BETA


Events

2014/05/06
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2013/12/11
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2013/12/11
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the European Retail Action Plan for the benefit of all actors, following the Commission’s communication on the same subject.

The importance of the retail market: Parliament welcomed the Commission’s Action Plan and recalled the importance of the retail market and given that it represented 11% of EU GDP and delivered more than 15 % of all jobs in Europe. It did, however, state that the Action Plan should have paid more attention to the effects of the current economic crisis on retail and, in particular, on smaller, independent shops .

Members called on the Commission and the Member States to give the highest political prominence to the retail sector as a pillar of the Single Market , including the Digital Single Market, and to lift regulatory, administrative and practical obstacles hampering the start-up of businesses.

The retail sector in the current economic crisis: the resolution urged Member States not to take measures in the context of austerity policies which would undermine consumer confidence and directly harm the interests of the retail sector, such as increasing VAT, reclassifying products and product rates or raising charges for shops. It reiterated the importance of improving access to finance, in particular for retail and wholesale trade SMEs.

With the aim of ensuring better governance, it called on the Commission to operate a zero-tolerance policy towards those Member States which fail to properly apply internal market rules and to do so, where appropriate, by means of infringement procedures and by speeding up those procedures using a fast-track approach.

Supporting independent retailers: Parliament encouraged local and regional authorities to promote actions aimed at facilitating equal access and creating a level playing field for the independent retailer, in full respect of free and fair competition, such as:

the encouragement of the ‘adopt-a-shop’ principle by which larger retailers act as ‘mentors’ to smaller shops in the same locality, in particular for new market entrants; the promotion of groups of independent retailers, including co-operatives, which benefit from mutual assistance and certain economies of scale, whilst retaining their full independence and; respect for the right of local and regional authorities to stimulate a climate favourable to small, independent shops , which are typically established in town centres, by lowering energy rates – including for signs illuminated by night – and rents via public-private partnerships, and by introducing business rate discounts on local charges for small businesses and independent retailers.

Parliament recalled that while a concentration of shops outside city centres can be convenient for some consumers, it can also have negative environmental effects and can be a challenge for other consumers, in particular for older people, people with reduced mobility. It therefore called for a balanced approach, taking into account the fact that in many regions the saturation point has already been reached.

Members also stressed the importance of proper enforcement of the Services Directive . They urged Member States to remove barriers to free movement and to open up their markets in order to stimulate competitiveness and promote diversity among shops.

E-commerce: in the context of the rapid development of e-commerce, the resolution encouraged retailers to make the most of innovative technologies and to develop new business models for their on-line customer base. The Commission was called upon to propose a strategy to prevent traders from adopting discriminatory policies in their e-commerce practices, thereby ensuring that all European citizens have unfettered access to cross-border online trade.

Payment systems: Parliament welcomed the Commission proposal on Multi-Lateral Interchange Fees (MIF) and stressed the importance of removing card scheme rules which reinforce the anticompetitive effects of the MIF. They urged the Commission to support Member States that already have transparent, competitive and innovative payment systems and to use them as best practices in further developing a cheaper and fairer payments market in Europe.

Consumers: Parliament welcomed the Commission’s intention to develop instruments to facilitate consumer access to transparent, easily understandable, comparable, and reliable information on the prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. It encouraged the Commission to set up an easily accessible database containing all EU and national labelling requirements.

Sustainability: Members highlighted the retail sector’s responsibility concerning sustainability. They welcomed the fact that retailers and suppliers have been at the forefront of green responsibility , particularly regarding waste, energy consumption, transport and CO2 reduction. Voluntary initiatives and commitments have been taken by some retailers and suppliers to reduce food waste.

The report also called on the importance of the proper implementation of existing social and labour legislation . It called for equal treatment for commercial operators in the internal market in order to combat undeclared work and tax and social fraud.

Unfair trading practices (UTPs): voluntary initiatives, which already exist in some Member States and are currently also being developed at EU-level by the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, were to be welcomed. Parliament should urgently resolve pending issues relating to its participation in the work of the Forum.

