WUWM Conference Calls for Better Local Support
July 1, 2010
The 3rd World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Retail Conference held in Dublin, Ireland from 25-26 June 2010 saw delegates from seven European countries in attendance. Discussions included a review of the EU Services Directive, plans for putting retail markets back on the local government agenda, public-private partnerships, as well as the need for more effective marketing and promotion of municipal street markets. The following WUWM Declaration resulted from the event. Copies of the speeches and presentations made are available from the member-only section of this WUWM website. 3rd WUWM Retail Declaration, 25 June 2010, Dublin - Ireland On the occasion of the 3rd World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Retail Conference held in Dublin, Ireland under the theme: "Retail Markets: Business with a Human Face", delegates from 7 European Union countries gather here today to express unanimous agreement of the following: • We note the growing collection of European data that evidences the vital role retail markets play in supporting the goals of cities and local governments. Retail markets are clear keys to ensuring quality, fresh, healthy food is available, affordable, and readily accessible to the public. Retail markets also ensure an alternative retail channel exists - one that supports price transparency, increased variety and diversity of product, and ensures a competitive playing field is established for all sized businesses to compete. • Despite providing such benefits, we note that European retail markets do not always benefit from the most suitable locations, nor sufficient urban planning recognition or funding. We therefore use this occasion to strongly encourage local governments throughout Europe to provide municipal retail market operators - public or private, with the necessary support to continue their provision of long-term sustainable solutions to several of the social and economic problems existing in our communities today; and we urge such organizations as the Union of Cities & Local Government (UCLG) to place public market discussions back on the international agenda. • We note in this year of continuing global economic challenge that retail market operators and traders have not only demonstrated their resilience, but also their immense benefit in support of local economies and communities everywhere. However, municipal retail markets cannot function optimally without promotional/marketing funds, nor can they operate competitively without effectively funded management able to provide for basic needs such as good lighting, sufficient parking, as well as safe and hygienic amenities. • While welcoming EU legislation that assists in cross-border trading, thus bringing market benefits to the wider community, effective implementation requires that legislation be subject to prior consultation with the correct bodies. The recent European Services Directive has potentially significant impacts on both traders and market operators but there is a lack of clarity and guidance in the requirements of this Directive. WUWM urges the European Commission and member states to urgently review arrangements relating to this Directive and to ensure that the relevant market industry organisations are recognised and given the opportunity to be fully involved and consulted. In closing we take this opportunity to thank IOMST for its hosting of this 3rd WUWM Retail Conference. We note that Irish market traders have yet to establish their own independent representative body and welcome the call made by Ciaran Casey (C squared Productions Ireland) to expedite the formation of a suitable vehicle. We thank John Gormley, Irish Minister of Environment, Heritage, & Local Government for his commitment to strengthening the Irish retail market sector; and we thank the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello, for her kind support of this event.