Momentum Grows for Major Postal Operators Backing EU Liberalisation PlanBrussels, 10/17/2006, 11:30 AM CEST
For the first time, the Chief Executive Officers of five major postal operators representing 60 percent of postal mail volume in Europe gather in Brussels to demonstrate that postal market liberalisation is already working in their countries and that they are ready for full market opening in 2009.
On the eve of the debate over postal opening, Deutsche Post (Germany), Posten AB (Sweden), Suomen Posti Oyj (Finland), TNT (The Netherlands) and Royal Mail (UK) are joined by Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Jürgen R. Thumann, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), and Paul R. Kleindorfer, Professor at INSEAD and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
In this joint event taking place in Brussels today, the group intends to demonstrate that full market opening must take place in 2009 to allow postal operators to benefit from changes that are shaking the global communications market. It must be seen as an opportunity to restructure organisations for increased operational, service efficiency and customer-orientation. Furthermore, a modern and flexible universal service to the benefit of residential and small business users can be maintained in an open market.
The group fully supports the Commission's aim to complete the internal market for postal services and is able to use concrete examples to demonstrate that different situations in different countries all show successful and promising results. Key points from the presentation include:
Peter Bakker, CEO of TNT, said: "We are demonstrating in our home market and abroad that in postal services, external threats are turned into business opportunities, opportunities to create new services by being innovative, to improve efficiency levels and to develop better services that respond to customers' changing needs."
Erik Olsson, CEO of Posten AB, said: "In Sweden, our 13 years experience of a fully liberalized market relying on an innovative retail network that delivers to everyone to our most remote parts of the country, with no state subsidies or compensation fund, is the proof that the universal service is not at risk."
Adam Crozier, CEO of Royal Mail, said: "We now face even greater challenges as we must transform what we do by modernizing and increasing our efficiency. Competition can act as a spur and help us achieve our very stretching goals - but only if we are allowed to align our prices with our costs, and if we have a fair regulatory regime which allows us the freedom needed to compete in a fully open market."
Jukka Alho, CEO of Finland Post Corporation, said: "Postal operators need flexibility to meet the changing needs of customers and the impact of new technologies and electronic substitution on our services have been a catalyst for us to improve efficiency and productivity as well as develop a new service portfolio in areas such as e-commerce."
Klaus Zumwinkel, CEO of the Deutsche Post, said: "We are hopeful that the new directive provides postal operators with the full means to thrive in the fast evolving communications sector. Liberalisation that allows healthy competition is the only way forward. We are ready to embrace it".