As regards the weaker market players , Parliament suggested the possibility of the appointment of an ombudsman or adjudicator who could submit complaints about UTPs on their behalf. They called on the Commission to ensure the right of small suppliers to set up groups of producers without being penalised by national competition authorities, which have assessed the importance of these groups based on national production alone.

Lastly, Members welcomed the Commission’s intention to create a permanent Group on Retail Competitiveness, and underlined its support for the Retail Market Roundtable organised by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the institutional forum aimed at keeping retail high on the EU political agenda.

Documents
2013/12/11
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2013/11/14
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection adopted the own-initiative report by Cornelis de JONG (GUE/NGL, NL) on the European Retail Action Plan for the benefit of all actors.

The importance of the retail market : recalling the importance of the retail market and given that it represents 11% of EU GDP and delivers more than 15 % of all jobs in Europe, Members welcomed the setting-up by the Commission of a European Retail Action Plan. They did, however, state that the Action Plan should have paid more attention to the effects of the current economic crisis on retail and, in particular, on smaller, independent shops.

The report called on the Commission and the Member States to give the highest political prominence to the retail sector as a pillar of the Single Market , including the Digital Single Market, and to lift regulatory, administrative and practical obstacles hampering the start-up of businesses. According to Members, retail market legislation should be evidence-based, taking into account the needs of the sector.

The retail sector in the current economic crisis : the report urged Member States not to take measures in the context of austerity policies which undermine consumer confidence and directly harm the interests of the retail sector, such as increasing VAT, reclassifying products and product rates or raising charges for shops. It reiterated the importance of improving access to finance, in particular for retail and wholesale trade SMEs.

Supporting independent retailers : Members encouraged local and regional authorities to promote actions aimed at facilitating equal access and creating a level playing field for the independent retailer, in full respect of free and fair competition, such as:

the encouragement of the ‘ adopt-a-shop ’ principle by which larger retailers act as ‘mentors’ to smaller shops in the same locality, in particular for new market entrants; the promotion of groups of independent retailers, including co-operatives , which benefit from mutual assistance and certain economies of scale, whilst retaining their full independence and; respect for the right of local and regional authorities to stimulate a climate favourable to small, independent shops , which are typically established in town centres, by lowering energy rates – including for signs illuminated by night – and rents via public-private partnerships, and by introducing business rate discounts on local charges for small businesses and independent retailers.

E-commerce : the report noted that rapid development of e-commerce has delivered significant benefits for consumers and businesses in terms of innovation, new market opportunities and growth, etc. It encouraged retailers, in view of the social and cultural role of retail, to make the most of innovative technologies and to develop new business models for their on-line customer base. The Commission is called upon to propose a strategy to prevent traders from adopting discriminatory policies in their e-commerce practices, thereby ensuring that all European citizens have unfettered access to cross-border online trade.

Payment systems : Members welcomed the Commission proposal on Multi-Lateral Interchange Fees (MIF) and stressed the importance of removing card scheme rules which reinforce the anticompetitive effects of the MIF. They urged the Commission to support Member States that already have transparent, competitive and innovative payment systems and to use them as best practices in further developing a cheaper and fairer payments market in Europe.

Consumers : the report welcomed the Commission’s intention to develop instruments to facilitate consumer access to transparent, easily understandable, comparable, and reliable information on the prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. It encouraged the Commission to set up an easily accessible database containing all EU and national labelling requirements.

Sustainability : Members highlighted the retail sector’s responsibility concerning sustainability. They welcomed the fact that retailers and suppliers have been at the forefront of green responsibility, particularly regarding waste, energy consumption, transport and CO2 reduction. Voluntary initiatives and commitments have been taken by some retailers and suppliers to reduce food waste.

The report also called on the importance of the proper implementation of existing social and labour legislation. It called for equal treatment for commercial operators in the internal market in order to combat undeclared work and tax and social fraud.

Unfair trading practices : voluntary initiatives, which already exist in some Member States and are currently also being developed at EU-level by the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, are to be welcomed. The Commission and business federations are invited, in this connection, to pursue a constructive and cross-sectoral dialogue in the existing fora, also including the annual Retail Market Roundtable organised by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the institutional forum aimed at keeping retail high on the EU political agenda.

