Procedure : 2016/2062(INI)
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Document selected : A8-0021/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0021/2017

Debates :

PV 16/02/2017 - 2
CRE 16/02/2017 - 2

Votes :

PV 16/02/2017 - 6.12

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0054

REPORT     
PDF 919kWORD 109k
2 February 2017
PE 589.131v02-00 A8-0021/2017

on an Aviation Strategy for Europe

(2016/2062(INI))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Pavel Telička

Rapporteur for the opinion (*):

Ole Christensen, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

(*) Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

ERRATA/ADDENDA
AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (*)
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on an Aviation Strategy for Europe

(2016/2062(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 7 December 2015 entitled ‘An Aviation Strategy for Europe’ (COM(2015)0598),

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 4(2)(b) and (g) and 16 and Titles VI and X thereof,

–  having regard to Protocol (No 2) to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the opinion of 14 July 2016 of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘An Aviation Strategy for Europe’(1),

–  having regard to the Commission decision of 20 December 2011 on the application of Article 106(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to State aid in the form of public service compensation granted to certain undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest,

–  having regard to the Commission communication on ‘Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines’ (2014/C 99/03),

–  having regard to the Commission notice on the notion of State aid as referred to in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2016/C 262/01),

–  having regard to the draft Commission regulation (EU) amending Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 7 December 2015 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the high-level conference ‘A Social Agenda for Transport’, held on 4 June 2015 in Brussels(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 February 2016 on the special situation of islands(3),

–  having regard to the outcome of the 39th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly, held in 2016,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in the Single European Sky,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2015 on aviation(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 October 2015 on allocation by the World Radiocommunication Conference, held in Geneva from 2 to 27 November 2015 (WRC-15), of the necessary radio spectrum band to support the future development of a satellite-based technology to enable global flight tracking systems(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2011 on international air agreements under the Treaty of Lisbon(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 April 2007 on the establishment of a European common aviation area(7),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 12 March 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the Single European Sky (recast)(8),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 12 March 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 in the field of aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services(9),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 5 February 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights and Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air(10),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 12 December 2012 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for the allocation of slots at EU airports (recast)(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 October 2015 on safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), commonly known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the field of civil aviation(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 July 2013 on ‘The EU’s External Aviation Policy – Addressing Future Challenges’(13),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the European Aviation Summit held at Schiphol airport (Netherlands) on 20 and 21 January 2016(14),

–  having regard to the Chicago Convention of 7 December 1944,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A8-0021/2017),

A.  whereas EU transport policy ultimately aims at serving the interests of European citizens and businesses by providing ever greater connectivity, the highest level of safety and security and barrier-free markets;

B.  whereas stringent standards of safety should remain a key objective when pursuing competitiveness in air transport;

C.  whereas the EU single aviation market is a most successful example of regional liberalisation of air transport, which has strongly contributed to unprecedented levels of air connectivity by expanding travel opportunities within and outside Europe while lowering prices; whereas the aviation sector is a fundamental part of the European transport network, indispensable to ensure connectivity and territorial cohesion within the EU and worldwide; whereas the remote and isolated location of the outermost regions leaves them, unlike more centrally located and well integrated regions, no alternative to air transport; whereas the objective of supporting increased air connectivity should be not only to expand the network of connections but also to ensure an appropriate quality of connectivity in terms of flight frequency, network range and convenience of schedules;

D.  whereas the aviation sector is a driver with a multiplier effect for growth and job creation and is an important pillar of the EU economy, fostering innovation, trade and the quality of jobs, which has significant direct and indirect benefits for citizens; whereas air traffic growth and availability and variety of flight connections promote economic growth, confirming that air transport acts as a catalyst for economic development; whereas regional and local airports also play a significant role in the development of regions by increasing their competitiveness and facilitating access for tourism;

E.  whereas 4.7 million jobs in the Union are directly (1.9 million) and indirectly (2.8 million) generated by air transport, airports and the related manufacturing industry; whereas a further 917 000 jobs elsewhere in the global economy are supported by the European aviation industry; whereas the mobile and transnational nature of aviation makes it difficult to detect social abuses and circumvention of labour standards and means that it is impossible to tackle the problems solely at national level; whereas recent ILO findings suggest a deterioration of working conditions in the aviation sector; whereas greater diversification in contracts can be a tool for more flexibility, but can also be misused for purposes of ‘rule shopping’ to avoid paying social security contributions;

F.  whereas the lack of proper implementation of EU legislation and political unwillingness in the Council prevent the aviation sector from unleashing its full potential, thus damaging its competitiveness and leading to greater costs at the expense of businesses, passengers and the economy;

