The European Commission has adopted a proposal to completely de-regulate the European postal services market by 2009. European postal services have already been partially liberalised as a result of a European directive in 2002. However, this did not include post weighing less than 50 grammes, which remained part of the old postal monopolies for many member States.
The latest proposal, designed to create more competition in the free market, is a detailed one. It stipulates how a universal postal service should be organised and financed. It also inclues a guarantee that all European citizens have access to affordable postal services, wherever they live.
The plan is expected to be opposed by France, Italy and Spain. However it is supported by the countries that have already introduced full competition – Finland, Sweden, Britain and Germany. Across Europe, five million people are employed by the postal sector which is estimated to be worth 90 billion euros.