It is possible to have the roaming charges scrapped for the West Balkan countries

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić has said early today that the Summit of the EU-West Balkans in Sofia, to be held on May 17, could be a place to reactivate the initiative and sign the agreement on abolition of roaming charges for all West Balkan countries.

“Having taken over the EU Presidency, Bulgaria has reactivated that initiative, announcing that an agreement to end roaming charges could be signed in the summit in Sofia for all WB countries, and make them access that EU Directive, which means that the roaming charges would be completely scrapped”, says Mr Ljajić for Tanjug.

However, Mr Ljajić has mentioned that he can’t certainly confirm that this will actually happen.

It is possible to have the roaming charges scrapped for the West Balkan countries

He reminded that there used to be the initiative for a full abolition of roaming charges for the West Balkans, actually that the WB countries could join that so called EU Roaming Abolition Directive which fully ended roaming charges for the EU Member States.

“In this way the countries in the EU accession process would, at different stages, also join that agreement based on which our citizens travelling to the EU countries could pay the services under the same prices as in their own countries. We have addressed the European Commission for several times regarding this matter but were rejected because that directive was only applicable to the EU Member States, and that the validity of the directive for other countries would imply a change of the document”, says Mr Lajić.

Based on the announcement by Bulgarian Minister of Transport Ivail Moskovski Mr Ljajić says that the roaming charges for Macedonia and Serbia will be reduced starting of August this year, and that the decision will be made during the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU, and that mobile operators of Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia are working on signing that agreement, that there are several initiatives, at least three, from the reduction of the roaming charges to their full abolition in the region.

Mr Moskovski says that, according to the statements coming from the Macedonian Journalist Agency (MIA), one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU will be a reduction of the roaming charges for all the WB countries.

On that occasion, Mr Ljajić underlines that Serbia has signed a memorandum of gradual reduction of roaming charges with Bulgaria until their full end, and that the memorandum is practically an appeal sent to the telecommunication operators to make agreements, primarily for a reduction, and then for the abolition of the roaming charges between the two countries.