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The essential role of European Postal Operators during the COVID-19 pandemic


25 Mar 2020


Freedom of transit for postal deliveries
The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major disruptions to our daily lives and the European economy, for an indefinite period of time.   European postal operators understand the global challenges posed by the pandemic and are impacted by the measures in place to contain the virus.  The health and well-being of postal workers, their families, customers and the whole society remains a priority.  At the same time, citizens continue to rely on the post for deliveries. Postal operators are committed to fulfil their universal service obligations and deliver the highest possible quality of service at all times. Hence, the industry urges authorities to help postal operators maintain this critical infrastructure for all citizens, and to guarantee the freedom of transit for the transportation of all postal items Europe-wide.  

PostEurop Members are an essential factor for the European economy.  During these troubled times, they are the physical connection between different regions, consumers and producers, institutions and citizens.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought on unprecedented events and for an indefinite period of time.  With many countries going into partial or full lockdown, border restrictions or closures are implemented in a global effort to curb the pandemic.  As a result, transportation disruptions are causing delays to postal deliveries within and outside the EU.  Nevertheless, postal operators are constantly adapting their operations to ensure continuity in their service.

Health & well-being

As the largest employers in most European countries, the health and well-being of up to 2 million employees, their families, our customers and society at large are of utmost importance.  Citizens, including the most vulnerable and those living in remote location continue to rely on postal deliveries to stay informed and physically connected during containment. Postcards and letters will offer comfort in these difficult times.

Commitment to the Universal Service Obligation

European postal operators are committed to fulfil their universal service obligation and deliver the highest possible level of service quality during these challenging times.  Postal operators will manage and adapt the largest physical post office, collection, sorting, transportation and delivery network in Europe to meet the needs of individuals, companies and all postal users. As such, we are a critical infrastructure for European countries.

Freedom of transit for postal items

Postal operators form a global network.  It is part of the Universal Postal Union framework (a specialized agency of the UN) and we rely on the smooth interconnection between the countries, both in Europe and worldwide. While we understand the need to fight the pandemic, we draw the attention of the decision makers to support the postal operators through all possible means. This would particularly include the need to guarantee the freedom of transit for postal items (letter mail, e-commerce, parcel, express), for all mode of transportation, especially the road transport connections. This will substantially allow postal operators to continue serving the society Europe-wide in the most efficient way and contribute to the protection of the health of our colleagues and all citizens.

“A crisis situation often reveals the true character of society.  This applies also to the postal industry.  Citizens including our employees and their families rely on the wide and efficient postal network for sending and receiving items.  It gives them peace of mind and enables them to carry on with their live in a global effort to fight an invisible enemy. Therefore, more than ever we urge that the EU, international organisations and national authorities cooperate with postal operators to help us help the citizens and help support the economy in return” states Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of PostEurop.

PostEurop represents 52 postal operators in 49 countries and territories around Europe and handles 60 billion items each year.  The industry employs 2 million people, manages 258 million delivery points and accounts for 1% of the GDP. 


For more information please contact:

Cynthia Wee-Neumann

Communications & Public Affairs Manager


POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable and competitive European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.

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