Federal Government gives multi-million boost to Bpost funding

Federal Government gives multi-million boost to Bpost funding
Credit: Bpost

A new management contract between Belgian postal company Bpost and the Federal Government will assign additional funds of up to €126.4 million this year, as the government seeks to support “services of general economic interest,” L’Écho reports.

In total, up to €634 million will be paid to Bpost by the Federal Government over the next five years, with payments set to rise to €129.5 million next year. As an economic interest of Belgium, Bpost must operate and maintain a network of post offices, postal outlets, ATMs, and other services which are deemed critical to the infrastructure of the country.

The funds, which will be paid as a grant from the Federal Government, are 40% higher than the amount previously provided to Bpost in its last management contract. In 2016-2020, Bpost received an average of around €90 million per year.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter (Belgium’s Minister for Telecommunications and Post), the increase in funding aims to make up the shortfall of lower revenues generated at Bpost. The minister blames a slump in stamp sales. Likewise, running the post office network has become more costly, especially in the context of the European energy crisis.

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In July, the European Commission approved Belgian plans to pay €634 million in EU state aid to Bpost in compensation in 2022-2026. The Belgian government reimbursed the mail service for maintaining its network of post offices, implementing the payment of pensions as well as delivering materials for upcoming Federal elections.

European Commissioner for Competition, Margarethe Vestager, said that the payments are not excessive and will allow Bpost to provide affordable prices for customers, without distortions from market competition.


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