G.  whereas in a sector that is driven by technology and by research and innovation, which require both large-scale investment and a developed infrastructure, the success of a strategy lies in its capacity to adopt a long-term vision with properly planned investment and to fully take account of all transport modes;

H.  whereas air transport plays an important role in meeting the EU’s climate objectives by introducing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

I.  whereas, even though the Single European Sky provides for the establishment of functional airspace blocks (FABs), the implementation of those FABs has, to date, been considerably delayed; whereas, therefore, the Commission has estimated that some EUR 5 billion per year are being lost because of the lack of progress in this regard;

J.  whereas security is one of the challenges that the aviation industry faces most directly;

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s communication on an Aviation Strategy for Europe and its effort to identify sources for boosting the sector by finding new market opportunities and dismantling barriers, and for its proposals to meet and anticipate new challenges on the basis of a common European vision, by developing modern regulatory frameworks; believes that, in a longer-term perspective, a further holistic and more ambitious approach should be embraced in order to provide the necessary boost for a sustainable and competitive European aviation industry;

2.  Believes that safety is a guiding principle for the European Aviation Strategy and that it must be continuously improved; welcomes, therefore, the review of the EASA (European Air Safety Agency) Basic Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 216/2008), aimed at achieving the highest levels of safety in aviation; calls on the Commission and the Council, in this respect, to equip EASA with sufficient resources and staff to ensure high safety standards and to strengthen its role on the international scene;

3.  Urges the Council and the Member States finally to make swift progress on other essential dossiers which are currently deadlocked, such as the Recast of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Single European Sky (SES2+) and the revision of the Slot Regulation and the Air Passenger Rights Regulations; calls on the Commission to rethink ongoing initiatives and propose viable alternatives to remove the deficiencies of the aviation sector resulting from the late and incomplete implementation of EU legislation such as the Single European Sky (SES); stresses that if legal clarity and certainty are to be ensured the publication of guidelines, although helpful, is no substitute for the proper revision of the existing regulations;

4.  Stresses that the aviation files blocked in Council are meant to equip the EU with better legal certainty and a strengthened framework for the protection of Air passengers’ rights, a more efficient and rational use of EU airspace and improved provisions to implement the Single European Sky, all essential elements for the realisation of the Aviation strategy; calls on the Council to take steps to move forward the negotiations on these files;

International dimension of the Aviation Strategy

5.  Welcomes the Commission's proposal to revise Regulation 868/2004 addressing unfair current practices, such as unacceptable state aid, which is neither adequate nor effective, thus shedding light on the major concerns surrounding potential distortions of competition under European rules; stresses, however, that neither an unacceptable trend towards protectionism, nor, on their own, measures to ensure fair competition can guarantee the competitiveness of the EU aviation sector;

6.  Believes that the European aviation sector, though facing increased pressure from new competitors, many of which have used air transport as a strategic tool for international development, can fit into a competitive global environment by further building on and developing its assets, such as high safety and security standards, the role of EASA, geographical positioning, an innovative industry and social and environmental goals; strongly believes that competition from third countries, if fair, should be seen as an opportunity to develop further an innovative European aviation model that has the potential to provide a unique and competitive response to the specificities of competitors;

7.  Believes that the possibility to attract foreign investment is important for the competitiveness of EU airlines and should not be hampered; welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s intention to issue guidelines that will bring clarity regarding the ownership and control rules, as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, with particular reference to the ‘effective control’ criteria, so as to ensure the effectiveness of those rules;

8.  Welcomes the initiative to negotiate at EU level air transport agreements and bilateral aviation safety agreements with third countries representing emerging and strategic markets (China, Japan, ASEAN, Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, Armenia, Mexico, China, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia), and encourages prompt and constructive negotiations; recalls that new agreements should be correctly implemented and enforced by all parties and need to include a fair competition clause on the basis of international standards (ICAO, ILO); calls on the Commission and the Council, on a basis of respect for Article 218 TFEU, to fully involve Parliament at all stages of negotiations;

9.  Calls on the Commission to make negotiating air transport agreements with third countries conditional on high safety standards, appropriate labour and social standards and participation in the market-based climate change instrument for air transport emissions and, in air transport agreements, to ensure equal market access, equal ownership conditions and a level playing field based on reciprocity;

10.  Asks the Commission for a swift conclusion of ongoing negotiations, and in the future to launch new aviation dialogues with other strategic aviation partners; stresses that air services agreements also contribute to the promotion of technological progress, as well as to the implementation and strengthening of other European policies, such as the neighbourhood policy;

