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Postal Services: EC Action

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 4 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent discussions he has had (a) with ministerial colleagues and (b) at the European level on (i) the timetable for liberalisation of postal services across the European Union and (ii) the effect of liberalisation on the future of the Royal Mail. (146679)

The Department's Ministers and officials have regular discussions with other Government Department colleagues on matters relating to the liberalisation of postal services. We also maintain ongoing dialogue with both the institutions of the European Union and the other member states.

The Government support the European objective of implementing a single market for postal services by 2009: by opening up the sector to competition in a gradual and controlled way, within a regulatory framework that ensures the sustained provision of a universal service.

Royal Mail management has welcomed the introduction of competition in postal markets. The Government have recently agreed a finance framework for Royal Mail to enable the company to modernise and improve its efficiency so that it can compete successfully in a liberalised market.