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Document 31994Y0216(02)

Council Resolution of 7 February 1994 on the development of Community postal services

OJ C 48, 16.2.1994, p. 3–4 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)

In force

31994Y0216(02)

Council Resolution of 7 February 1994 on the development of Community postal services

Official Journal C 048 , 16/02/1994 P. 0003 - 0004


COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 7 February 1994 on the development of Community postal services (94/C 48/02)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to the Green Paper on the development of the single market for postal services, published on 11 June 1992 (1),

Having regard to the communication from the Commission on guidelines for the development of Community postal services (2),

Whereas the Treaty provisions with respect to the freedom to provide services include the postal sector;

Whereas the Green Paper and the abovementioned communication identify the aspects of postal services which are of Community interest;

Whereas in view of these aspects it appears that efforts should be made at Community level to improve the efficiency and quality of postal services;

Whereas the Commission has undertaken broad public consultation and has received contributions from interested parties in the postal sector;

Whereas it is necessary to determine the main objectives of the development of postal services in the Community, in accordance with the Treaty;

GIVES ITS SUPPORT to the general approach contained in the Commission's Green Paper on the development of the single market for postal services;

TAKES NOTE OF the consultation which took place between the interested parties and the resulting Commission communication on the guidelines for developing Community postal services, certain aspects of which nevertheless remain to be considered in detail with a view to reaching an overall agreement;

REAFFIRMS that a political agreement with the full participation of both the European Parliament and the Council is the best way of encouraging the implementation of the future Community policy in the postal sector;

DECLARES THE FOLLOWING POINTS TO BE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF POSTAL SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY:

- defining at Community level a universal service that will be the minimum set of quality services which must be provided in each Member State at reasonable prices for all users and with non-discriminatory access to the universal service,

- ensuring the economic and financial viability of the provision of the services constituting the universal service at a reasonable price for all, by defining a sector of appropriate dimensions which may be reserved for universal service providers according to the principle of proportionality,

- reconciling, in accordance with the objectives set out above, the rules of the Treaty and users' interests, the furtherance of the gradual, controlled liberalization of the postal market and that of a durable guarantee of the provision of the universal service,

- working out quality standards for the services constituting the universal service, monitoring independently the quality of the services and publishing the results. The standards will have to be laid down at national level by the national regulatory authorities and will have to be compatible with the standards laid down by the Council at Community level for intra-Community services within the universal service, on the understanding that such standards, taking account of national characteristics, must reflect a certain quality level the improvement of which should be actively sought; as regards international traffic, a similar approach should be followed in collaboration with third countries,

- establishing tariff principles for the universal service related to real costs and ensuring that they are applied and that any subsidies considered necessary are transparent in relation to their objective, size and scope and ensuring that they are compatible with Community law,

- introducing a terminal dues system based on real costs and quality, taking into account national characteristics while granting the universal service providers satisfactory protection against deflections of trade based on abuse of that system and making provision for appropriate transitional arrangements,

- encouraging harmonization of technical standards, taking users' interests into account,

- ensuring that fair conditions of competition outside the reserved sector exist mutually between universal service providers and between them and other operators,

- separating regulatory and operational functions in the Member States,

- ensuring that the needs of users, including consumers, the interests of postal sector employees as well as the contribution of the postal sector to economic, cultural and social development in the Community are taken into account, when regulating this sector,

- taking account of the objectives of cohesion in the Community and in particular specific difficulties encountered by peripheral regions when measures in this area are taken;

INVITES THE COMMISSION:

- to propose to the Council, before 1 July 1994, the measures necessary for the realization of the objectives set out above with a view to implementing without delay a Community policy on postal services, in particular measures:

- containing the definition of the universal service, describing the obligations of the providers of the universal service and defining the services which could be reserved,

- relating to the quality of the universal intra-Community service,

- relating to technical standardization,

- to base its proposals for future regulation of the postal services on measures which are transparent, simple and easy to manage, to ensure the best possible conditions of monitoring and enforcement,

- to contribute actively, on the basis of current proceedings and in cooperation with the Member States, to the definition of a clear framework for a new terminal dues system, bearing in mind the need to ensure satisfactory protection against deflections of trade based on abuse and to forward to the Council before 1 March 1994 any further action which could prove necessary in this area;

INVITES THE MEMBER STATES:

- to support the above main objectives,

- to work in association with the Commission, particularly within the Senior Officials Group for Postal Matters (SOGP) and a high-level committee of the national regulatory authorities, in the implementation of a Community postal services policy in conformity with the above major policy goals,

- to conduct, in association with their universal service providers, appropriate discussions in order to agree on a new terminal dues system, including steps to ensure compatibility with other systems.

(1) Cf. COM(91) 476 final.

(2) Cf. COM(93) 247 final.

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