Past Event

E-commerce in Europe: Lessons for parcel delivery from electronic communications

Bruegel was pleased to welcome Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market. He discussed the place of parcel delivery in the DSM, and commented on research by Bruegel scholars suggesting there are useful parallels with telecommunications interconnection and roaming.

Date: May 3, 2016, 1:15 pm Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

Summary

See below for video, photos and materials.

The European Commission’s strategy for the Digital Single Market (DSM) focuses not only on digital goods and services, but also on the broader digital economy. This includes the aim to strengthen e-commerce in physical goods. Parcel delivery is important for e-commerce, but the cost of cross-border delivery within the EU is higher than distance or processing can justify. Why is this, and how can we reach lower prices?

Scott Marcus presented recent work about the opportunities which e-commerce offers Europe and the barriers created by high cross-border parcel delivery costs. Eurostat’s 2015 report indicates how firms perceive high delivery costs to be the most serious barrier to cross-border e-commerce. He claimed that there are parallels with telecommunications network interconnection and that EU-level work on cross-border parcel delivery problems is warranted. Member states should collect data. The Commission should oversee the development of consistent standards and centrally analyse the data. Marcus said there was insufficient evidence to call for major EU intervention like that seen on roaming charges.

Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip stressed that it is a problem that we still have 28 fragmented digital markets. When shopping online, cross-border consumers face many issues related to website access, payment and delivery: only 37% of all those who try will succeed. On 25 May the Commission will launch an e-commerce proposal, and parcel delivery prices are central. Cross-border parcels are about 3-5 times as expensive as in-country delivery, and the difference is difficult to explain. The market for letters is decreasing, but the universal service obligation remains. Postal operators may be trying to cover their losses with their parcel prices.

The Commission will propose an obligation to “sell like at home”, which would increase parcel delivery volumes significantly. The Commission does not want to regulate prices at the European level, but would like to have more transparency by collecting data on prices of 15 different delivery categories in each country. With more transparency, the Commission hopes to improve competition and therefore induce more affordable prices for citizens. Postal services in the European Union are doing well and are very innovative and therefore comparisons to telecoms may be incorrect.

Jean-Paul Forceville explained how the postal sector tries to cater for cross-border e-commerce. Furthermore, he highlighted how parcel delivery and telecommunications are different in terms of value chain, clientele and supply-side issues and cost structure. Therefore, regulating them in similar ways would be counterproductive. However, improved transparency could be beneficial.

Annegret Groebel brought a recent BEREC/ERGP paper to attention, which states that there is a problem which individual national regulators cannot address by themselves. The question is how to remedy this. While roaming and parcels have some parallels, there are also differences. One key difference is that for roaming, all telecom regulators had the power to address this. Not all postal regulators have the power to collect data and a first recommendation would be to empower all regulators to do so. We need transparency, comparable data and in-depth analyses to understand what causes price discrepancies. The aim is to lower barriers for smaller retailers.

Event summary by Nuria Boot, Research Assistant

VIDEO RECORDING


Event materials

Presentation | J. Scott Marcus and Georgios Petropoulos

Statement by Vice President Andrus Ansip

Guntram Wolff makes introduction

Wolff and Ansip

Speakers at Ecommerce event with Ansip

Schedule

May 3, 2016

12.45 - 13.15

Check-in and lunch

13.15 - 13.35

Presentation

J. Scott Marcus, Senior Fellow

13.35 - 13.50

Comments

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, European Commission

13.50 - 14.15

Panel discussion

Chair: Guntram B. Wolff, Director

Jean-Paul Forceville, Director, Regulation and Institutional and European Affairs, La Poste and Chairman of the PostEurop Management Board

Annegret Groebel, Head of Department for International Relations / Postal Regulation, Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway

14.15-14.45

Audience Q&A

14.45

End

Speakers

Andrus Ansip

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, European Commission

Jean-Paul Forceville

Director, Regulation and Institutional and European Affairs, La Poste and Chairman of the PostEurop Management Board

Annegret Groebel

Head of Department for International Relations / Postal Regulation, Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway

J. Scott Marcus

Senior Fellow

Guntram B. Wolff

Director

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Bryn Watkins

Bryn Watkins

bryn.watkins@bruegel.org +32 2 227 42 88

Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Frans Timmermans

The sixth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Mehreen Khan, André Sapir and Frans Timmermans Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Manfred Weber

The fifth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Manfred Weber and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 9, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Jan Zahradil

The fourth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Jim Brunsden, Maria Demertzis and Jan Zahradil Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 4, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Luis Garicano

The third event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Luis Garicano, Mehreen Khan and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 3, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Bas Eickhout

The second event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Bas Eickhout, Guntram B. Wolff and Rochelle Toplensky Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 2, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Rethinking industrial policy in the digital age: challenges for Europe

All-day conference about how the European policy-making will have to adapt to the digital transformation.

Speakers: Philipp-Bastian Brutscher, Teunis Brosens, Maarten Camps, Lise Fuhr, Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Andreas Geiss, Tony Graziano, Mathew Heim, Thorsten Käseberg, Thomas Kramler, Robert Kroplewski, Timothy Lamb, J. Scott Marcus, Philip Marsden, Jan Mischke, Joakim Reiter, Megan Richards, Valentino Rossi, Marietje Schaake, Reinhilde Veugelers, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 21, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

A new climate strategy for the EU

At a pivotal point in time, three major EU sides come together to discuss the future climate strategy.

Speakers: Silke Karcher, Andrei Marcu, Raffaele Mauro Petriccione, Kathleen Van Brempt and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 19, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Law and macroeconomics: legal responses to recessions

This event will feature an academic lecture on the use of law as a macroeconomic tool.

Speakers: Yair Listokin and Maria Demertzis Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 12, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Saving the right to asylum

How to improve the European asylum policy?

Speakers: Karen Mets, Nicolas Bauquet, Marc-Olivier Padis, Elina Ribakova, Jean-Paul Tran Thiet and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 5, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Diverging narratives: European policies and national perceptions

Who tends to get the blame for the Euro crisis in national media? What do national politicians think about the EU and EMU?

Speakers: Pierre Boyer, Juha Pekka Nurvala, Giuseppe Porcaro and Laura Shields Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 27, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Reforming decision-making for EU taxation policy

How should the EU taxation policy be reformed?

Speakers: Johannes Becker, Pierre Moscovici, Paola Profeta and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 21, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The European Energy Transition: A year ahead of the Twenties

This event will look at the most important issues related to energy for the next few years. The event will coincide with the launch of a book and online course on this topic.

Speakers: Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Dirk Buschle, Alicia Carrasco, Olivier Corradi, Jos Delbeke, Rémy Garaude-Verdier, Dolf Gielen, Jean-Michel Glachant, Pascal Lamy, Philip Lowe, Susanne Nies, Alberto Pototschnig, Laurent Schmitt and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 19, 2019
Load more posts