Bulgarian Vision Becomes European Reality
European integration took a further step with a new initiative to standardise mobile phone chargers across the continent. The European Commission has implemented an agreement made voluntarily by phone companies to manufacture universal phone chargers with micro-USB connectors. The concept, which applies only to smartphones or “data-enabled” phones, means that Europeans will be able to use one charger for an assortment of phone companies and designs. Although a European venture, the political origins of the program can be traced to Bulgaria. More specifically to former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and his wife, Gergana Passy, former Bulgarian Minister of EU Affairs.
The EU standards bodies, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), recently released standards for the charger. The project, which began in June 2009, is expected to come to fruition in early 2011, with the first universal chargers produced to the specifications expected to be on the market soon. The process to create common chargers became reality when the European Commission won pledges from phone companies to back the concept. Companies involved include Apple, Nokia, Research in Motion, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel.
Bulgaria and Dr. Passy can therefore be credited with this step towards technological standardisation, one that benefits business, reduces waste and electricity usage and makes life easier for the millions of people who use mobile phones on the continent. Furthermore, this development potentially allows Bulgaria to take a leading role in any future technological projects. It is estimated that the use of universal chargers in the EU will save about 13 million metric tons of carbon emissions and about 16-17 million metric tons of electronic waste per year. Further benefits include increased environmental protection and positive progress towards a common EU climate change policy.