Retail industry

Addressing politically-motivated barriers to retail trade

Excessively restrictive planning laws in one EU Member State have hindered the expansion of major global retailers. They have been repeatedly denied permission to build new stores there for over a decade. SEC Newgate EU was brought on by the retailers to draw high-level attention to the case in EU circles.

Our approach

SEC Newgate EU has implemented a long-term outreach programme within the European institutions. To revive an infringement proceeding which had vanished due to a lack of political will, we have engaged with the European Commission directly, as well as with those officials and politicians with an interest in our case.

The result

What started as a primarily legal case at the national level has led to efforts by the Commission to change the laws at stake. The Commission resumed an infringement proceeding, seven years after putting it on hold. Not only do these barriers undermine the rule of law, but they have a wide impact throughout the European single market. Working with the retailers, SEC Newgate EU helped shed light on the lost opportunity for investment and job creation in the country concerned and also in those European countries where suppliers are located.