Future-Proof Regulation against the Test of Time: The Evolution of European Telecommunications Regulation
Forthcoming in (2022) 42 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
25 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2022
Date Written: September 16, 2022
Regulation is sometimes designed to be future-proof, so that it can adapt to changing economic and technological realities. The EU (and UK) Regulatory Framework for electronic communications was expressly crafted to be able to adjust to the evolution of the industry. This article considers how well the regime has stood the test of time and, based on this analysis, what lessons can be drawn for regulation more generally. It appears that, by and large, the Framework has effectively accompanied the transformation of telecommunications in Europe. On the other hand, the EU legislature’s commitment to future-proof intervention has waned over time. Every new review of the regime has represented a move away from the philosophy and mechanisms conceived to ensure that regulation would adapt seamlessly to industry shifts. This experience suggests that the failure or success of future-proof intervention primarily hinges on the intertemporal consistency of legislatures.
Keywords: economic regulation, administrative law, public law, EU law, Internet
JEL Classification: K2, K23, L43, L51, L96, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation