EuroCommerce has called on the European Commission to challenge the new French trade negotiation law, which it says is a clear violation of EU rules and risks harming not only French, but all other EU consumers across the continent.
EuroCommerce Director-General Christel Delberghe stated, “We urge the Commission to take action as a matter of urgency. There is a real risk that the Loi Descrozaille will create a dangerous precedent, resulting in the re-fragmentation of the Single Market, just one week after we celebrated its 30th anniversary."
The new French trade negotiation law (Loi Descrozaille or Egalim 3), approved on 22 March by the French Parliament, will restrict retailers from negotiating with suppliers and impact offers and promotions offered by retailers, EuroCommerce added.
'Economic Integration Potential'
Delberghe added, "Retail is one of four ecosystems singled out as having the greatest economic integration potential in the Single Market at 30 Communication.
"One of the EU’s greatest achievements cannot be compromised, exactly at the moment when we most need to rebuild strength and resilience, including by enabling sourcing in the Single Market for the benefit of consumers."
While the law focuses on protecting French SME suppliers, its provisions on alliances or restrictions of promotions on personal and home care products cover goods that come from a small group of large multinational suppliers holding a very strong market position.
EuroCommerce added that the new provisions will further strengthen the impact of territorial supply constraints, a practice imposed by large branded goods manufacturers to prevent retailers and wholesalers from negotiating the best deal for consumers in the Single Market, and which is costing EU citizens at least €14 billion per year.
If unchallenged, this initiative will threaten and damage the EU’s retail and wholesale sector, which has come together to support consumers through the COVID-19 pandemic and now the inflation and energy price crises.