Consolidating the EU single market in aviation

11.  Recalls that airspace is also part of the EU single market, and that any fragmentation resulting from its inefficient use, as well as diverging national practices (concerning, for instance, operational procedures, taxes, levies, etc), causes longer flight times, delays, extra fuel burn, and higher levels of CO2 emissions, in addition to negatively impacting the rest of the market and hampering the EU’s competitiveness;

12.  Notes that Article 3 of Regulation 551/2004 foresees, without prejudice to the sovereignty of Member States over their airspace, the establishment of a single European upper flight information region (EUIR), and calls on the Commission to implement this, as it will allow the overcoming of regional bottlenecks and enable continuity of air services in the densest parts of the airspace in the event of unforeseen circumstances or disruptions of air traffic; believes that the EUIR will allow the gradual establishment of a Trans-European Motorway of the Sky, which would be another step towards the completion of the Single European Sky and a cost-effective management of the EU airspace; welcomes the progress already made in the field of air traffic management aiming at increasing efficiency and reducing costs and emissions, in particular thanks to the work of the Network Manager, and calls on the Member States to complete the FABs without any further delay in order to facilitate further progress towards the Single European Sky;

13.  Strongly believes that the aviation sector should fully benefit from European satellite-based technologies, such as EGNOS and Galileo, which allow safer and more efficient navigation and approach procedures while enabling the full deployment of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project; therefore insists on the need for the broad implementation of these technologies; points out that to ensure the proper deployment of SESAR, and in the interests of achieving global interoperability, a specific and ambitious budget - other than the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget - should be allocated for its implementation;

14.  Takes note of the volume of air traffic, which is currently considerable and is forecast to increase in the next few years, as well as of the capacity constraints of European airports as regards accommodating some 2 million flights by 2035; stresses that this will require a coordinated and efficient use of airport and airspace capacity so as to mitigate congestion;

15.  Stresses the vital importance of the aviation sector for growth, job creation and the development of tourism; stresses that small and regional airports play a key role in promoting connectivity, territorial cohesion, social inclusion and economic growth, especially for the outermost regions and for islands; sees, in this respect, a need for strategic planning for the European airport system that can identify current capacities, predicted demand, current bottlenecks and future infrastructure needs at European level, and that can maintain EU citizens’ access to aviation services;

16.  Acknowledges the significant connectivity gap within the EU, characterised by a lower number of air connections in certain parts of the Union, and the importance of regional connectivity (including geographical areas excluded from the TEN-T); encourages the Commission to continue monitoring and addressing air connectivity within the EU;

17.  Believes that many of the significant limits to growth, both in the air and on the ground (e.g. capacity crunch, under- and over-utilisation of infrastructures, different Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) or limited investment), as well as the gaps in air connectivity between different regions of the EU, can be addressed by taking connectivity, at all levels (national, European and international), as one of the main indicators when assessing and planning actions in the sector;

18.  Considers that connectivity should not only be limited to number, frequency and quality of air transport services, but should also be assessed in the context of an integrated modern transport network and should take in other criteria, such as time, territorial continuity, greater network integration, accessibility, availability of transport alternatives, affordability and environmental costs, in order to reflect the actual added value of a route; calls, therefore, on the Commission to explore the possibility of developing an EU indicator based on other existing indices and on the exploratory work already carried out by Eurocontrol and the Airport Observatory;

19.  Believes that such a connectivity index, including a positive cost-benefit analysis, should consider air connections from a broad perspective, while not undermining the EU’s objective of territorial cohesion, which will be enhanced by the forthcoming interpretative guidelines on the Public Service Obligations rules; stresses that this index can serve the interests of overall strategic planning, so as to avoid wasting taxpayers’ money by making a distinction in economic terms between viable opportunities from unprofitable projects, in order, among other things, to favour the profitable specialisation of airports, including clusters or networks of airports, avoid the future emergence of ‘ghost airports’, and ensure efficient use of airport capacity and airspace, and also by identifying intermodal, cost-efficient and sustainable solutions;

20.  Believes that the benefits of the complementarity of all modes of transport without exception should be unleashed in order to improve mobility and achieve a resilient transport network in the interests of the users, both in passengers and cargo transport; points out that intermodality, by permitting a modal shift, is the only way to assure the dynamic and sustainable development of a competitive EU aviation sector; underlines that intermodality allows a more efficient use of infrastructure, by expanding and taking into account airport catchment areas and avoiding their overlapping, which would also free up slots and contribute to creating a favourable environment for trade, tourism and cargo operations; recognises the successes achieved in this field through the integration of rail and air infrastructures, and encourages further progress in this respect;

