- Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew, Paul R. Kleindofer and James I. Campbell Jr
Chapter 13: Economic Factors Underlying Postal Reform in the European Union
13. Economic factors underlying postal reform in the European Union* Michael A. Crew,† Gonzales d’Alcantara,‡ Paul R. Kleindorfer,§ Philippe Claeys¶ and Bert Kuypers¶ 1. INTRODUCTION The European Union (EU) has undoubtedly been the trendsetter in the postal reform area. Starting in the early 1990s, driven by the vision of a uniﬁed internal postal market, the EU and its executive arm, the European Commission (EC), set out on a course of change toward fully competitive postal markets. This process saw its culmination in the Third Postal Directive, which was formally approved by the European Parliament and Council on February 20, 2008, and which established for most EU member states the date of January 1, 2011 as the date of ‘full market opening’ (FMO), with all EU member states required to abolish their reserved area by January 1, 2013 at the latest. This provision of the European Directive constitutes, in fact, the ‘last mile’ of the long journey the EU has been undertaking in creating a liberalized internal market for postal services. This chapter reviews some of the major issues that surfaced in developing the Third Postal Directive. The centerpiece of these issues concerned the sustainability of the postal universal service obligation (USO) in each member state and the potential impact of FMO on the future provision of universal service. Several studies were undertaken for the EC leading up to the Third Postal Directive, including ECORYS (2005), WIK (2004, 2005, 2006) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC, 2006). PwC (2006) examined two key questions...
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