Participating in ECC work
The ECC and its purpose
The ECC is a body of national regulators operating at the European level to identify and realise the benefits of harmonised approaches to spectrum management across the CEPT countries. These benefits mainly relate to economies of scale, and the reduction of lost opportunities for economic and social benefit at border areas. This is because measures to protect significantly dissimilar systems from interference usually result in less technically efficient outcomes than when systems have similar characteristics. Harmonisation also brings large associated social and convenience benefits – which are often an expectation these days - to people taking radiocommunications equipment across the many borders within the CEPT region.
Why the ECC values external contributions
The primary point of contact between industry, institutions and the spectrum management framework will usually be the national regulator in the country of the company and body concerned. This informs the regulators which work in the ECC’s Working Groups, Project Teams and Task Groups. However, the ECC places value in direct contributions from expert sources outside the administrations. The knowledge of industrial and other parties in research and service implementation is essential to develop spectrum management measures which are relevant and practical.
The basic rules
Outside parties may participate as observers in meetings of the ECC and its various bodies. The formal framework for engagement of outside parties in ECC work is described in the ECC Rules of Procedure
, Articles 1.3 and 3.8 11.10 and 11.11.
Participating under a MoU or LoU
The ECC Working Methods
Part 6 describes how organisations which have a Memorandum of Understanding or a Letter of Understanding with the ECC may participate in its meetings as Observers. Part 7 describes the principles under which such framework agreements may be made.
You do not have to have an MoU or LoU to participate in ECC activities
Having an MoU and LoU sets out a presumption that a representative from such an organisation may take part in meetings within the ECC. However, it is also possible to participate without having an MoU or LoU. In order to attend meetings it is necessary to get an invitation from the relevant Chairman.
How to participate
Organisations (companies, trade associations, etc.), with interests and expertise relevant to the subjects under discussion may seek an invitation by approaching the Chairman or the meeting secretary (where applicable). This should be done either by e-mail, or by telephone with subsequent e-mail confirmation. The reason for wanting to participate should be made clear. The request to participate should be made no later than 2 weeks before the meeting, in order to allow the Chairman to consult other members of the group if he considers this necessary.
What we require
It is acceptable that the reasons for attending may include a wish to secure outcomes which are directly or indirectly of advantage, or limiting disadvantage, to the organisation concerned (or those whom it represents). It will be helpful if the applicant can make these objectives clear to the Chairman.
It is expected that delegates sent to meetings as observers are able to make contributions to the work which are sufficiently expert and well-informed to be of value. It is acceptable for contributions to be purely reactive to the inputs presented to the group, but it is preferred if original inputs can be provided as well.
First step – the website
The first place to find out more about the work of a particular group is its meeting documents. These are available in the meeting documents
part of this website. In many cases more background information may be obtained by contacting the relevant ECO Office expert; the majority of ECC groups have an expert assigned to support their work, whose contact details are given at the foot of the group’s page on the website.
The name and contact point of the Chairman and (where applicable) Secretary may be obtained from the website.
At the meeting
Observers are not allowed to vote. Outcomes of meetings are rarely determined by voting; a consensus model predominates. The views of observers may be expressed, subject to any limitations applied by the Chairman (notably to ensure that contributions are proportionate and relevant). These views will be taken into account, however, the responsibility for consensus rests exclusively with the administrations represented at the meeting.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 13.1 of the Rules of Procedure, meetings are usually conducted only in English and interpretation and translation services are not available.
Handling of information: copyright and confidentiality
The outcome of ECC entities’ work is typically in the form of ’deliverables’, namely Decisions, Recommendations or Reports which are usually subject to approval by a higher level group than the one which created it. This may include material provided by observers. By definition these deliverables are in the public domain. The ECC will give permission for material in its deliverables to be reproduced without charge, although a credit of the source (the ECC) is usually required.
The ECC has a presumption that all of its input documentation is in the public domain by virtue of its being available on its servers without password protection. Where sensitive material is to be contributed to a meeting, the agreement of the Chairman to password protection of the relevant document may be given, at his discretion, where the contributor explicitly requests it. The CEPT and its members accept no liability for the consequences of disclosure arising from actions by individual members of the group concerned, or accidental disclosure by the direct or indirect actions of Chairman, Secretary or the Office, although all reasonable endeavours will be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the relevant material.
This document does not cover the process of public consultation, which is a normal part of creating a final deliverable (Decision, Recommendation, or Report). Public consultation is an important element of the ECC’s working methods, both to increase the transparency and accountability of what is applied by regulators in the public interest and also to offer the opportunity to achieve the best possible quality in these outputs.