Documents
2013/11/05
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2013/10/17
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2013/09/11
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2013/07/17
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2013/06/10
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2013/05/20
   SE_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2013/04/17
   EP - CASA David (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in EMPL
2013/02/20
   EP - DE JONG Dennis (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO
2013/01/31
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: to set up a European Retail Action Plan.

BACKGROUND: Retail and wholesale services, also known as distributive trades, represent 11% of the EU’s GDP and account for almost 15% of the EU’s total employment . More than 6 million companies, i.e., 29% of all EU undertakings, are active in this sector. The retail sector is characterised by a very high share of SMEs, particularly micro companies (more than 95%).

The retail and wholesale sectors have an essential role to play in stimulating growth and job creation under the Europe 2020 strategy: they are among the key sectors that can drive the transition to both a more sustainable economy and consumption patterns. Efficiency in this sector has implications for competition, innovation, price trends and competitiveness. However, certain obstacles still prevent the achievement of an efficient and competitive single retail market.

The bottlenecks identified in the retail sector, which often cut across various policy areas, need to be addressed through a coherent plan to enhance the sector's economic, social and environmental performance, and to ensure that it fully contributes to the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Two major challenges exist in the EU retail sector:

restrictions on establishment and, more generally, lack of competitiveness in the retail sector, in particular in some Member States, and a need to lower barriers and reduce operational restrictions.

This Action Plan aims at addressing these key obstacles by setting out a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the retail sector and enhance the sector’s economic, environmental and social performance.

CONTENT: the main aim of the Action Plan is to propose a strategy for achieving a well-functioning Single Market in Retail , thereby contributing to the EU’s territorial and social cohesion - through improved access to more sustainable and competitive retail services.

Addressing the key bottlenecks in achieving the Single Market in Retail has the potential to

bring benefits to all the actors concerned, and to the environment:

Consumers: improved access to quality retail services and products, more competitive prices and better information on quality and prices, as well as on the environmental characteristics of products, would enhance consumer choice within both ‘bricks and mortar’ and e-commerce retail formats. Businesses: retailers and their suppliers, especially SMEs, would benefit tangibly from the Single Market through the development of a more predictable legal environment, enabling them to deliver even greater value throughout the supply chain. Similarly, by addressing unfairness in the supply chain, upstream and downstream players would enjoy more sustainable relationships and would be encouraged to increase both innovation and investment. Further development of e-commerce will benefit retailers by providing them with more opportunities to find new markets. Employees: the retail sector should benefit from more qualified staff and improved working conditions, leading to higher job satisfaction. Improving employee training would also help provide better job opportunities, especially for the young and less qualified.

The Action Plan comprises 11 concrete actions , forming a coherent, holistic European strategy:

- consumer empowerment: the Commission intends to give consumers more of a vouce by:

developing, through dialogue with stakeholders, good-practice guidelines and/or codes of conduct to facilitate consumer access to transparent and reliable information, making it easier to compare prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. In particular, the inclusion of cross-border offers by comparison websites is important for consumers to be able to take full advantage of the Single Market; proposing European methodologies for measuring and communicating the overall environmental footprint of products and organisations.

- access to more competitive retail services: the aim is to strengthen freedom of establishment in the retail sector and encourage e-commerce as a means of underpinning the retail sector. In this context:

Member States must remove all remaining instances of non-compliance with unequivocal obligations under the Services Directive concerning access to, and exercise of, retail activities, including eliminating economic needs tests within the meaning of Article 14(5) of the Services Directive. The Commission will apply its zero-tolerance policy through infringement procedures, where appropriate; the Commission will: (a) launch a performance check in the retail sector to explore how commercial and spatial planning rules and plans are applied on the ground by the competent authorities where a potential service provider wishes to set up a small, medium or large retail outlet; (b) through exchange of best practices, provide for greater clarity regarding the proper balance between freedom of establishment, spatial/commercial planning, and environmental and social protection.

- developing a more balanced business-to-business food and non-food supply chain: the aim is to encourage distribution channels and to combat unfair trading practices (UTPs):

the Commission will adopt a Green Paper detailing the common features of UTPs in the B2B food and non-food supply chain and open a consultation the results of which will be available by late spring 2013. The results of the consultation will feed into an impact assessment of the different options identified to address the issue at EU level.

