The High Level Group assists the Commission in developing policies to improve the long-term competitiveness of the EU retail sector.
The Members of the High Level Group have been appointed in December 2013.
The European Retail Action Plan (ERAP) identified restrictions on establishment as an important obstacle to a more competitive retail sector. These restrictions are often introduced or maintained to try to ensure a balanced and sustainable territorial development. However the proportionality and effectiveness of the measures need also to be properly evaluated so as they do not inappropriately restrict retail establishment. As foreseen in the ERAP, the Commission is currently carrying out with the Member States a peer review of the national rules applying to retail establishment in order to identify best practices. The Commission is organising a workshop on 8th July to allow stakeholders (retailers, consumers, representative of local governments etc.) to express their views and discuss this key issue. Registrations are now closed.
On 31 January 2013 the Commission adopted a “Communication setting up a European Retail Action Plan”. This Communication proposes actions to achieve a single market in retail by addressing the key obstacles that hinder the smooth functioning of this sector. It will enhance the economic, environmental and social performance of the retail sector and ensure that it fully contributes to the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. As part of this Action Plan, the Commission also adopted a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe.
Communication tackling unfair trading practices (UTPs) in the business-to-business food supply chain
The Communication on unfair trading practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain is addressed to stakeholders and Member States. It acknowledges the potential of voluntary frameworks, in particular the Supply Chain Initiative launched in September 2013, and encourages all market operators to join the initiative and its national platforms. The Communication also encourages Member States to examine whether their current national regulatory frameworks are appropriate to address UTPs and to assess the effectiveness and credibility of their available mechanisms for the enforcement of rules against UTPs.
Study on the legal framework covering business-to-business unfair trading practices in the retail supply chain – 11.07.2014
(The study represents solely the opinion of the authors.)
Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe – 31.01.2013
This Green Paper makes an initial assessment of the problems posed by unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships along the retail supply chain, including the lack of efficient enforcement of existing national rules and the resulting impact on the Single Market. The objective of the Green Paper was to launch a consultation with stakeholders on this analysis and to identify possible next steps in addressing the problem.
Workshops: Towards an European Retail Action Plan – February-March 2012
The aim of the workshops was to bring together interested parties to discuss the future of retail services in Europe and the need for a European Retail Action Plan.
- Minutes of the third workshop (30.03.2012)
- Minutes of the second workshop (02.03.2012)
- Minutes of the first workshop (03.02.2012)
European Parliament resolution on a more efficient and fairer retail market – 05.07.2011
Report on the EBTP questionnaire on unfair business to business trading practices – 15.02.2011
Retail Market Monitoring: Report on barriers hampering more efficient and fairer retail services in Europe – 05.07.2010
The report and the accompanying Commission staff working document provide factual and comprehensive analysis of the EU retail sector so as to identify possible market malfunctioning.
A public consultation was also launched following the adoption of this report.
Communication on a better functioning food supply chain in Europe – October 2009
The sharp decline in agricultural commodity prices alongside persistently high consumer food prices has raised concerns on the efficiency of this crucial sector of the European economy. The Communication proposes concrete policy actions at Member States and EU levels to improve the functioning of the food supply chain in Europe.
Communication on Food prices in Europe – 09.12.2008
Between 2007 and summer 2008 the prices of agricultural products such as cereals and milk increased at an exceptionally high speed. This price increase was largely reflected in higher prices for food. As a result the purchasing power of the average European household declined by around 1%, with low income household being hit even harder. In light of this, the European Council asked the European Commission to investigate the causes of this surge in food prices.
In December 2008 the Commission adopted a Communication on Food Prices in Europe.