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European Postal Sector Evolution Milestone


19 Apr 2012



With Signing of New Joint Declaration

Brussels, 18 April 2012: Today, the social partners of the European Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) for the postal sector signed a new "Joint Declaration on Postal Sector Evolution" in the presence of high-level representatives from the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affair and Inclusion, and DG Internal Market and Services) and the members of the SDC, PostEurop and UNI. Following a successful co-operation within the SDC since 1999, this common agreement between social partners builds on the findings of "The Social Observatory of the Postal Sector" and further defines key principles to accompany change.  

The social partners of the European Social Dialogue Committee for the postal sector signed a new "Joint Declaration on Postal Sector Evolution" at the Crowne Plaza in Brussels. The ceremony was attended by prominent representatives representing employees, employers and the society including Mr. Jean-Paul Tricart from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Mr. Werner Stengg from DG Internal Market and Services from the European Commission, Mr. Dominique Bailly, Chairman of the SDC, Mr. John Baldwin, Vice-Chairman of the SDC, Mr. Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of the Management Board of PostEurop, Mr. Botond Szebeny, Secretary General of PostEurop and Mr. Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa and Mr. Stephen de Matteo, Deputy Head of UNI Post & Logistics. 

By 1st January 2013, the postal market will be fully liberalized in all EU Member states. Since the 1990s public postal operators have been undergoing a major evolution mainly due to the emergence of new technologies and competition, which directly impacts their traditional activities and labour intensive industry.  Based on this, both public postal operators as employers represented through PostEurop and UNI Europa representing employees, have agreed to utilise the social dialogue tool to better manage and facilitate the social aspects of change.  The intense industry transformation has had and will continue to have profound consequences on employment, job organisation and skills.  

The SDC was established in 1999 as an interactive committee for postal employers and trade unions under the framework set out by the European Commission.  As a result of a mandate from the SDC in November 2006, a high-level working group was established in 2007 and a "Joint Statement on Postal Sector Evolution" was signed which underlined the need for appropriate working conditions and quality of services in the context of market opening. Following this statement the SDC established the “Social Observatory of the postal sector”. 

Despite the economic crisis and its impact of this on postal activity, the social partners have continued to rely on social dialogue to identify policy responses. Therefore, the new Joint Declaration signed today builds on the 2007 Joint Statement and the two successful projects under the Social Observatory co-financed by the European Commission, PostEurop and UNI, conducted from 2008 to 2011.  

The joint declaration aims to formalise and bring added-value by ways of a common agreement between social partners that the sector is facing rapid changes and that postal operators have adopted varied approaches to overcome the challenges.  It also takes into account the key principles and confirms further commitment to monitor the social developments in the sector.  Under the joint declaration, social partners also agree to further define key principles to accompany change:

• To better anticipate the ongoing evolutions and their consequences, 

• To recognise that the management of change can benefit from constructive co-operation between the social partners based on country specific social dialogue,

• To develop the employees’ employability through training, re-deployment programmes and internal communication,

• To encourage investment in the sector to modernise operations and improve the adaptability of the work organization. 

“The new joint declaration stands as a milestone in the work of the Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) after several years of close discussions and study of the specific social evolutions in the postal sector within the EU Member states. The SDC calls on social partners to implement these principles and will continue its role of monitoring the ongoing evolutions and advising the Commission on all topics relating to the postal sector” says Dominique Bailly, Chairman of the Social Dialogue Committee and Chair of the Social Responsibility Committee at PostEurop.

“The Joint Declaration builds on the original Joint Statement of 2007 and the two projects conducted from 2008 to 2011. It proves that both social partners are fully committed to fulfil their statutory responsibilities by monitoring the evolution of the sector and providing advice to the Commission” affirms John Baldwin, Vice-Chairman of the Social Dialogue Committee 

"The joint declaration highlights the importance of social dialogue in accompanying the restructuring of postal operators. The Commission will continue to support the on-going work of PostEurop and UNI Europa within the social dialogue committee in monitoring social developments in the postal sector and in promoting the implementation on the ground of the joint principles as they have agreed to in today's declaration. We do appreciate the commitment of the social partners to utilise social dialogue as a tool to manage change and monitor its impact on employees" adds Jean-Paul Tricart, Head of Unit for Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations at the European Commission.


More about the European Social Dialogue Committee for the Postal Sector

The European Social Dialogue Committee for the postal sector was set up in 1999, following the European Commission’s decision to promote the dialogue between the social partners in the sectors at European level by establishing sectoral dialogue committees. It is composed of representatives designated in the 27 Member States by the two social partners recognized at European level: PostEurop for the postal operators and UNI Europa Post & Logistics for the trade unions. The Committee aims to advise the European Commission on key initiatives in European policy which could have a social impact on the postal sector and to encourage and promote social dialogue within the sector.  See also

See also Final Report on Postal Sector Evolution

The final report on postal sector evolution is based on a large scale study across 27 member states which revealed a diverse situation across member states from size of operation to regulatory framework.  

For more information about this report, please contact:

Margaux Meidinger

Groupe La Poste

T: +33 1 55 442373 E:

For other information, please contact:

Cynthia Wee

Communications Manager

T: +32 2 773 11 92  E:



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