- developing a more sustainable retail supply chain: by reducing food and packaging waste and making the supply chains more sustainable:

the Commission will support retailers to implement actions to reduce food waste without compromising food safety (awareness raising, communication, facilitating of redistribution to food banks, etc.) e.g., through the Retail Agreement on Waste; and work on developing a long-term policy on food waste, including a Communication on Sustainable Food to be adopted in 2013; through dialogue with stakeholders, the Commission will define best practices to make supply chains more environmentally-friendly and sustainable and minimise the energy consumption of retail outlets . The Commission will encourage retailers in the context of existing fora to apply these best practices.

- developing more innovative solutions, in particular with regard to product labelling and electronic payments:

the Commission will launch a retail innovation initiative in 2013 whereby the Commission, with the help of high-level experts, will explore how to ensure that the retail sector can contribute to, and benefit from, innovative products, services and technologies. On that basis, the Commission will design concrete actions focused on boosting retail competitiveness, such as bringing research results to the market faster, integrating the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar environments, new ways of informing consumers about products, the development of innovation-friendly regulations and standards , etc.; the Commission will examine the feasibility of setting up a dedicated database containing all EU and domestic food labelling rules and providing a simple way to identify labelling requirements per product; the Commission will take measures to ensure better market integration for card, internet and mobile payments through: (a) revision of the Payment Services Directive; (b) an enhanced governance model for retail payment services; and, (c) a legislative proposal on multi-lateral interchange fees for payment cards.

- creating a better working environment: the proposed measures aim at the improved utilisation of available skills, in particular in SMEs, given the high share of self-employed in the retail sector:

the Commission will strengthen cooperation with social partners to create conditions that make it possible to match skills with labour market needs in the retail sector, particularly by identifying and anticipating skills needs through an EU Sectoral Skills Council, and by improving retailers' training and reskilling policies .

Conclusion: the 11 concrete actions set out in this Action Plan should be implemented by 2014 in order to achieve a Single Market in Retail. It is essential that this Action Plan be executed in parallel with other initiatives, in particular those concerning the full implementation of the Services Directive, the E-Commerce Action Plan, and the on-going initiatives in the payments field.

The Commission will monitor developments and report on the progress in implementing this Action Plan by issuing a report in 2015. This monitoring will be done on the basis of the ongoing discussions within the EU institutions, with Member States, and with representatives of the retail sector and other relevant stakeholders through the Group on Retail Competitiveness.

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
123 2013/2093(INI)
2013/09/11 EMPL 123 amendments...
source: PE-519.453