21.  Reiterates that the TEN-T corridors are the backbone for the development of multimodal options where airports are core hubs; regrets that multimodal initiatives across Europe are fragmented and limited in number; stresses the need for fast, efficient and user-friendly connections between public transport networks and airport infrastructure; calls on both the Commission and the Member States to give greater priority to the multimodal objective within the TEN-T corridors while removing bottlenecks; calls on the Commission promptly to present its proposal for a multimodal and interoperable approach to transport, with the aviation sector fully integrated, and calls on the Member States to make better use of the financial instruments at their disposal to promote intermodal connections;

22.  Considers that in order to boost the attractiveness of intermodal transport across Europe, barrier-free solutions, real-time information and integrated services (e.g. integrated ticketing) should be offered to all passengers (including persons with reduced mobility); points out that EU-funded projects have proved the technical feasibility of developing multimodal information and ticketing systems; invites the Commission, therefore, to support their actual delivering to passengers across the EU;

23.  Believes that transport operators and service providers will engage in finding intermodal and multimodal solutions if, through an EU regulatory framework, clarification and legal certainty are provided as regards passenger rights, liability, delays and cancellations, security clearance, open data and data-sharing standards; calls on the Commission to act in this respect;

24.  Notes that both public and private financing in the aviation sector are vital to guarantee territorial cohesion, foster innovation and maintain or regain European leadership of our industry; recalls that all financing must respect EU state aid guidelines and competition law; maintains that when granting public support it has to be ensured that the investment in question will be cost-effective and fit for purpose;

25.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, in line with the Commission’s ‘Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines’ (2014/C 99/03) and with the Commission communication concerning the scope of state aid under Article 107 (1) TFEU (2016/C 262/01), to maintain a long-term strategy to address, on the one hand, the surplus of loss-making airports in regions where other modes of transport are available and on the other hand, the contribution of secondary airports to the development, competitiveness and integration of EU regions;

26.  Notes the importance of a favourable regulatory framework for airports to attract and mobilise private investment; considers that the Commission's evaluation of the Airport Charges Directive, in conjunction with effective airline/airport consultation, should help clarify whether the current provisions are an effective tool to promote competition against the risk of abuse of monopoly power and to further the interests of European consumers and promote competition, or whether a reform is needed; acknowledges the contribution of non-aeronautical revenues to the commercial viability of airports;

27.  Notes that the Commission announced, in its Aviation Strategy published in December 2015, an evaluation of Council Directive 96/67/EC on ground handling services at EU airports; supports the inclusion of ground handling within the scope of EASA, with the aim of covering the entire aviation safety chain;

Aviation Strategy: looking ahead

28.  Believes that the entire aviation value chain has the potential to be a strategic sector for investment, which needs to be further exploited by setting long-term objectives and by granting incentives to smart initiatives fulfilling those objectives, such as greener airports or aircraft, noise reduction, connection between airport facilities and public transport; invites the Commission and the Member States to look into further measures to promote such initiatives, including through the effective use of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and to continue promoting and financing programmes such as Clean Sky and SESAR; emphasises that the aeronautics industry is a major contributor to competitiveness in the EU aviation sector, lending strong support to the promotion of cleaner technologies and supporting SESAR deployment;

29.  Takes note of the CO2 emissions generated by the aviation sector; stresses the wide range of actions already taken and to be taken for achieving a reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, both technically by developing alternative fuels and more efficient aircraft, and politically by abiding by international agreements; welcomes the agreement reached by the 39th Assembly of ICAO on 6 October 2016, with the adoption of a Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) to reduce international aviation emissions, and the commitment entered into by 65 countries to participate in the voluntary phase by 2027, which means that approximately 80 % of emissions above 2020 levels will be offset by the scheme until 2035; stresses the importance of maintaining beyond 31 December 2016 the derogation granted under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to emissions from flights to or from an airfield in an outermost region as defined in Article 349 TFEU; welcomes the Commission’s intention to review the EU’s measures to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation in light of this agreement;

30.  Is of the opinion that, in view also of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package, further initiatives aimed at increasing environmental capacity and reducing emissions and noise from operational activities from, to and within airports should be encouraged, for example by adopting renewable fuels (e.g. biofuels), by developing efficient systems for environment-friendly certified recycling, dismantling and reuse of aircraft, by promoting ‘green airports’ and ‘green way-to-airports’, and by achieving the most efficient logistics management;

