Telia’s Head of Group Public Affairs is the new Chairman of industry body ETNO ahead of what it said would be “a crucial year” for digital leadership in Europe.

Phillip Malloch takes over from Proximus’ Steven Tas, who has been in post since 2015.

Malloch said: “From a Telia Company perspective, I will bring all our pragmatic, customer-centric approach and know-how at innovating, informed by being in Europe’s most digitalised region.

“With an impressive capacity for innovation and as an enabler of digital economy, our industry needs to continue promoting digital leadership by the EU.”

The appointment came at ETNO’s General Assembly last week, during which it unveiled its vision for the year ahead.

This is based around a report it published last month with Accenture and a letter it sent to the European Union two weeks ago.

The former claimed European telcos had lost as much as €100 million in earnings each day to “digital disruptors” and telcos in other regions over the past 10 years.

It outlined a three-point plan designed to help Europe fight back.

Off the back of the report, ETNO sent a letter to the EU demanding that its Electronic Communications Code be “substantially reworked” in favour of innovation and investment.

ETNO Director General Lise Fuhr said: “Europe is at a crossroads. We either get reforms right today, or there will be no other chance for the coming 10 years.

“ETNO also wants to lead the way in showing how the telecoms industry enables the creation of better jobs, more growth and more societal gains for all.

“EU institutions and all stakeholders should be our partners. Concrete policy change and reform are essential.”

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