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You'll find in this section and below a library of resources (mostly) produced by EuroCommerce by type and in chronological order. If you are looking for resources related to a certain subject, issue or policy area, browse our policy areas section.

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Consumer rights

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European retail action plan

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Non-Food

Payment systems

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EuroCommerce launches Health and Safety brochure
27 Mar 2017 open-close-item
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The brochure is the result of work with our social partner UNI-Europa, to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone working in the retail and wholesale sector. We employ 29 million people in Europe, and rely on their commitment and dedication to quality and good customer service to make our businesses a success. Caring for the health of our staff is paramount in achieving this.

The report, supported by a grant from the European Commission, highlights some innovative and original ways to help ensure that staff in our sector are able to work in a safe and secure environment, and are not exposed to unnecessary risks to their physical or psychological health. A conclusion of the report is that the right work environment helps in staff retention and in encouraging them to perform at their best and provide a service which can give a retailer or wholesaler an edge over its competitors in attracting customers.

 

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The Single Market Narrative
27 Mar 2017 open-close-item
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This narrative is covering the EU Single Market, the opportunities and challenges it presents for retailers and wholesalers.

It highlights how retailers and wholesalers are among the strongest advocates of the Single Market. Open borders and open markets mean more competition, more jobs, more choice, better prices, and better services for consumers.

Single Market Narrative - Digital Version - Scroll

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Retailers seek certainty when implementing new rules for energy labels
23 Mar 2017 open-close-item
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Retailers and wholesalers are pleased with the simplification of energy labelling rules agreed by the European Parliament and the Council, allowing consumers to make better purchasing choices. But they warned that inconsistent or too rigid application of the rules could cause confusion and uncertainty.

Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said: “The intention of the new energy labelling rules to make energy labels more understandable for consumers is welcome. It is in everyone’s interest that consumers know what they are buying and can compare. It is also wise that the scale is being periodically revised to remain relevant in the light of continuous innovation. However, with a dynamic re-scaling the new rules will introduce uncertainty and potential cost for our sector. For example, if the regulation is enforced in a rigid way and new labels are not available in time to reflect the revised scale it would result in unnecessary burdens or even sanctions for retailers. Another area for improvement is how to show the labels in online sales – currently often resulting in confusion. The rules must be imposed consistently but with some flexibility.”

The European Parliament and the Council agreed on Tuesday on a regulation setting a framework for energy efficiency labelling. The current A+++ to G labels for products will be replaced by a new and simpler scale from A to G, by which the new B will be what previously was A+++, leaving room for attaining A with future energy efficiency in new product development. The new scale will be revised regularly to reflect changes in technology and energy efficiency, and retailers and wholesalers will need to update labels regularly to ensure that they take account of such changes. The new labels will appear on products at the earliest end 2019.

~ENDS~

For further information, please contact:

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu

Kinga Timaru-Kast - +32 2 894 64 83 - timaru@eurocommerce.eu

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Keep city centres vibrant – with retailers
23 Mar 2017 open-close-item
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Retail plays a crucial role in making city centres vibrant and attractive places for people to come and shop and enjoy themselves. The digital revolution and changes in consumer demography and behaviour is bringing about a major transformation in the retail sector. This is in turn, affecting city centres, with high vacancy rates in many cities and villages, as people switch purchases they used to buy in physical stores, and other structural changes impact where people shop. This needs retailers, but also local authorities to find creative and innovative ways to keep life, businesses, and enjoyment in city centres.

Retailers, experts, senior Commission officials and representatives of cities are coming together today in Brussels to share their ideas and experience. On this occasion, Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce Director-General, said: “Cities grew up throughout history as places where people traded, and city centres and retail are inseparably connected. Cities need to create the right conditions for retailers to thrive. At a time when our sector faces real challenges, we need mayors and local authorities to make it easier to open or expand shops, and reduce burdens which can make it difficult to keep them open. City centres must be accessible for deliveries and for consumers, and legislators need to take care to providing equal conditions for selling offline and online.”

Participating in the conference, Irmfried Schwimann, Deputy Director-General of DG Grow, European Commission said: “We all want to see our city centres remaining vibrant and filled with shoppers especially in the changing retail environment. Some rules need to adapt to this change and support city centre development and new shops opening. We can provide authorities with recommendations for the regulatory environment and some tools to persuade consumers to come back to the city centre. This should create the right conditions for retailers to seize opportunities and make them a success."

