Why is this election so important? What makes Europe special, especially for companies and retailers?

The European Elections are crucial to all of us as citizens. They also directly impact businesses, including retail and wholesale. The results will set the tone for how the European Union defines its priorities for the next 5 years and addresses some of the major challenges ahead including strengthening a competitive and resilient European Union, the war on Europe’s borders and enlargement to Ukraine and Moldova or climate change.

The Parliament has the power to shape laws and regulations that affect our sector, including the Single Market, consumer protection standards, trade policies, environmental protection standards, labour, and digital and data protection laws.  

By voting, we make our voices heard. By encouraging others to participate, we amplify our impact. Ultimately, our involvement can help shape the future direction of European policies in a way that supports retail and wholesale and its future, in Germany, in Spain – indeed, everywhere across the EU – and even globally. Which is why EuroCommerce is actively supporting the European Parliament in communicating about the European elections.  

How should Europe be shaped in the next five years?

EuroCommerce and all its members call on the incoming EU institutions to work together with us to create the conditions for success and to transform the challenges we face into opportunities for a stronger, more competitive and more resilient Europe. We all need to focus on making the EU a global leader in attracting investment and in retaining and growing talent. This should be based on partnership and on coherent, practicable policy, supported by a resilient and dynamic Single Market delivering sustainable growth.

Retailers and wholesalers are key drivers for competitiveness and growth. We have unrivalled reach and presence within communities across the EU. We are Europe’s first private employer providing jobs to 26 million people. We bring vitality to our towns and villages, choice and innovation to our business customers and Europe’s 450 million consumers. Our sector includes both global leaders as well as millions of very small businesses.

The pandemic saw many people leave their jobs, and shops and town centres shut down. The loss of retail has a far-reaching impact on individuals, communities, and the wider economy, and threatens the EU way of life. At the same time, our sector is going through a huge sustainability, digital and talents transformation and needs to invest massively. These investments will support the EU’s own transition goals and help strengthen resilience.

In the next mandate, retailers, wholesalers and consumers need support and stability to navigate a rapidly changing environment. We need an EU that is

  • Competitive: built on a Single Market that works for retail and wholesale and benefits consumers, as well as policies that support thriving global supply chains.
  • Empowered: prioritising a partnership approach for higher quality policymaking, a decrease in regulatory and reporting burdens and supportive measures for implementation of legislation adopted in the 2019-24 mandate.
  • Sustainable: working in partnership with policymakers for a practicable green deal and supporting our sector’s efforts to reduce their emissions.
  • Innovative: to ensure a data driven and digitally enhanced future and ensure global competitiveness.
  • Skilled: prioritising attracting, developing and retaining talents

Go vote!

Voting is not only a privilege. It is also a responsibility. I encourage colleagues and members to make sure you are registered to vote, to mark your calendars, and to encourage your friends and families to do the same. The decisions made by those elected will shape the future of our sector and our society at large.

It’s time for us all to play a part in shaping Europe’s future. Let’s make our voices heard!

More about the EuroCommerce Manifesto 2024-2029 – EuroCommerce

Juan Manuel Morales

President [Grupo IFA]