison of the US – EU situation taking into account complete national ecosystems and not just networks or apps. Obviously he’s pursuing this in the tradition of Michael Porter’s “Competitive Advantage of Nations”. This means that focussing on network investment and quality – and of course improving conditions for rollout – is a necessary though not sufficient condition for a continent or country to be overall economically successful. What ultimately counts is the combination of ubiquitous high-quality and high-speed IP […]

New perspectives for the European Telecommunication Industry – A strategic outline to benefit European society and industry

At the advent of a new European Commission coming into office, policy makers and other stakeholders in Europe should be mindful of the cautionary tale presented by European telecommunications policies. The multi-year pursuit of “lowest-price-for-consumer” policy, with an emphasis on “maximising-the-number-of-competitors”, has left Europe and its citizens in many regions with lower quality networks in comparison to its global peers and a digital deficit instead of a digital dividend. This article addresses five crucial aspects of the European telecom environment and the relevant learnings for a new and revised policy: The fact that the European telecoms sector lack investment incentives […]

EU Postal Market quo vadis – A Strategic Outline

The European Postal Market – Quo Vadis? A Strategic Draft for the Postal Market of the EU 26. August 2014 This article is based on the author’s own experience as the postal regulator in Austria, the deliberations of the ERGP (, as well as interviews with National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), experts and representatives of the European Commission. All estimates and conclusions represent the personal views of the author. A few observations important for the European postal market should be pointed out first: From a strategic perspective, the development of the postal market -and letter post in particular- finds itself “standing […]