Anneleen Van Bossuyt MEP, a member of the European Parliament ECR group said: “The retail and wholesale sector is one of the biggest employers in the EU. 99% of its businesses are SMEs. Helping them foster the quality of life in our cities can make a real contribution to reducing the threat of hollowed-out and depressed city centres. As a valuable step to achieving this, unjustified barriers for retailers should be removed, with a focus on better regulation and specifically the full implementation of the Services Directive."

The retail sector still faces many national product requirements and rules which are fragmenting the Single Market. The lack of implementation and proper application of the Services Directive is preventing cross-border establishment, and onerous and sometimes discriminatory inspections, fees, fines, taxes are making it increasingly difficult to do business in retail. This hampers job creation and growth, raises costs and ultimately results in higher prices and limited choice for consumers. The European Commission’s work to create more clarity on retail establishment and operational restrictions is something EuroCommerce strongly supports: it is important for retail’s ability to contribute to the continued economic and social health of city centres.

The programme and overview of speakers of today’s event can be seen here.

 

~ENDS~

For further information, please contact:

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu

Kinga Timaru-Kast - +32 2 894 64 83 - timaru@eurocommerce.eu

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Circular Economy: Legislative Proposal for the EU Waste Framework Directive
27 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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EuroCommerce, Independent Retail Europe, and the European Retail Round Table and their members are committed to play their part in addressing opportunities and challenges regarding the transition to a circular economy, and are looking at how our sector can play a role in prevention, re-use and recycling of waste.

In our view, an effective EU waste management framework needs a balanced approach and an
intelligent and complementary mix of regulations, financial incentives and enforcement measures.

While we welcome the efforts made in the European Parliament to address some of the concerns raised by our sector and other stakeholders, we have a number of remaining concerns.

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WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: a welcome boost for the World Economy
22 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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EuroCommerce is very pleased that the number of ratifications needed for the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) to enter into force was reached today. This is first multilateral deal concluded and to come into force since the WTO Doha Round in 2001.

By simplifying and harmonising customs procedures worldwide, the TFA is estimated by the WTO as boosting global trade by up to 1 trillion Euro annually. This is a bigger impact on the world economy than the elimination of all existing tariffs worldwide.

EuroCommerce considers the entry into force of the TFA today a great step forward for companies and citizens in all WTO member countries. The Agreement will massively benefit European wholesalers and retailers, who depend on global value chains. It is also a good day for developing countries, whose exports will be able to pass customs more quickly and cheaply, making trade work for economic growth and social wellbeing.

It is more important than ever that the international trade rule book keeps pace with a rapidly changing business environment. The TFA is critically important to this process, reducing the cost and time of moving goods across national borders.

EuroCommerce has pushed for conclusion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement throughout the negotiations, from the very start of the negotiations in 2003, right up to 2013 when the deal was sealed in Bali. It has led several alliances of trade and industry associations worldwide, urging all WTO member states to act quickly to reach agreement. Its entry into force today demonstrates that working for a good and sensible target can deliver important results, even if sometimes a lot of patience is required.

  ~ENDS~

 

For further information, please contact:

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu

Kinga Timaru-Kast - +32 2 894 64 83 - timaru@eurocommerce.eu

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A single Benelux retail market way forward for EU
20 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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EuroCommerce today praised the initiative of Benelux to look at ways of creating a single retail market as a model for making the wider European Single Market work better for EU consumers, whether they buy products and services online or offline.

Christian Verschueren marked the launch of the study commissioned by Benelux, ‘Benelux Retail 2025’, looking at ways of creating a Single Market for retail in the Benelux countries:

“Retailers and wholesalers have long pointed to the many and significant barriers to doing business across borders in the EU.  The Benelux initiative on jobs and growth launched by the  Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg prime ministers in 2015 are valuable pointers for how consumers in all countries of EU could benefit if Single Market barriers were removed, and the digital and offline market worked as it should. We are keen to see the recommendations quickly implemented and used as a model for the whole EU.”

The study shows that the Benelux could play a pivotal role in showing the EU the way forward in successfully integrating the three national markets to the benefit of growth, jobs and consumers, including in creating a stronger digital market. Benelux countries could benefit from this by creating 95,000 new jobs and 36,000 new enterprises.