31.  Calls for the best emission-reducing practices within the sector to be collected and disseminated, bearing in mind that high environmental standards must be preserved and enhanced over time in order to ensure that aviation develops sustainably;

32.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to monitor strictly the new procedures which have been in force from June 2016 to reduce noise and ultrafine particles in exhaust gas emissions from aircraft taking off from airports close to cities and populated hubs, so as to improve quality of life and especially air quality;

33.  Acknowledges the substantial cost of security measures; stresses that the security challenges, including cybersecurity, facing the aviation sector will increase in the future, requiring an immediate shift to a more risk-based and intelligence-based approach and a reactive security system that improves the security of airports’ facilities and makes it possible to adapt to evolving threats without constantly responding with new measures or merely shifting the risk without reducing it;

34.  Welcomes the Commission's proposal for a EU certification system for aviation security screening equipment; insists on the need for a consistent implementation of the existing rules regarding staff recruitment and training; calls on the Commission to look into the possibility of deepening the one-stop security concept, and of developing a EU pre-check system allowing pre-registered EU travellers to transit security clearance in a more efficient manner; urges the Member States to commit to sharing intelligence systematically and to exchange best practices on airport security systems;

35.  Takes note of the High Level Report on Conflict Zones, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the report’s recommendations are implemented, including the sharing of information to ensure the development of an EU risk assessment and the ability to share information in a speedy manner; also underlines that security concerns arising from non-cooperative military flights with no active transponders must continue to be addressed;

36.  Considers that innovation is a prerequisite for a competitive European aviation industry; notes that relative to other transport modes, aviation is already a leading sector in putting to use the benefits of digitalisation, information and communication technologies and open data, and encourages the sector to continue to take a lead in this process, while ensuring fair competition, interoperability of systems, neutrality, and transparency of access to clear and concise information for all users, such as, for instance, consumers booking an entire journey or freight companies involved in air cargo operations; welcomes the Commission’s proposal for an aviation big data project and asks for clarification on its implementation;

37.  Recalls the ‘sweep’ of travel service websites across the Union undertaken by the Commission and national enforcement bodies in 2013; notes that this ‘sweep’ uncovered significant problems with more than two-thirds of the websites checked; calls on the Commission to report more fully on the progress made in bringing travel websites into compliance with EU law, and its future plans for enforcement in this area, as regards both online and offline air ticket sales; recalls that consumers must always have a route available to them for submitting complaints to traders and claiming refunds; believes this route should be available in a manner which does not dissuade consumers from exercising their rights and should be clearly signposted to consumers; calls on the Commission to work closely with national enforcement bodies in order to ensure that traders meet these requirements;

38.  Welcomes the innovation and economic development which can be fostered by the further development of the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs); notes that the market for RPASs is growing rapidly, and that such aircraft are increasingly used for private purposes, in commercial activities and by public authorities in the performance of their tasks; underlines the urgent need for swift adoption of a clear, proportionate, harmonised, and risk-based regulatory framework for RPASs in order to stimulate investment and innovation in the sector and fully exploit its enormous potential while maintaining the highest possible safety standards;

39.  Recalls that regulation of the aviation sector should take into account the specific needs of general aviation, on a basis that provides for individual air transport solutions, as well as for air sports activities;

Social agenda of the Aviation Strategy

  Home base

40.  Acknowledges the need to clarify the ‘home base’ criterion and the definition of ‘principal place of business’, so as to ensure that they can be applied consistently and effectively prevent use of flags of convenience and ‘rule-shopping’ practices; recalls that one of the core responsibilities of EASA is to issue both Air Operations Certificates and Third Countries Operators authorisations, with the purpose of guaranteeing safety and contributing to improving working conditions;

Safety

41.  Calls on EASA and the Member States to continue scrutinising new business and employment models in order to ensure aviation safety, and asks the Commission to regulate where necessary; notes that particular attention should be paid to, among other things, zero-hour contracts, pay-to-fly schemes, bogus self-employment and the situation of crew from third countries on EU-registered aircraft; emphasises the importance of the regulation on Occurrence Reporting in Aviation and ‘just culture’ practices for strengthening and improving safety standards, as well as health and working conditions;

Training

42.  Recalls that high-quality training contributes to aviation safety; highlights EASA’s key contribution to the establishment of common training and safety standards for pilots, crew members and air traffic controllers, also through its Virtual Academy, and calls on the Member States to invest in lifelong education and training for all parts of the aviation value chain, as the success of European aviation is highly dependent on skilled workers and innovation; recognises the need to address any skills gaps which may emerge; emphasises the importance of partnerships between educational institutions, research centres and the social partners in order to update training programmes and ensure that they reflect labour market needs;