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2013-09-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE519.470 title: PE519.470 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2013-10-17T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE516.719&secondRef=02 title: PE516.719 committee: EMPL type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2014-05-06T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=23663&j=0&l=en title: SP(2014)260 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2013)0036 title: COM(2013)0036 type: Contribution body: SE_PARLIAMENT
events
  • date: 2013-01-31T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2013/0036/COM_COM(2013)0036_EN.pdf title: COM(2013)0036 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2013&nu_doc=36 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to set up a European Retail Action Plan. BACKGROUND: Retail and wholesale services, also known as distributive trades, represent 11% of the EU’s GDP and account for almost 15% of the EU’s total employment . More than 6 million companies, i.e., 29% of all EU undertakings, are active in this sector. The retail sector is characterised by a very high share of SMEs, particularly micro companies (more than 95%). The retail and wholesale sectors have an essential role to play in stimulating growth and job creation under the Europe 2020 strategy: they are among the key sectors that can drive the transition to both a more sustainable economy and consumption patterns. Efficiency in this sector has implications for competition, innovation, price trends and competitiveness. However, certain obstacles still prevent the achievement of an efficient and competitive single retail market. The bottlenecks identified in the retail sector, which often cut across various policy areas, need to be addressed through a coherent plan to enhance the sector's economic, social and environmental performance, and to ensure that it fully contributes to the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Two major challenges exist in the EU retail sector: restrictions on establishment and, more generally, lack of competitiveness in the retail sector, in particular in some Member States, and a need to lower barriers and reduce operational restrictions. This Action Plan aims at addressing these key obstacles by setting out a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the retail sector and enhance the sector’s economic, environmental and social performance. CONTENT: the main aim of the Action Plan is to propose a strategy for achieving a well-functioning Single Market in Retail , thereby contributing to the EU’s territorial and social cohesion - through improved access to more sustainable and competitive retail services. Addressing the key bottlenecks in achieving the Single Market in Retail has the potential to bring benefits to all the actors concerned, and to the environment: Consumers: improved access to quality retail services and products, more competitive prices and better information on quality and prices, as well as on the environmental characteristics of products, would enhance consumer choice within both ‘bricks and mortar’ and e-commerce retail formats. Businesses: retailers and their suppliers, especially SMEs, would benefit tangibly from the Single Market through the development of a more predictable legal environment, enabling them to deliver even greater value throughout the supply chain. Similarly, by addressing unfairness in the supply chain, upstream and downstream players would enjoy more sustainable relationships and would be encouraged to increase both innovation and investment. Further development of e-commerce will benefit retailers by providing them with more opportunities to find new markets. Employees: the retail sector should benefit from more qualified staff and improved working conditions, leading to higher job satisfaction. Improving employee training would also help provide better job opportunities, especially for the young and less qualified. The Action Plan comprises 11 concrete actions , forming a coherent, holistic European strategy: - consumer empowerment: the Commission intends to give consumers more of a vouce by: developing, through dialogue with stakeholders, good-practice guidelines and/or codes of conduct to facilitate consumer access to transparent and reliable information, making it easier to compare prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. In particular, the inclusion of cross-border offers by comparison websites is important for consumers to be able to take full advantage of the Single Market; proposing European methodologies for measuring and communicating the overall environmental footprint of products and organisations. - access to more competitive retail services: the aim is to strengthen freedom of establishment in the retail sector and encourage e-commerce as a means of underpinning the retail sector. In this context: Member States must remove all remaining instances of non-compliance with unequivocal obligations under the Services Directive concerning access to, and exercise of, retail activities, including eliminating economic needs tests within the meaning of Article 14(5) of the Services Directive. The Commission will apply its zero-tolerance policy through infringement procedures, where appropriate; the Commission will: (a) launch a performance check in the retail sector to explore how commercial and spatial planning rules and plans are applied on the ground by the competent authorities where a potential service provider wishes to set up a small, medium or large retail outlet; (b) through exchange of best practices, provide for greater clarity regarding the proper balance between freedom of establishment, spatial/commercial planning, and environmental and social protection. - developing a more balanced business-to-business food and non-food supply chain: the aim is to encourage distribution channels and to combat unfair trading practices (UTPs): the Commission will adopt a Green Paper detailing the common features of UTPs in the B2B food and non-food supply chain and open a consultation the results of which will be available by late spring 2013. The results of the consultation will feed into an impact assessment of the different options identified to address the issue at EU level. - developing a more sustainable retail supply chain: by reducing food and packaging waste and making the supply chains more sustainable: the Commission will support retailers to implement actions to reduce food