Many retailers already think of the Benelux as their second home market, but still feel restrained in trading cross-border. EuroCommerce was particularly pleased to see the report reflect a number of issues holding back retailers and wholesalers in Benelux and the EU, and calling for action on these issues: gold-plating of EU legislation when member states implement it, different labelling requirements, different product standards and 28 different VAT regimes, slow application of mutual recognition, divergent payments systems, and growing problems arising from manufacturers imposing restrictions on where and what retailers can buy.

“These areall issues which hold backretail across Europe from offering consumers choice, and the best products at the bestprice. Action by Benelux to create a Single Market for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg can show the way for Europe at a time when the EU urgently needs new impetus to create growth and jobs”, Verschueren added.

~ENDS~

 

For further information, please contact:

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu

Kinga Timaru-Kast - +32 2 894 64 83 – timaru@eurocommerce.eu

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Contribution of retail and wholesale SMEs to the EU economy
16 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in retail and wholesale are a major source of growth and jobs. 30% of all European SMEs across all sectors are in retail and wholesale. SMEs in the sector also generated a combined turnover of Euro 5.5 trillion in 2014 in a highly competitive and ever-changing market environment. They are a major source of diversity, vitality and innovation. Today, they face a number of key challenges, including digital transformation, major administrative burdens, complex regulation, difficult access to finance and the availability of a trained work-force. They are continuously adapting to this changing landscape, but require appropriate support to meet these challenges.

EuroCommerce welcomes the Commission’s Start-up and Scale-up Initiative and its comprehensive overview of ongoing and upcoming initiatives by the Commission to reduce burdens for small companies, especially those that have just started or are scaling up. We look forward to contributing to the implementation of these proposed measures, but also highlight that the problems addressed in the Initiative should also provide solutions for traditional SMEs and focus more widely than just on high-tech start-ups.

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Retailers and Wholesalers applaud European Parliament Approval of EU-Canada Trade Deal
15 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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EuroCommerce very much welcomed the European Parliament’s plenary vote today approving ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA). The agreement has now passed an important hurdle and can be provisionally applied, starting this spring.

Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

“Today’s vote is an important contribution to the creation of badly-needed growth and jobs in Europe. Especially at a time of political uncertainty we need an approach that ensures a sound international trading environment. CETA is a good deal both for European companies and European consumers.”

This welcome vote still, however, leaves several important trade deals sadly overdue. European retailers and wholesalers continue to call for a mutually beneficial outcome to ongoing negotiations with major players like Japan, India and the United States, building on a strengthened multilateral system under the World Trade Organisation.

Verschueren added: 

“Without free trade, everyone in the world ends up poorer, and trade barriers simply mean stopping people having the choice of buying the best the world can offer at a price they can afford.”

 ~ENDS~

For further information, please contact:

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu

Kinga Timaru-Kast - +32 2 894 64 83 – timaru@eurocommerce.eu

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Dual Use – New Regulation
01 Feb 2017 open-close-item
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Ensuring security is not only a guiding factor for our member companies but also guiding principle for our activities. We are convinced that the highest level of security can be reached with rules that are realisable and implementable for everyone. There should be no minimum company size to engage in international trade. Unfortunately, we are already in a situation in which the regulatory requirements cannot be fulfilled without risking the competitiveness of the companies. Even large companies with their own legal departments can nowadays hardly fulfil all the requirements in due time. As a result, some companies have stopped doing business with some countries just because they do not have the resources to cope with the extremely complex aspects of export controls. That is not good for EU trade and undermines our competitiveness.

EuroCommerce hence welcomes the Commissions ambition to modernise the export-control regulation, and would in particular like to welcome the proposed extension of the general export licenses and the addition of Union general transfer authorisations as these will reduce the administrative burdens and contribute to a level playing field within the EU and beyond.

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Filter by:

all

2017

2016

2015

2014

Filter by:

all

2017

2016

2015

2014

older

Consumer rights

Corporate social responsibility

Employment and social affairs

Environment

European retail action plan

Food, nutrition and health

Internal market

International trade

Logistics

Non-Food

Payment systems

SMEs

Social dialogue

Supply chain

Taxation

Filter by:

all

Consumer rights

Corporate social responsibility

Employment and social affairs

Environment

European retail action plan

Food, nutrition and health

Internal market

International trade

Logistics

Non-Food

Payment systems

SMEs

Social dialogue

Supply chain

Taxation