European postal companies call for complete liberalisation in 2009 and modernisation of universal serviceBrussels, 07/17/2006, 11:30 AM CEST
The joint initiative of the four postal companies has been started against the background of the Commission's present preparation of the third EU Postal Directive. Before the end of 2006, concrete proposals of the European Commission for the future regulation of the postal sector are expected. The initiative aims to encourage the European Commission to support a deadline for complete liberalisation by 2009. The deadline provides an important opportunity to create a sustainable economic framework ensuring the diversity of postal products and services, innovation and efficiency. Beginning in the 90s the gradual and controlled approach of liberalisation has allowed for a smooth transition towards competition in many EU member states. This approach has resulted in a significant improvement of quality and efficiency levels. Thus there is no need for a further prolongation of the transition process, the companies argue.
Parallel to the opening of the postal market, a modernisation of the universal service is overdue. It needs to be adapted to the communication requirements of today. Electronic means of communication like mobile telephony, email, internet and SMS have significantly changed communication behaviour. Moreover, business customers who count for about 85 percent of the mail market do not need a protection by a universal service regulation. They are better served by an open and competitive market. Therefore, the universal service should instead be targeted at securing the interests of private and smaller business customers.