waste without compromising food safety (awareness raising, communication, facilitating of redistribution to food banks, etc.) e.g., through the Retail Agreement on Waste; and work on developing a long-term policy on food waste, including a Communication on Sustainable Food to be adopted in 2013; through dialogue with stakeholders, the Commission will define best practices to make supply chains more environmentally-friendly and sustainable and minimise the energy consumption of retail outlets . The Commission will encourage retailers in the context of existing fora to apply these best practices. - developing more innovative solutions, in particular with regard to product labelling and electronic payments: the Commission will launch a retail innovation initiative in 2013 whereby the Commission, with the help of high-level experts, will explore how to ensure that the retail sector can contribute to, and benefit from, innovative products, services and technologies. On that basis, the Commission will design concrete actions focused on boosting retail competitiveness, such as bringing research results to the market faster, integrating the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar environments, new ways of informing consumers about products, the development of innovation-friendly regulations and standards , etc.; the Commission will examine the feasibility of setting up a dedicated database containing all EU and domestic food labelling rules and providing a simple way to identify labelling requirements per product; the Commission will take measures to ensure better market integration for card, internet and mobile payments through: (a) revision of the Payment Services Directive; (b) an enhanced governance model for retail payment services; and, (c) a legislative proposal on multi-lateral interchange fees for payment cards. - creating a better working environment: the proposed measures aim at the improved utilisation of available skills, in particular in SMEs, given the high share of self-employed in the retail sector: the Commission will strengthen cooperation with social partners to create conditions that make it possible to match skills with labour market needs in the retail sector, particularly by identifying and anticipating skills needs through an EU Sectoral Skills Council, and by improving retailers' training and reskilling policies . Conclusion: the 11 concrete actions set out in this Action Plan should be implemented by 2014 in order to achieve a Single Market in Retail. It is essential that this Action Plan be executed in parallel with other initiatives, in particular those concerning the full implementation of the Services Directive, the E-Commerce Action Plan, and the on-going initiatives in the payments field. The Commission will monitor developments and report on the progress in implementing this Action Plan by issuing a report in 2015. This monitoring will be done on the basis of the ongoing discussions within the EU institutions, with Member States, and with representatives of the retail sector and other relevant stakeholders through the Group on Retail Competitiveness.
  • date: 2013-06-10T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-11-05T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-11-14T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-0374&language=EN title: A7-0374/2013 summary: The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection adopted the own-initiative report by Cornelis de JONG (GUE/NGL, NL) on the European Retail Action Plan for the benefit of all actors. The importance of the retail market : recalling the importance of the retail market and given that it represents 11% of EU GDP and delivers more than 15 % of all jobs in Europe, Members welcomed the setting-up by the Commission of a European Retail Action Plan. They did, however, state that the Action Plan should have paid more attention to the effects of the current economic crisis on retail and, in particular, on smaller, independent shops. The report called on the Commission and the Member States to give the highest political prominence to the retail sector as a pillar of the Single Market , including the Digital Single Market, and to lift regulatory, administrative and practical obstacles hampering the start-up of businesses. According to Members, retail market legislation should be evidence-based, taking into account the needs of the sector. The retail sector in the current economic crisis : the report urged Member States not to take measures in the context of austerity policies which undermine consumer confidence and directly harm the interests of the retail sector, such as increasing VAT, reclassifying products and product rates or raising charges for shops. It reiterated the importance of improving access to finance, in particular for retail and wholesale trade SMEs. Supporting independent retailers : Members encouraged local and regional authorities to promote actions aimed at facilitating equal access and creating a level playing field for the independent retailer, in full respect of free and fair competition, such as: the encouragement of the ‘ adopt-a-shop ’ principle by which larger retailers act as ‘mentors’ to smaller shops in the same locality, in particular for new market entrants; the promotion of groups of independent retailers, including co-operatives , which benefit from mutual assistance and certain economies of scale, whilst retaining their full independence and; respect for the right of local and regional authorities to stimulate a climate favourable to small, independent shops , which are typically established in town centres, by lowering energy rates – including for signs illuminated by night – and rents via public-private partnerships, and by introducing business rate discounts on local charges for small businesses and independent retailers. E-commerce : the report noted that rapid development of e-commerce has delivered significant benefits for consumers and businesses in terms of innovation, new market opportunities and growth, etc. It encouraged retailers, in view of the social and cultural role of retail, to make the most of innovative technologies and to develop new business models for their on-line customer base. The Commission is called upon to propose a strategy to prevent traders from adopting discriminatory policies in their e-commerce practices, thereby ensuring that all European citizens have unfettered access to cross-border online trade. Payment systems : Members welcomed the Commission proposal on Multi-Lateral Interchange Fees (MIF) and stressed the importance of removing card scheme rules which reinforce the anticompetitive effects of the MIF. They urged the Commission to support Member States that already have transparent, competitive and innovative payment systems and to use them as best practices in further developing a cheaper and fairer payments market in Europe. Consumers : the report welcomed the Commission’s intention to develop instruments to facilitate consumer access to transparent, easily understandable, comparable, and reliable information on the prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. It encouraged the Commission to set up an easily accessible database containing all EU and national labelling requirements. Sustainability : Members highlighted the retail sector’s responsibility concerning sustainability. They welcomed the fact that retailers and suppliers have been at the forefront of green responsibility, particularly regarding waste, energy consumption, transport and CO2 reduction. Voluntary initiatives and commitments have been taken by some retailers and suppliers to reduce food waste. The report also called on the importance of the proper implementation of existing social and labour legislation. It called for equal treatment for commercial operators in the internal market in order to combat undeclared work and tax and social fraud. Unfair trading practices : voluntary initiatives, which already exist in some Member States and are currently also being developed at EU-level by the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, are to be welcomed. The Commission and business federations are invited, in this connection, to pursue a constructive and cross-sectoral dialogue in the existing fora, also including the annual Retail Market Roundtable organised by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the institutional forum aimed at keeping retail high on the EU political agenda.
  • date: 2013-12-11T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=23663&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2013-12-11T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-0580 title: T7-0580/2013 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the European Retail Action Plan for the benefit of all actors, following the Commission’s communication on the same subject. The importance of the retail market: Parliament welcomed the Commission’s Action Plan and recalled the importance of the retail market and given that it represented 11% of EU GDP and delivered more than 15 % of all jobs in Europe. It did, however, state that the Action Plan should have paid more attention to the effects of the current economic crisis on retail and, in particular, on smaller, independent shops . Members called on the Commission and the Member States to give the highest political prominence to the retail sector as a pillar of the Single Market , including the Digital Single Market, and to lift regulatory, administrative and practical obstacles hampering the start-up of businesses. The retail sector in the current economic crisis: the resolution urged Member States not to take measures in the context of austerity policies which would undermine consumer confidence and directly harm the interests of the retail sector, such as increasing VAT, reclassifying products and product rates or raising charges for shops. It reiterated the importance of improving access to finance, in particular for retail and wholesale trade SMEs. With the aim of ensuring better governance, it called on the Commission to operate a zero-tolerance policy towards those Member States which fail to properly apply internal market rules and to do so, where appropriate, by means of infringement procedures and by speeding up those procedures using a fast-track approach. Supporting independent retailers: Parliament encouraged local and regional authorities to promote actions aimed at facilitating equal access and creating a level playing field for the independent retailer, in full respect of free and fair competition, such as: the encouragement of the ‘adopt-a-shop’ principle by which larger retailers act as ‘mentors’ to smaller shops in the same locality, in particular for new market entrants; the promotion of groups of independent retailers, including co-operatives, which benefit from mutual assistance and certain economies of scale, whilst retaining their full independence and; respect for the right of local and regional authorities to stimulate a climate favourable to small, independent shops , which are typically established in town centres, by lowering energy rates – including for signs illuminated by night – and rents via public-private partnerships, and by introducing business rate discounts on local charges for small businesses and independent retailers. Parliament recalled that while a concentration of shops outside city centres can be convenient for some consumers, it can also have negative environmental effects and can be a challenge for other consumers, in particular for older people, people with reduced mobility. It therefore called for a balanced approach, taking into account the fact that in many regions the saturation point has already been reached. Members also stressed the importance of proper enforcement of the Services Directive . They urged Member States to remove barriers to free movement and to open up their markets in order to stimulate competitiveness and promote diversity among shops. E-commerce: in the context of the rapid development of e-commerce, the resolution encouraged retailers to make the most of innovative technologies and to develop new business models for their on-line customer base. The Commission was called upon to propose a strategy to prevent traders from adopting discriminatory policies in their e-commerce practices, thereby ensuring that all European citizens have unfettered access to cross-border online trade. Payment systems: Parliament welcomed the Commission proposal on Multi-Lateral Interchange Fees (MIF) and stressed the importance of removing card scheme rules which reinforce the anticompetitive effects of the MIF. They urged the Commission to support Member States that already have transparent, competitive and innovative payment systems and to use them as best practices in further developing a cheaper and fairer payments market in Europe. Consumers: Parliament welcomed the Commission’s intention to develop instruments to facilitate consumer access to transparent, easily understandable, comparable, and reliable information on the