The BRC has welcomed the publication today of the European Commission’s new Single Market Strategy, saying that is a step in the right direction toward achieving positive EU reforms.
BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, said: “It’s good to see that today’s Strategy is aligned with many of the BRC’s priorities for EU reform. The Commission’s plan builds on previous good work and makes sensible suggestions for improvement which will be welcomed by retailers across the UK.“
The Commission’s Strategy outlines the steps that need to be taken in order to further the EU’s Single Market. Crucially it recognises far more progress needs to be made in the area of services in the Single Market. For retailers this means having the same rights and freedom to operate in other European markets as domestic operators. The Commission also recognises the critical role that national and local authorities play in ensuring that the Single Market works properly in their geographies. Commission proposals for national and local authorities to be far more transparent and accountable about the decisions they take that affect the Single Market rights of businesses (including retailers) have been particularly welcomed.
Dickinson added: “It’s pleasing to note that the commission have heeded the BRC’s calls to resist launching a new initiative and are instead concentrating their fire-power on making what exists already work better for business and consumers”
Commission proposals to strengthen the existing tools such as the SOLVIT network (which ensures compliance with the Single Market rules) have also been welcomed as better functioning tools allow affected businesses to pursue complaints about unfair discrimination in other Member States. Another important development proposed in the communication is the bringing together into one central location of all the information businesses need to know in order to trade in different member states. This will be of particular help to small and medium-sized businesses.
Dickinson concluded: “So long as the proposals make the leap from the page into concrete action they will make a material and positive difference our industry, allowing British retailers to offer even better service to their customers wherever in the EU they may be.”