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Postal services liberalisation a fact

European Parliament, Brussels, 31.01.2008

Monday 4 February 2008

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Members of European Parliament last Thursday backed the Council proposal of the full opening of the postal services market by 2011. The remaining postal service monopolies should expire by 2011 or, for some countries, 2013.

An important element for the Members of the European Parliament was the incorporation of provisions aimed at ensuring that increased competition does not lead to social dumping and degradation of working conditions. However, the basic labour conditions set by the Member States will not be affected by this directive.

What makes sense on paper can of course turn out to be quite complicated in practice. The dispute between Germany and the Netherlands regarding minimum postal wages illustrated this and shed some light on the possible difficulties occurring when creating a level playing field and ensuring fair competition while also guaranteeing workers’ rights. Director of France’s La Poste Francis Mary underlines the importance of the debate on the social clauses and states that a social framework is needed.

In May 2008 Eurofedop’s Trade Council on Post and Telecoms will take place in Switzerland. Discussion will focus on the third postal directive and its implications for the member states and the professionals.

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