Out of thirty European countries, sixteen allow retail trade on Sundays, whereas fourteen do not limit retail opening hours on public holidays. The countries which regulate retail trade on Sundays and/or public holidays apply a range of exemptions.
Regulation of retail opening hours is applicable in 14 out of 30 European countries. The range of the regulation varies widely across the countries, as evidenced by a variety of exemptions. Yet, the bans fail to achieve their objectives: a number of European countries have gone through deregulation.
On the whole, CEE countries – including Poland – still positively stand out in this respect among its European peers. Yet, this might soon come to an end as Poland’s governing party (LAw and Justice) is planning to introduce significant restrictions on Sunday trade.
With Lithuanian Parliamentary elections approaching, Lithuanian MPs like magicians are pulling out of a hat same old populistic laws. Once again they are trying to push through an old and already bashed suggestion that prohibits people from working on holidays.
The Czech government continues to do its utmost to limit the economic freedom of individuals. Nowadays, the attention of lawmakers turns to the restriction on opening hours of malls and supermarkets with the floor area larger than 200 square meters during public holidays (8 days per year including Easter or Christmas).