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Supply Chain

Retailers, Wholesalers Warn UTP Negotiators Not To Forget EU Principles: EuroCommerce

Ahead of the final scheduled discussion on the Unfair Trading Practices directive, retailers and wholesalers have warned negotiators not to forget the fundamental principles laid down by EU law, or the implications of ignoring them, EuroCommerce has said.

EuroCommerce is the body that represents the retail and wholesale industry in Europe.

'Specific Legislation'

EuroCommerce director-general, Christian Verschueren, said, "We all know that over 20 Member States already have specific legislation on the supply chain.

"In line with subsidiarity, it makes no sense to add a plethora of rules at EU level which will be appropriate for some Member States and not for others."

Negotiators are now examining the scope of the directive with turnover figures between €100 million and €2.5 billion as the definition of a weak supplier who needs protection against buyers.

Verschueren added, “The discussion on the scope of the directive has moved far away from what it was meant to be about – helping farmers – to a political discussion about how large a company should be to be 'protected' from a buyer.

"Any threshold above the SME definition proposed by the Commission will be arbitrary, and risks covering all manufacturers in smaller Member States."

The Need To Explain

The SME threshold of 250 employees, and €50 million turnover covers almost any farmer in Europe – those arguing for more need to explain whom they are seeking to protect, EuroCommerce added.

It also emphasised that this is the reason why the Commission opted for a minimum harmonisation directive, which allows member states to decide where to add further measures.

"It is surely time for negotiators to remember some fundamental EU principles: subsidiarity, proportionality, proper assessment of the impact of legislation; and respect of the Treaty," Verschueren added.

Earlier in this month EuroCommerce had reiterated its call for the European Council, Parliament and Commission to ensure that the Unfair Trading Practices directive doesn't act against the interests of farmers, SMEs and consumers.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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