43.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to expand dual training models in aeronautical engineering, and to extend them through international cooperation;

44.  Encourages the Commission to come forward with concrete initiatives in order to protect workers’ rights; calls on the Member States to guarantee all workers in the aviation sector decent working conditions, including health and safety at work, regardless of the size and type of company which employs them, the place of employment or the underlying contract;

45.  Notes that all airlines operating in the European Union must be fully compliant with EU and Member State social and employment requirements; points out that there are significant differences between Member States as regards working conditions and social protection and that undertakings exploit freedom of establishment in order to reduce costs; calls on the Member States to put a stop to this damaging competition; calls on the Commission and the Member States to present proposals on how to prevent indirect employment being misused to circumvent EU and national legislation on taxation and social security in the aviation sector; calls on the Commission and the Member States to prevent social abuses and circumvention of labour standards by guaranteeing protection for those providing information, facilitating open reporting and enhancing cooperation between Member States’ labour inspectorates; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the application and proper enforcement of labour law, social legislation and collective agreements for airlines operating in a given Member State;

46.  Underlines that the right to form and join a trade union and to undertake collective action is a fundamental right and must be respected, as laid down in Article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; rejects any attempts to undermine the right to strike in the aviation sector; highlights the importance of having strong, independent social partners in the aviation sector, a regular, institutionalised social dialogue at all levels, and participation and representation of employees in company matters; insists on a proper consultation process and strengthened social dialogue ahead of any EU initiative concerning the aviation sector; welcomes attempts by the social partners to negotiate an agreement on the working conditions and social rights of employees in the European aviation sector; encourages them to negotiate collective agreements in all parts of the sector in line with national laws and practices, as such agreements are an effective instrument in combating a race to the bottom regarding social, working and employment standards and in ensuring decent remuneration for all workers;

47.  Believes that no employee should be in doubt on the applicable labour legislation or on where he or she is entitled to social security; draws attention to the special situation of highly mobile workers in the aviation sector in this context, and calls for better coordination of social security systems within the EU; insists that the need for further clarification of applicable law and competent courts vis-à-vis the employment contracts of mobile workers in aviation should be assessed in close cooperation with the representatives of those workers;

48.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

EESC, AC TEN/581.

(2)

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/media/events/2015-06-04-social-agenda-for-transport_en.htm

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0049.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0394.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0392.

(6)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0251.

(7)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0153.

(8)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0220.

(9)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0221.

(10)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0092.

(11)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0495.

(12)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0390.

(13)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0290.

(14)

https://english.eu2016.nl/documents/reports/2016/01/20/report-aviation-summit-2016


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Today’s Aviation sector

The EU aviation sector today represents one of the building blocks of the European transport network, an indispensable element for the mobility of people and businesses within and outside the EU, making it one of the most successful EU stories.

The aviation sector directly employs between 1.4 and 2 million people and overall provides for between 4.8 million and 5.5 million jobs, contributing €110 bn to the EU GDP. Undeniably, the whole aviation sector is a strong driving force for economic growth, job creation and trade for the EU, where its multiplier effect is such that for every euro of added value to the air transport industry, nearly three euros in added value are provided to the overall economy.

Over the last twenty years, the liberalisation of the EU internal market for air services have contributed to developing a competitive European industry, increasing travel opportunities within and outside Europe and lowering prices. Today, however, the aviation sector is facing new and growing challenges, some of which include increasing competition from third countries, an expected capacity crunch by 2035, security and environmental concerns as well as the unremitting need to develop new technologies.

Commission’s proposal for an Aviation Strategy for Europe

On 7 December 2015, in an attempt to address challenges to the aviation sector, the Commission published a Communication on an Aviation Strategy for Europe. The Communication proposes ways to boost Europe’s economy, strengthen its industrial base and reinforce its global leadership position in the aviation sector. Commissioner Violeta Bulc stated upon the publication that “It will keep European companies competitive, through new investment and business opportunities, allowing them to grow in a sustainable manner. European citizens will also benefit from more choice, cheaper prices and the highest levels of safety and security.”. The strategy puts forward three key priorities to achieve the various goals, namely:

1.  Tapping into growth markets by improving market access and investment opportunities for EU aviation in third countries. To this end, the Commission proposes adopting an ambitious external aviation policy through the negotiation of comprehensive aviation agreements that should include effective fair competition provisions, as well as through the expansion of bilateral aviation safety agreements to achieve mutual recognition of safety certificate standards and through the support of trade of aircraft and related products.

