The main priority of EU policies on postal services is to complete the internal market and ensure efficient, reliable and good-quality service at affordable prices for citizens and enterprises. Key elements of these policies are: gradual opening of the market to competition, guaranteed access to the universal postal service, cost transparency, reduction of the postal reserved areas, setting common quality standards of services, harmonisation of technical standards and creating conditions for rapid technological progress.
The Community framework for EU postal services is set out in Directive 97/67/EC as amended by Directive 2002/39/EC and as amended by Directive 2008/6/EC (3rd Postal Directive).
The process of liberalising the postal services market in the EU was initially set in motion by the Green Paper on the development of the single market for postal services in 1992, as part of the goal to create a European single market. The aim was to get national monopolies to open up to competition in order to make postal services cheaper, faster, more efficient and more innovative, harmonise performance across EU Member States and improve the quality of cross border-services.
The purpose of the data collection on postal statistics is to give an overview of EU postal services and to monitor the market liberalisation.
Eurostat discontinued collection on postal statistics from 2013, with the latest data available for the reference year 2011, and transferred its data collection and processing functions together with the historical postal data to DG GROWTH. Postal statistics for the years following 2011 are collected and released by DG GROWTH via its Postal Services website.