|dc.description.abstract||This thesis is an original examination of the structural characteristics that render an administrative agency, entrusted with the regulation of the telecommunications sector, ‘efficient’ or ‘better’ in the sense of the quality of its processes and decisions it makes or, in other words, what constitutes ‘good governance’. The author analyses the principles of good governance, since those principles affect the functioning of the regulator, the market and the regulatees’ rights, and discusses criteria which may be employed to measure each of the principles and hence good governance itself. Among those principles, regulatory independence and accountability are recognised as the cornerstones upon which ‘good regulation’ can be built. Firstly because accountability may be considered as a key principle of good governance, since, apart from its importance on its own, it is either strongly related to some of the pre-referred principles of good governance, such as transparency, or it is the tool to achieve the observance of other principles such as proportionality, consistency and predictability, effectiveness and due process. Secondly, independence is the cornerstone upon which stability, credibility, legal certainty, due process in the sense of the use of certain fair procedures such as participation, consultation and openness, economic efficiency, and transparency could be built. Without an independent regulator the possibilities for the development of the above notions are limited.
The two principles of good governance are further analysed in the thesis and their importance is demonstrated through the examination of a case study, the Greek national regulatory authority responsible for the regulation of the telecommunications sector. Through this case study it is demonstrated that the respect of a regulatee’s rights, the observance of the other principles of good governance and the good regulation of the market, mostly depend on the degree of independence and accountability of a regulatory body. The author argues that shortfalls of regulatory independence and accountability undermine regulatory performance and eventually good regulation. In this regard, the functioning of a regulatory body could be significantly improved, if reforms at European level are implemented, through the establishment of a single, pan-European regulatory authority and through more detailed regulatory measures at an EU level, and/ more regulations that do not require transposition.
In short, the aim of this thesis is to illustrate the critical role that regulatory independence and accountability play in achieving good governance in the telecommunications sector and indeed in other regulated sectors - such as energy and postal sectors, where a regulator is called to be efficient - as well as to discern policy lessons and to recommend legal measures designed to ensure more efficient regulators. Such lessons are seen as having particular relevance for new Member States of the European Union, such as Romania and Bulgaria, as well as for prospective accession states that may have broader applicability in new Member States and acceding countries. All these core issues are examined as up to December 2007.||en_US