2.  Tackling limits to growth in the air and on the ground by reducing capacity and efficiency constraints that impede the sector from growing in a sustainable way, causing congestion, delays, rising costs and by improving connectivity.

3.  Maintaining high EU safety and security standards by shifting to a risk and performance based approach.

In this context, the Commission identified the need for the EU to act also to reinforce the social agenda, to further protect passenger rights, to embrace a new era of innovation and technologies and to contribute to high environmental standards.

Your Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s communication and subscribes to the overall assessment of the current situation. He also agrees with the objectives set in the strategy and expects a timely delivery following the indicative action plan, among others a legislative proposal for measures to address unfair practices in international air transport, interpretative guidelines explaining the current rules governing Public Service Obligations, guidelines on ownership and control and an evaluation on the Airport Charges Directive 2009/12/EC.

Your Rapporteur also welcomes the initiative to negotiate at EU-level air transport agreements and bilateral aviation safety agreements with third countries representing emerging and strategic markets (China, Japan, ASEAN, Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, Armenia, Mexico, China, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi-Arabia) and he trusts that the Commission and the Council, in respect of Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, will fully involve and inform the Parliament at all stages of negotiations of international air agreements.

However, your Rapporteur believes that a comprehensive and more audacious European aviation strategy is required in order to overcome current challenges as well as anticipate future trials.

Steps undertaken by your Rapporteur

Your Rapporteur sees this report as an opportunity to share and further reinforce the European Parliament’s drive for a comprehensive aviation strategy for Europe. In this spirit, he decided to focus mainly on the topics that, according to him, were either left out or were not sufficiently addressed by the Commission’s communication. To avoid duplicating work, a mere reference is reserved for other essential pieces of legislations because they are either undergoing Parliament’s legislative procedure (i.e. revision of the EASA basic regulation, including a EU framework for unmanned aircraft) or they are held hostage in the Council (e.g. Revision of slot Regulation, Revision of Regulation on passenger rights, Recast of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Single European Sky).

The report includes some thoughts developed following the TRAN mission to Canada in May 2016 where the delegation met with representatives from ICAO, the air industry and security authorities. According to your Rapporteur, the study visit was particularly relevant in showing how state-of-the-art innovations in the aviation sector can fulfil environmental and security objectives.

In view of the drafting of the report, your Rapporteur, in the presence of shadow Rapporteurs, also hosted a brainstorming session bringing together representatives from the whole aviation sector (see annexes): EU Institutions, airlines, airports, airports regions, industry, travel services, passengers and environmental NGOs. The meeting aimed at gathering stakeholders’ views on the development of a connectivity indicator, the inclusion of the aviation sector in a multimodal transport network as well as development perspectives regarding the sector for the next thirty years. Participants strongly expressed the need for an overall coordinated and strategic approach that builds on the complementarity of all modes of transport.

Guiding principles

Improving connectivity, boosting competitiveness and keeping a market-driven perspective are the main threads running through the report that inspired your Rapporteur’s assessment of the strategy and any new proposals that he put forward.

According to your Rapporteur, many of the challenges faced by the aviation sector, such as capacity crunch, under and over utilization of infrastructures, different Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) or limited investments, could be tackled by improving connectivity and turning connectivity into a policy making instrument.

Your Rapporteur acknowledges that the aviation market is extremely competitive, internally and globally. Within the EU, he welcomes the Commission’s intention to address current diverging national practices (e.g.: taxes, levies, etc.) that hinder the well-functioning of the EU single Aviation market. Outside the EU, your Rapporteur shares the view that agreements with third countries could help setting a framework for fair competition. However, he points out that in a global aviation market, certain countries possess inherent characteristics, such as geographic advantages or cultural and historical practices, that cannot be compensated for, in spite of the fact they distort competition.

Moreover, for your Rapporteur, the success of the strategy also relies in its capacity to provide the instruments and the framework that will reward and incentivise the best innovations delivered by the market for both passengers and cargo, for example grasping the benefits of the full deployment of ICT and achieving the most efficient logistics management across the whole sector, and to refrain from imposing rigid standards. In a market-driven perspective, any public or private financing should respect the current EU State aid guidelines and competition law.

Proposals

In light of the above, your Rapporteur has made a number of proposals that intends to contribute to build a comprehensive aviation strategy:

- Further develop a European aviation model: protectionism is never a solution and business successes are found when engaging into an open market. Building on our European assets, including among others high safety standards, geographical positioning, innovative industry, social and environmental goals, the EU aviation sector has the potential to provide a unique and competitive model that is able to adapt and respond to the specificities of competitors in order to overcome and restore a level playing field in the global market.

