International News - Easier opening for foreign stores

The European Commission has offered to enshrine in law the right of non-EU retailers to enjoy the same rights to open big stores across Europe as local retailers.

Some national restrictions would still apply, but applications will be considered on merit, regardless of a company's nationality.

A Commission official said: 'Any non-EU provider would have the guarantee that there is no risk that the legislation of these countries will be changed in a way that becomes discriminatory.'