European Parliament

Universal Phone Charger: Interview with Barbara Weiler MEP

Common Charger for all mobile phones: vote in the European Parliament

On 13 March 2014, MEP’s in Strasbourg voted for a directive which will impose a universal charger for mobile phones within three years. The directive will replace the voluntary agreement with mobile phone manufacturers which expired at the end of 2012.

Shortly before the vote, I spoke to rapporteur Barbara Weiler about the benefits of a universal charger, what the vote will mean for consumers and the case of the Apple connector.



Czech President, Milos Zeman, makes Speech to European Parliament

Milos Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic made a speech to the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg on 26th February.

He positioned himself as ‘a strong supporter of the euro’ and said that the Czech Republic should adopt the euro as soon as possible. In a press conference after the speech, he said this could be achieved in a period of between 2 to 5 years.

Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic Photo Graham Waghorn

Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic
Photo Graham Waghorn

President Zeman spoke in favour of the harmonisation of social and environmental issues and taxation across Europe which he said was opposed by some business groups. Whilst speaking of common European rules, he referred to Henry Kissinger’s supposed remark ‘What is the phone number of Europe?’ He also emphasized the importance of tackling the high unemployment rate in Europe.


Common Charger for Mobile Phones

EU Universal Phone Connecterr

Photo G. Waghorn

The Universal Mobile Charger

  • Did you ever have a problem finding a mobile charger when your phone was flat ?
  • None of your work colleagues had a compatible charger ?
  • Have you got a drawer full of old chargers that are completely useless ?

If you’ve bought a new mobile since 2011, you’ve probably noticed that you can use the charger with almost any other mobile phone.

The new micro-USB plug was the result of the European Commission persuading fourteen of the leading phone manufacturers to standardize the mobile phone connectors in all 27 European Union Member states. The new plug now means that the telephone can be connected to and charged from any computer or other USB device.

Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano makes Speech to European Parliament 04/02/2014

The Italian president Giorgio Napolitano was on an official visit and made a speech to the European Parliament on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Project Spinelli (see below: commemoration stamp/envelopes from today and from 1984).


In front of the hemicycle, soldiers were raising the Italian flag.