With just a few days before everyone goes on holiday leave, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have left an early Christmas gift for the region. Though it will still take a few years to implement, the parliament has paved the way for a common charger that will work on all mobile devices, regardless of the manufacturer.

The directive is part of a larger agreement that revolves around radio equipment such as cellphones, modems, and even car door openers. Since September, the European Union has been mulling over enforcing the implementation of a universal charger for all mobile devices based on the micro USB standard. This move is a reaction to the growing electronic waste in the region, some of which can be attributed to the myriad and sometimes incompatible chargers made by competing manufacturers.

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, currently held by Lithuania, have agreed to oblige manufacturers to make their devices compatible with a common charger. In addition, they have also agreed to better monitor the compliance of manufacturers and products in member states. This might lead to the creation of a process that will require radio equipment to be registered before being put out into the market.

Ideal as it may sound, it will still take a long time before this common charger system becomes reality. This draft still needs to be adopted by the Internal Market Committee and all member states before being put on vote sometime around March 2014. Once it passes that stage, member states will be given two years to put the agreement into national law. Manufacturers will then be given one more year to transition and comply.

SOURCE: European Parliament