5th Report on the application of the Postal Services Directive

On 17 November 2015, the European Commission (EC) published the 5th Report on the application of the Postal Services Directive, summarising how the "Postal Services" Directive (Directive 97/67/EC, as amended by Directive 2002/39/EC and Directive 2008/6/EC) has been applied across the European Union (EU), as well as the main developments in the postal market seen since December 2008. The report provides information on economic, social and employment patterns, technological aspects, and quality of service in the postal sector.

Among the report's finding, it is concluded as follows:

  • postal services continue to play a vital role across the European Union, although the nature of that role is changing as a result of new technologies;
  • National Regulatory Authorities continue to fulfil a crucial role underpinning and overseeing application of the Postal Services Directive in Member States. Nevertheless, stronger regulatory oversight of the parcel market is needed to properly accompany its development and growth;
  • an affordable and reliable universal service is provided for letters;
  • despite full market opening across the EU by 2013, competition in the sector has been slow to develop in most Member States and universal service providers have retained majority markets shares;
  • employment by universal service providers has declined (as a result of e-substitution) and working conditions are more varied;
  • in general, the two core aims of European postal policy (ensuring a minimum range of services of specified quality at affordable prices for all users and market opening with fair conditions of competition) have broadly been achieved, though concerns persist about the cross-border parcel market.

Further information: