Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



Internationally, the urge to expand and improve telecommunications services is spreading. Transition countries, attempting the leap from Third World status to becoming world leaders, have caught the fever and have attempted to reform their regulations governing telecommunications. In large part these laws have induced slow liberalization of the communications sector with an intrusive regulatory agency guarding every step taken towards privatization. The World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) encourages transition countries to use privatization as a way to increase funding for communications equipment. Many transition countries signed the GATS agreement in the hope of attracting international capital, while they slowly reform their domestic communications laws.

Poland, a signatory to the GATS agreement, is slowly refocusing its domestic communications law to allow some privatization. This Note examines the liberalization of the basic telecommunications sector in Poland and the role of GATS in this process. It includes a comparison of the legal reforms in Poland to those of other Eastern European countries. It also suggests ways in which transitional countries such as Poland can keep some domestic control over their telecommunications sectors, while continuing to comply with GATS objectives.