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BEUC and MEPs call for end to high international phone and SMS costs in EU

14 July 2016
by BEUC -- last modified 14 July 2016

The European Consumer Organisation and Members of the European Parliament from across political ailes today called on the European Commission to bring down unjustifiably high costs for calling or texting another EU country.


A survey by national consumer groups revealed that such calls can cost up to €2.00 per minute – about 20 times higher than the cost for mobile calls within the same country. Yet, data from the Commission indicates that telecom companies do not face significantly higher costs for connecting calls to another EU country2. As a result, BEUC and the signatory MEPs consider that, in the Single Market, consumers should not be charged an unjustified surplus when calling or texting somebody in another EU country.

The EU already tackled roaming costs, which are payable when using telecom services from abroad. The next, and long overdue, step is to address the high tariffs for calling another country.

Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), commented:

"Unjustified high costs just for calling another EU country contradict the spirit of the Single Market. Telecom providers should not be doing this and this practice must be ended.

"It would be a win-win for consumers and telecom companies to reduce the costs of international calls. If consumers no longer hold back from making calls for fear of higher prices, telecom companies will also benefit.

"If the EU wants to create a digital single market that benefits consumers, bringing down high cross-border phone and text costs is the way to go."

BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and our main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by our members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation