The European Union's European Commission began asking businesses and individuals last week to comment on the future of the EU postal sector in an online questionnaire.
The EC aims to create a single market for postal services by opening the sector to competition in a gradual and controlled way, within a regulatory framework that ensures a universal service. Improvements of service quality, particularly involving delivery time and affordable tariffs, are fundamental aspects of this policy.
Though 2009 is the target for full accomplishment, 2006 will be a milestone because the EC then will evaluate whether to propose further initiatives on postal services.
The EC said this consultation shows commitment to begin this process by listening to the views of individual and industry users about what they expect from a modern postal service and how the sector could evolve in the long term.
The EC said the findings will help it understand the changing needs of consumers and businesses, the potential social and economic effects of any further reforms and how the universal postal service could best be assured as markets become fully competitive.
Individuals and businesses have until Jan. 27 to reply. The consultation is in two parts: 1) a short online questionnaire in all official EU languages covering issues likely to be of general interest; 2) more detailed questions on a wider range of issues that affect the sector.
Part two is optional but likely to be of interest to consumer and industry associations and high-volume mailers. The questionnaire can be found at http://europa.eu.int/yourvoice/consultations.
Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters