Results are now available
The public consultation on Postal Services carried out by Directorate General Internal Market and Services closed on 27 January 2006. The number of replies received demonstrates that there is a wide interest in postal issues across EU countries and among postal users. We would like to thank all participants for their contributions. Summaries of the replies to Part 1 (online consultation on issues of general interest) and Part 2 (a discussion document inviting comments on technical, legal and regulatory issues) are now available on this home page.
History of the consultation
The purpose of Community postal policy in the postal sector is to complete the internal market for postal services and to ensure that reliable and good-quality postal services are available to all EU citizens at affordable prices.
Reform at EU level started in 1997 with the Postal Directive (97/67/EC). This Directive defined, among other things, the minimum characteristics of the universal postal service to be guaranteed by each EU Member State. In 2002, the Directive was amended by Directive 2002/39/EC which defined the intermediate steps in a process of gradual and controlled market opening, and progressively limits the scope of services that may remain a monopoly. Under the Directive, 2009 is the target for the full accomplishment of the postal internal market and thus full market opening.
2006 will be an important milestone.
- The Postal Directive requires Member States to further reduce the permitted monopoly area.
- As envisaged by the Directive, 2006 is when the European Commission intends to consider three things:
- the impact of the current Directive on EU postal services (through a 3rd "Application Report");
- the impact of full market opening on universal postal service in the EU (through a "prospective study");
- a proposal confirming (according to Article 7 (3) of the Postal Directive) "if appropriate, the date of 2009 for the full accomplishment of the internal market". In line with the European Commission's commitment to transparency and better lawmaking, a proposal is accompanied by a document that assesses the impacts of the different policy options.
This consultation provides you with an opportunity to give us your input and opinions on developments in the postal sector, and the direction future EU policy in this area could take.
Complementing the Commission's own sector studies, your views will help us assess the important social and economic impacts of any further reforms.
The consultation is structured in two parts:
Part 1 of the consultation is a short online questionnaire covering issues likely to be of general interest. Please answer all the questions in part 1.
Part 2 asks more detailed questions on a wider range of issues that have an impact on the sector. Answering part 2 is optional, but is likely to be of particular interest to specific stakeholders, such as social partners, consumer and industry associations and high volume mailers.
The consultation will run until 27 January 2006. Following the evaluation of the consultation responses, a summary of the views expressed will be published on the 'Your Voice in Europe' site.