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Austria: 50 Years of Europa – CEPT

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The European Conference of Post and Telecommunications Administrations – CEPT – was founded by 19 countries, and today, in geographical terms, its 46 member states cover the whole of Europe. In the course of the separation of the postal and the telecommunication operations as intended by European policies and following the adoption of various directives and agreements, the CEPT corresponds to a European regulatory body, its activities including the standardization of guidelines relating to trade, business operations, implementation and technology.

The CEPT's aims and standards were redefined at the General Assembly in Weimar. As a forum for regulatory topics in the field of post and telecommunications, the CEPT's aim is to support its members and to encourage collaboration at European level, as well as to clarify fundamental issues (such as the use of radio frequencies). To this end, relationships are cultivated with the European regulatory authorities, the EU and global contacts.

The long-term aim of the CEPT is to harmonize the national regulations at European and international level. At the plenary assembly in Bergen, the CEPT took a major step towards strengthening the organization. A three-man presidential body was set up, in which the last and the next presidents assist the current holder of the presidency and hold the office of vice-president. In this way the organization intends to maintain the continuity of the functions, to promote the work of the president and to increase public awareness of the new CEPT portal.

As a response to the networks in the telecommunications sector and the requirements of the information society, the CEPT has set up two committees with separate fields of business, one for postal matters (the CERP) and one for the field of telecommunications (the ECC) with a permanent office in Copenhagen, the European Telecommunications Office (ETO). The field of each committee's responsibilities was determined by the CEPT general assembly, while each committee itself adopts its standing orders and elects its president. The committees deal with questions of harmonization within their scope of responsibility, issuing recommendations and adopting decisions.

From October 2005 the presidency has been held by Germany, which will be holding the 13th CEPT Conference in Berlin on October 11-12 2006.

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