The DG Internal Market and Services of the European Commission has released the study on “Main Developments in the Postal Sector 2008-2010” prepared by Copenhagen Economics. The study is important not only because it is the latest element in the active market monitoring of the postal sector performed by the Commission, but also because it covers the period directly before the full market opening by 31st December 2010 for the majority of Member States.
The study provides perspectives for market opening and contains an indication of any necessary steps to improve the application of the postal acquis in the light of objectives of EU postal reform.
The main part (Part A) of the study draws four high-level conclusions:
- Liberalisation does not necessarily imply less regulation. On the contrary, effective postal and competition authorities have an important role to play to ensure that competition works well in the postal sector.
- Although the universal service obligation (USO) is a pivotal element in the postal market, legislators should consider market demand to avoid having an expensive USO that nobody wants.
- Considering the vital importance of the sector for sustaining hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe, the study finds that liberalisation does not lead to lower wages in the sector. Lowering of wages could take place in the special case when postal workers earned more than employees with similar education in other related sectors, such as trade, transport or logistics. However, this is not the case in many countries.
- Last but not least, creating an effective competition and providing consumers with cheaper prices requires that the newly adopted postal laws reduce barriers to entry and competition rather than sustain them. The current study, however, finds that the new postal laws do not always succeed at bringing the barriers down.
These recommendations are based on a detailed survey of a wide range of indicators, covering regulatory, economic, social, consumer and employment aspects, as well as quality of service and technological development. The indicators are carefully documented in a separate appendix (Part B) with country fiches for each of the 31 countries covered by the study.
The full study with appendices can be accessed here:
For more information you are welcome to contact Project Manager, Dr. Henrik B. Okholm