Postal Delivery: A key enabler for the growth of e-commerce
Commissioner Barnier congratulates PostEurop on its 20th Anniversary
At the 20th Anniversary CEO Forum held on 18 September 2013, PostEurop gathered more than 40 top postal executives in Brussels, to welcome Mr. Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market & Services, to address the industry. The Commissioner and postal industry leaders agree that E-Commerce is an important growth driver. Hence, the Commission welcomed the postal industry's positive initiative towards overcoming the main challenges identified and enthusiastically looks forward to more collaboration.
It was with the impressive attendance of more than 40 CEOs from European Postal Operators that PostEurop celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a CEO forum on “E-commerce, key to future postal strategy”. Commissioner Michel Barnier highlighted in his keynote the developments of postal policy during the last twenty years. The negative consequences of completing the internal market for postal services which some feared clearly did not come true, however nor have the hopes and expectations been fully met.
Looking forward, e-commerce is of utmost importance not only for the growth of the EU economy but also for postal and delivery operators. Barnier looked closely at the activities around the Commission’s Green Paper on e-commerce and parcel delivery. The main objective of the activities is to overcome the barriers which hinder the growth of e-commerce, and allow it to fully evolve. The Commission will publish in October 2013 its conclusions from the public consultation held at the beginning of 2013 and a roadmap on the completion of the single market for parcel delivery. The priority of the Commission is on initiatives of the industry. “In principle, I do not deem it necessary to legislate when postal operators are responsible and determined to tackle the challenges they are facing” said Mr. Barnier. The Commission will also pay specific attention to consumer protection. Finally, the knowledge of the market needs to be deepened, so that regulators are in a better position to analyse the market.
On behalf of CEOs across Europe, Johnny Thijs, CEO of bpost, welcomed the comprehensive and compelling actions taken by the Commission to promote e-commerce in Europe. For postal operators the e-commerce market represents a great business opportunity, and they are an integral part of that young and dynamic market. Encouraged also by the Green Paper, postal operators have set up a joint initiative to accelerate the deployment of projects they are working on together in the field of cross-border delivery. This industry initiative aims to enhance convenience for e-consumers, improve interoperability and provide better customer service. The initiative consists of a package of concrete solutions ensuring that e-consumers feel no difference between buying online domestically and from another country.
Mr. Barnier said in response, “I welcome this initiative which will represent for us a major contribution and a useful starting point. We will carefully follow the implementation.”
Mr. Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of the PostEurop Management Board concluded that "We are confident that the postal sector will be able to meet the challenges without the need for strengthening in any way the regulation on a sector that is already pretty much regulated."
The Commission and the Postal Sector both look forward to closer co-operation in the near future to further develop the efficiency of e-commerce and parcel delivery.