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New attempt for legally secure open Sundays in Hesse

22.12.2018 | 13:34 Clock | Shopping
New attempt for legally secure open Sundays in Hesse

(ffm) In their coalition agreement, the coalition partners of the new Hessian state government consisting of the CDU and the Greens have agreed to create legal security for open Sundays in the future. Markus Frank, Head of the Department of Economic Affairs and Public Order, very much welcomes this plan: "In 2006, when the Hessian Shop Opening Act was passed, it was the legislator's intention to write approval rules for up to four open Sundays per year into the Shop Opening Act. In the end, however, the reference to the occasion, which was not further determined or not clearly defined in the law, led to the fact that in most cases open Sundays were no longer possible in conformity with the law."

"It is time to create legal certainty here," emphasises Councillor Frank. Because this topic is considered by numerous trade associations of the trade, the entrepreneurs, the actors in the city marketing and representatives of the cities and municipalities in Hesse for quite a few years as urgent, so that they turned several times also to the state government. Since 2012, complaints have been made about open Sundays in Hesse and, time and again, the courts have deemed the municipalities' permits for open Sundays to be unlawful. The reason for this is the very restrictive criteria that case law has developed over the years on the basis of the rules currently in force in the Hesse Shop Opening Act. For most municipalities, this has made it impossible to approve sales-open Sundays in conformity with the law. As a result of these uncertainties, which in each case meant a considerable economic risk and, in the case of cancellations usually at short notice, also damage to the retail businesses, numerous municipalities no longer even attempted to hold sales-open Sundays. Others, who nevertheless dared to do so in the interest of their city centres, had to reckon with coming into the focus of the plaintiffs. The approval practice in the municipalities varied. Accordingly, the associations also criticised the unequal treatment of the municipalities, which they perceived as a distortion of competition. They also justified their appeal to the Hessian state government, which was supported by Councillor Frank, by stating that in times of prospering online trade, in which considerably more commitment was needed to preserve the inner cities than ever before, all possibilities had to be seized in order to increase the attractiveness of the inner cities and local sub-centres and elaborated: "Sundays open for sales have proven to be a successful instrument for the retail trade".

"I am sure that our new state government will promptly create practicable and transparent regulations that allow legally secure decisions by municipalities for the implementation of open Sundays," Councilor Frank was optimistic when reading the new coalition agreement.

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