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EU vote for universal mobile charger to be introduced in 2016

The porposed design uses a Micro USB connector - the type already favoured by Samsung and Nokia handsets

The days of not being able to easily charge your phone may soon be coming to an end, as yesterday European politicians backed calls for a new charger to be introduced that will be suitable for all phone models.

The draft law was approved by 550 votes to 12. However, it still requires formal approval from the Council of Ministers.

The common charger could be introduced by 2016, if the Council of Ministers formally approve the law. Manufacturers will be give an additional year to comply.

The new regulation will save consumers time and expense, as new chargers can often be costly. It is also expected to reduce 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually.

Barbara Weller, MEP from Germany, said: “I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger. This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment.”

It is believed that the preferred charger type will be Micro USB, as the European Commission decided on this standard format as early as 2009.

The European Commission first proposed the regulation in October 2012 in relation to an update of the Radio Equipment Directive.