prices, quality and sustainability of goods and services. It encouraged the Commission to set up an easily accessible database containing all EU and national labelling requirements. Sustainability: Members highlighted the retail sector’s responsibility concerning sustainability. They welcomed the fact that retailers and suppliers have been at the forefront of green responsibility , particularly regarding waste, energy consumption, transport and CO2 reduction. Voluntary initiatives and commitments have been taken by some retailers and suppliers to reduce food waste. The report also called on the importance of the proper implementation of existing social and labour legislation . It called for equal treatment for commercial operators in the internal market in order to combat undeclared work and tax and social fraud. Unfair trading practices (UTPs): voluntary initiatives, which already exist in some Member States and are currently also being developed at EU-level by the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, were to be welcomed. Parliament should urgently resolve pending issues relating to its participation in the work of the Forum. As regards the weaker market players , Parliament suggested the possibility of the appointment of an ombudsman or adjudicator who could submit complaints about UTPs on their behalf. They called on the Commission to ensure the right of small suppliers to set up groups of producers without being penalised by national competition authorities, which have assessed the importance of these groups based on national production alone. Lastly, Members welcomed the Commission’s intention to create a permanent Group on Retail Competitiveness, and underlined its support for the Retail Market Roundtable organised by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the institutional forum aimed at keeping retail high on the EU political agenda.
  • date: 2013-12-11T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/internal_market/ title: Internal Market and Services commissioner: BARNIER Michel
procedure/Modified legal basis
Old
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
New
Rules of Procedure EP 150
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IMCO/7/12760
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  • IMCO/7/12760
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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
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Old
  • 2.10 Free movement of goods
  • 2.40.01 Right of establishment
  • 2.60.01 Trade restrictions, concerted practices, dominant positions
  • 3.30.25 International information networks and society, internet
  • 3.40.17 Manufactured goods
  • 3.45 Enterprise policy, inter-company cooperation
  • 4.60.02 Consumer information, advertising, labelling
  • 4.60.06 Consumers' economic and legal interests
New
2.10
Free movement of goods
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Right of establishment
2.60.01
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3.45
Enterprise policy, inter-company cooperation
4.60.02
Consumer information, advertising, labelling
4.60.06
Consumers' economic and legal interests
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http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2013/0036/COM_COM(2013)0036_EN.pdf
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activities
  • date: 2013-01-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2013/0036/COM_COM(2013)0036_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52013DC0036:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: COM(2013)0036 body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/internal_market/ title: Internal Market and Services Commissioner: BARNIER Michel type: Non-legislative basic document published
  • date: 2013-06-10T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs committee: ECON body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2013-04-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE name: CASA David body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria group: S&D name: IRIGOYEN PÉREZ María group: ALDE name: LØKKEGAARD Morten group: Verts/ALE name: RÜHLE Heide group: ECR name: HARBOUR Malcolm group: EFD name: SALVINI Matteo responsible: True committee: IMCO date: 2013-02-20T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy committee: ITRE body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
  • date: 2013-11-05T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs committee: ECON body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2013-04-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE name: CASA David body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria group: S&D name: IRIGOYEN PÉREZ María group: ALDE name: LØKKEGAARD Morten group: Verts/ALE name: RÜHLE Heide group: ECR name: HARBOUR Malcolm group: EFD name: SALVINI Matteo responsible: True committee: IMCO date: 2013-02-20T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy committee: ITRE body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
  • date: 2013-11-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-0374&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0374/2013 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2013-12-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=23663&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-0580 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0580/2013 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs committee: ECON
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2013-04-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE name: CASA David
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI
  • body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria group: S&D name: IRIGOYEN PÉREZ María group: ALDE name: LØKKEGAARD Morten group: Verts/ALE name: RÜHLE Heide group: ECR name: HARBOUR Malcolm group: EFD name: SALVINI Matteo responsible: True committee: IMCO date: 2013-02-20T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy committee: ITRE
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/internal_market/ title: Internal Market and Services commissioner: BARNIER Michel
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
IMCO/7/12760
reference
2013/2093(INI)
title
European retail action plan for the benefit of all actors
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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
Modified legal basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject