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Pledge on mobile phone chargers

European Parliament promises universal chargers for mobile devices in three years

IN THREE years, all mobile phones sold in France and across the EU will come with universal chargers, the European Parliament has promised.

The pledge, which will delight mobile phone users, comes after an informal agreement between EU government and member states that universal chargers are among the “essential requirements” of radio equipment used within the EU.

The European Commission, which had been lobbying for the move, will now focus on defining more precisely what the universal charger will be and what exact conditions will be imposed.

The directive refers to any device that transmits or receives radio waves for radio, and includes mobile phones and tablets.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “We must have a common charger for all mobile phones.”

Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella said the move would force manufacturers to make their chargers compatible with each other.

He said it would “reduce the cost of buying a phone and reduce waste.

"No more drawers full of different chargers and 1001 cables,” he said.

German MEP Barbara Weiler said: "The current incompatibility of chargers (...) is a nightmare for consumers. This new directive puts an end to this nightmare and is also good news for the environment.”

The implementation of a universal mobile phone charger has long occupied the European Commission.

The issue arose in 2010, following an agreement between several manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

However, the Bureau of European consumers (BEUC) regretted that the agreement was an "only on a voluntary basis."

In a statement, Samsung said the company is “committed to making its technology available to all and welcomes the efforts of the electronics industry to harmonise chargers for smartphones”.

They also spoke of “the benefits and dynamics of working alongside other manufacturers (...) to find universal solutions to meet the demands of consumers.”

Photo:Iwan Gabovitch

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