The European Commission adopts a European Retail Action Plan and launches a consultation on unfair trading practices
On January 31, 2013, the European Commission adopted a European Retail Action Plan and a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain
The European Action Plan aims to stimulate growth and job creation in the retail and wholesale services sector under the Europe 2020 Strategy, eliminating the barriers that continue to hinder the creation of an efficient and competitive single market in this sector and encouraging fair play.
Five key priorities are set by the actions in the European Retail Action Plan:
Empowering consumers through better information
Improving and promoting an exchange of good practices between Member States on commercial and spatial planning
Fairer and more sustainable trading relationships along the food and non-food supply chain
Ensuring a better link between retail and innovation
Creating a better work environment, for example through better matching the needs of employers and staff skills
The Commission will set up a permanent Group on Retail Competitiveness to help develop further specific objectives for the areas identified, monitor progress achieved, issue recommendations to ensure full implementation of the actions included in the Plan and, where necessary, advise the Commission on additional new actions that could be proposed.
One of the main actions in the European Retail Action Plan is a Green Paper launching a consultation on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain, and which has been adopted simultaneously with the Action Plan. The three-month long consultation will help the Commission to assess the scale of unfair trading practices and gather evidence on their effect on the economy and on cross-border activity.
This Commission initiative is a continuation of its previous initiatives in this area (i.e., the publication in 2010 of the retail market monitoring Report; the creation of an expert platform on business to business contractual practices within the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain; the presentation of the Single Market Act I in 2011; and so on).