Jacqueline Foster, on behalf of the ECR Group.
– Mr President, first of all I would like to pay huge thanks to Pavel Telička. It has been excellent to work so closely with him again on this fantastic new aviation report, 99% of which is excellent in my opinion and has my full support. However, a serious problem arose because the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs was granted exclusive competence on the Social Agenda under Rule 54. Unbelievably their text infers that professional pilots on European airlines are employed on illegal, bogus contracts, thereby putting passengers in danger. None of their references are evidence-based and, in addition, comments regarding business models, such as ‘home base’ criteria, also have no place in this report, showing breathtaking ignorance, as 70% of flights across Europe come under general aviation.
Aviation is the most highly regulated form of transport. It is held to the most stringent legal safety standards with contracts of both pilots and crew having to be compliant with EASA EU OPS and flight time limitations. Therefore, these accusations are misleading, provocative and have no foundation. To make matters worse, we have been unable to amend the contribution by the Employment Committee. We have already made numerous references to good working conditions, high-skill jobs and training throughout the report, not least because all of us here support good jobs and good contracts of employment.
To conclude, this sends out the wrong signals for this committee. To suggest it is not safe for European citizens to fly on European carriers is quite disgraceful. Why should they book flights? Therefore, I am not prepared to appease this ill-thought through element of the report which has been included and which we have been unable to change, but I thank [Mr Telička ] again for the hard work, and I know he understands this position. I hope this message has got through, Commissioner, namely that we have to be very careful when we allow other committees to have so much input on certain dossiers. This was incorrect; an opinion would have been quite sufficient. Thank you. This is the Committee on Transport and Tourism, and our focus is on transport.