Europe's top telecoms regulator Neelie Kroes has promised radical plans to eliminate mobile roaming charges as well as enshrining a free and open internet within the EU.

Neelie Kroes
Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president for the Digital Agenda, attends the LeWeb technology conference December 5, 2012 in Aubervilliers, near Paris. (Credit: Reuters)

Speaking at the European Parliament on Thursday, Kroes, who is responsible for setting the digital policy with the EU, said these proposals would be good for the economy and would "show citizens the EU is relevant to their lives."

While Kroes said the radical legislation would be implemented by Easter 2014, the IBTimes UK has been told that initial proposals would be presented to the Commission within the next month, paving the way for individual member states to approve the legislation before it officially comes before the European Commission later in the year.

When asked if Kroes thought it was possible to get the "radical legislative compromise" - as she dubbed it - through the European Parliament in that timescale, a spokesperson said she believed it was "realistic."

The timing of the legislation is key, as European Parliament elections are scheduled for May of next year and Kroes will be keen to get her proposals enacted before then.

Borderless market

Kroes said her vision for the sector was for "pan-European operators helping consumers take advantage of a borderless market" as well as "increased investment in quality networks and content."

The European Parliament already has measures in place to reduce the roaming charges which mobile networks charge their customers when travelling to another country within the EU. These measures have been implemented on an annual basis, with the latest update set to be introduced this July and the final tranche of measures to be introduced in July 2014 - after Kroes' proposed legislation is said to come into effect.

The other strand of this new legislation is to do with net neutrality, or the elimination of restrictions on broadband speeds and access to certain services by providers within the EU. While Kroes mentioned it in her speech to the Parliament on Thursday, she didn't expand on what the proposals would include and in the past she has been ambiguous in relation to what she thinks should happen in relation to this matter.

Kroes called on her fellow MEPs to back her proposals, saying it would make a "practical difference" to everyone's lives within the EU:

"So, if you believe in the single market; if you believe in a strong Europe that makes a practical difference to each citizen's life - then Believe. In. This. This is the opportunity to stand up and be counted. I will fight with my last breath to get us there together."

Kroes is likely to be met with strong opposition from mobile phone operators throughout the EU, as the region's big operators like Telefonica, Vodafone and France Telecomoften blame Europe's interventionist telecom regulation for sapping their ability to invest, as well as the fragmentation of national markets that hamper economies of

The proposed reform effort stems from growing concerns that Europe is falling behind the United States, Japan and South Korea in terms of the quality and speed of broadband and mobile networks, although European consumers do benefit from paying among the lowest prices for telecom services.