Yesterday's 'Moniteur Belge', the Belgian official journal, contained the 'Loi relative aux communications électroniques' / 'Wet betreffende de elektronische communicatie', as well as its extensive annex on Universal Service.

This is the main body of the legislation transposing the EU directives on electronic communications.

Article 165 of the law stipulates that the legislation will enter into effect 10 days after publication (i.e. on 30 June 2005) ... but ... that the King is entitled (by Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers of the Federal Government) to defer the effective applicability of certain aspects of the legislation with a view to achieving ... a transitory or concertation period ...

It will be seen from the above that key issues are still pending...

T-REGS Note: The expectation is that the Federal Parliament will adopt a so-called 'Programme Law' in the second or third week of July 2005, addressing many topics, including the co-operation agreement between the Federal Government and the Communities (Flemish, French, German) in Belgium to take forward the regulation of electronic communications on a common basis, with institutionalised procedures of co-operation for key regulatory matters.

The full text of the Law on electronic communications (in French and in Dutch) can be accessed by clicking here (page 18 to 81 of the .pdf file).

For a discussion of the state of affairs in Belgium, please contact Yves Blondeel.