EuroCommerce: Use CSRs To Foster EU Retail Growth
EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren has welcomed the new European Commission’s country-specific recommendations (CSRs), however, he added that the measures 'need to go further’.
The comment comes in response to the EU Commission’s new recommendations, which were published as part of the European Semester process and National Reform Programme.
21st Century Retail
Previously, EuroCommerce said that the Commission’s communication ‘A retail sector fit for the 21st century was an important step towards understanding retail competitiveness, and showed the ‘cumulative impact of unnecessary national and local regulation and barriers’.
The communication also underlined the importance of national and local authorities acting to meet the needs of retail, EuroCommerce said, and encouraged them to think hard about the measures they impose.
EuroCommerce said that in light of the progress made by the communication, it is disappointed that only five CSRs mention retail and wholesale - Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary and Italy.
Verschueren, said, “As the biggest private employer in Europe, retail and wholesale are a major factor in the EU economy. They are uniquely exposed to wide-scale regulation and suffer when this goes wrong. Regressive taxation and regulation, such as the French local property tax TASCOM, and, in a number of Member States, protectionist policies against foreign retailers, are holding back growth and harming consumers.
“Meanwhile, manufacturers carve up the Single Market to the detriment of consumers and raise prices in some countries such as Belgium. These are not just missed opportunities for our economies, but every unnecessary barrier means real costs for consumers and a block on new jobs for many thousands of Europeans.”
Verschueren said that the CSR exercise highlights these problems, and should be followed up with real action by the Member States and, where they are in breach of EU law, enforcement by the Commission.
He added, “CSRs are a useful tool. In the face of a Single Market under ever-growing threat from protectionism, we need to convert them into urgent action for change at national and EU level.
"European growth is set to tail off in the coming years, and the Single Market is the engine that can drive our global competitiveness, yet short-sighted national regulation is starving it of the fuel it needs to do this.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.