The safety of airplanes travelling is generally overseen by two major agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The country where airplanes are registered – the so-called “tail number” - decides which of these administrations’ rules you need to follow. There are many more, almost each state has their own, but these are the ones that everybody is copying the rules from.
The FAA being the oldest such agency announced on October 31, 2013 that they are going to relax the rules on the use of personal electronic devices. So it came as no surprise that the EASA essentially copied the recommendation and published their own press release on November 13, 2013.