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The digital revolution is forcing fundamental change to the retail and wholesale sector. It depends on free movement of goods and services around Europe and the world, and therefore shares with the whole EU economy the imperative of resisting populist pressure to break up the Single Market.
As a contribution to the ongoing debate on how to develop a competitive Europe, EuroCommerce has launched its paper ‘Making the Single Market a fairer, sustainable and globally competitive space’, setting out the retail and wholesale sector’s ideas for the next Commission on how to strengthen and deepen the Single Market and stimulate economic growth and jobs.
These ideas were echoed in a keynote address by Director-General Christian Verschueren at the High-Level Conference on Retail organised by the European Commission last week.Read more
Commenting today on the Commission package of the Industrial Strategy, strengthening the single market and on SMEs, EuroCommerce Director-General welcomed the concrete steps proposed, but added some thoughts on how to ensure that the Commission ideas were successful in making the whole EU economy globally competitive:
“We strongly support the objectives of Commissioner Breton’s proactive approach in all of the Commission communications released today. We would counsel implementing them in a way which ensures that the whole EU economy and society benefits. Services represent over 70% of EU’s GDP, and services and manufacturing are increasingly difficult to distinguish. The EU needs the ‘two sides’ of industry to be competitive, and being competitive internationally means being competitive at home, and not forgetting that it is consumers who ultimately determine the success of any industry. This can also only work by focussing, as the separate Commission communication does, on helping SMEs, who make up 99% of our sector, thrive.”Read more
The retail and wholesale sector believes that the agreement on the General Data Protection Regulation, providing harmonised rules across the EU, is generally positive. The same rules everywhere will greatly facilitate cross-border expansion for many retailers. We have also called for balanced rules, which the agreement has achieved for SMEs.Read more
EuroCommerce welcomes the Commission action announced in the Digital Single Market1 and Single Market Strategy2 of ‘extending and integrating European and national portals to work towards a 'Single Digital Gateway' to create a user friendly information system for citizens and business.’ Streamlining access to national and EU contact points and improving their quality is essential to increase trust among businesses and citizens to explore and exploit the potential of the Single Market. The Single Digital Gateway would also be an excellent tool to achieve a significant reduction of administrative burden for businesses.Read more