The virtual meeting is part of a regular dialogue between the European Commission and postal operators. The constructive discussion took place days after the Commission's publication of the "Report on the application of the Postal Services Directive" and "Report on the application and Implementation of the Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services" , which drew attention to the recent developments of the postal services and the current status of the Universal Service Obligation (USO).
On the occasion of the virtual meeting with Commissioner Thierry Breton, PostEurop and CEOs from 20 European national postal operators took the opportunity to provide their initial reaction to the Commission reports published on 8 November 2021 focussing on the postal directive and discussed the current status of the Universal Service Obligation.
PostEurop celebrated that according to the recent European Commission report the universal postal service remains intrinsic to social and economic inclusion for our society. Besides, it was also highlighted that consumer needs including the vulnerable groups, those living in remote areas and businesses must be considered when adapting the universal service obligation, so that no citizen is left behind.
On behalf of the group, several CEOs raised, some current issues and trends including the impact of digitalisation, changing consumer needs, diversification of service offering, role of postal operators in boosting e-commerce and sustainability. All contributing to the discussion on the need to assure the viability and financing of the USO in the long term.
Commissioner Breton acknowledged the deep digital transformation the industry is and will continue to experience as a result of market and consumer trends and looked forward to further discussing with CEOs about the future of the USO.
Postal operators emphasised the need for a flexible approach to the USO in order to allow them to continue finding innovative solutions and diversifying the portfolio while maintaining a sustainable USO. They also reminded the Commissioner that they remained uniquely positioned to link people and businesses and only a balanced regulatory framework could guarantee a long-lasting social and economic cohesion, leaving no one behind.
"We continuously look to policy-makers through regular dialogue, such as the one today with Commissioner Breton to consider the help shape and incentivise a sustainable universal service and a successful postal sector at large. We appreciate the opportunity to meet and present our thoughts." stated Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of PostEurop Management Board.
"Thank you to all of you for having provided the essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. You have been the link to the citizens when being confined at home and also the rest of the world. I will not forget this" expressed Commissioner Breton.
Postal operators will send a report with further details on their conclusions and position on the Commission's report, as well as considerations brought up in the meeting. PostEurop and CEOs look forward to a follow-up meeting with Commissioner Breton in the first half of 2022.
Participants to the meeting with Commissioner Breton included: Mr Georg Pölzl, Österreichische Post AG – Austria; Mr Dirk Tirez, bpost – Belgium, Mr Ivan Čulo, Hrvatska pošta d.d. – Croatia; Mr Peter Kjaer Jensen, PostNord – Denmark & Sweden; Mr Turkka Kuusisto, Posti – Finland; Mr Philippe Wahl, La Poste – France; Mr Frank Appel, Deutsche Post DHL - Germany, Mr George Constantopoulos, Hellenic Post – Greece, Ms þórhildur Ólöf Helgadóttir, Islandspóstur hf – Iceland; Mr David McRedmond, An Post - Ireland, Mr Matteo Del Fante, Poste Italiane S.p.A. – Italy; Mr Mãrcis Vilcãns, Latvijas Pasts - Latvia, Ms Asta Sungailienė, Lietuvos pastas – Lithuania, Mr Joseph Gafá, MaltaPost – Malta, Mr João Bento, CTT Correios de Portugal – Portugal, Mr Florin Valentin Stefan, Posta Romana – Romania, Mr Martin Lupták, Slovenská Posta – Slovakia; Mr Tomaz Kokot, Pošta Slovenije - Slovenia, Mr, Juan-Manuel Serrano, Correos - Spain, Mr Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of the PostEurop Management Board and Botond Szebeny, PostEurop Secreary General.
PostEurop represents 53 postal operators in 50 countries and territories around Europe and handles 60 billion items each year. The industry employs 2 million people, manages 258 million delivery points and accounts for 1% of the GDP.
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