- Trans-European Motorway of the Sky: Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 that foresees the establishment of a single European Upper Flight Information Region (EUIR), without prejudice to Member States’ sovereignty, has not been implemented yet. Such EUIR would allow building a Trans-European Motorway of the Sky to mitigate the current fragmentation of the European airspace and disruptions to the air transport system that are greatly affecting the continuity of air services and damaging EU competitiveness. To meet the goals of the EU aviation strategy, it is therefore urgent to translate such a concept into reality.

- Developing a connectivity index: a connectivity index should aim at reflecting the actual added value of a specific route. Such an indicator should not only take into account the usual criteria of number, frequency and quality of connections but also should consider time, network integration increases, affordability and environmental costs. This index should take full account of the complementarity of all modes of transport so that it can also help identifying more intermodal and cost-efficient solutions. A connectivity index would support the strategic planning and investment in the aviation sector by distinguishing economically viable projects from ones that are non-profitable in order to favour, for instance, profitable specialisation of airports and to avoid ghost airports. This index could be developed based on existing ones and on the exploratory work already carried out by Eurocontrol and the Airport Observatory.

- Encouraging multimodality: given the necessity of an ever-greater efficiency of the existing infrastructures as well as the rationalisation of investments, it is apparent that the benefits of the complementarity of all modes of transport are underexploited. For these reasons, it is urgent that the potential of multimodal solutions that will fully include the aviation sector are unleashed. The TEN-T corridors benefit from the appropriate framework and funding and have the potential to host pilot initiatives in this perspective. To this effect, a greater priority should be given to the completion of this objective. Demand for multimodal solutions exists and will be matched if the legislative framework provides appropriate legal certainty, which implies finding a settlement to the issues of liability and passengers rights, but also looking into the continuity of services for passengers across their multimodal journeys such as for instance the carrying of luggage and security procedures. Multimodality also requires ensuring Open Data.

- Creating a favourable environment for smart investment: while being technology-driven, the aviation sector also requires long-lasting heavy investments and infrastructures. In order to maximise the use of these infrastructures and the profitability of these investments, they need to fit into a long-term strategic vision for the sector. Support for innovation in the aviation sector should mobilise the industry. Policy makers should further contribute to make the whole aviation value chain a strategic sector for both public and private investments by setting up long term objectives and granting incentives to smart initiatives, for example, reduction of CO2 emissions and airport noise, achieving multimodality and improving security procedures. In this respect, the EFSI could be an appropriate instrument to stimulate such kinds of market-based projects.

- Delivering on environmental objectives: taking into consideration the EU commitment to international environmental targets, the recent Commission Communication on “A European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility” and the Circular Economy Package, the overall framework is positively favourable to the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by the transport sector. A strong attention is rightly paid to cutting CO2 emissions from actual transport activities and supporting innovative solutions aimed at developing alternative fuels and lighter aircraft among other things, efforts all of which should be maintained. An equal attention should be paid to the overall activities of airports where environment-friendly practices can be promoted and incentivised, for example by distinguishing and labelling “green airport” and “green way-to-airports” and by achieving the most efficient logistics management.

- Improving security: in spite of considerable investments and costs already engaged for security purposes, the last months have shown that security must remain high on the EU agenda and that further improvements are urgently needed both in the air and on the ground. In this respect, Member States’ commitment to systematic sharing of intelligence information as well as a shift to a more intelligence-based and reactive security system is essential. However, special efforts will be required not to overburden air passengers, a consequence which would be detrimental to the sector. The development of innovative security-related solutions should, in this respect, be encouraged, for both passengers and cargo. Building on the already existing One-Stop-Security concept, the Commission should assess the possibility to develop an EU pre-check system, inspired by the American “TSA precheck”, allowing EU travellers to voluntarily pre-register and go through a faster and lighter security screening once at the airport.

Annexes

29 June 2016

Brainstorming Session

Aviation Strategy: what is missing

Room ASP5G365, European Parliament, Brussels

Note: Session only in EN, no interpretation available.

14.00 – 14.10

Introductory remarks by EP Rapporteur Pavel Telička

14.10 – 14.55

Connectivity

Question: How central is the role played by Connectivity in deploying the EU Aviation strategy?

How do you assess connectivity? What is the difficulty in trying to improve connectivity? How would you ensure/ improve it? What drives the strategy to open a certain route and not another? What are the incentives to build / develop airports and / or another line? Based on previous experience, how would you identify ghost airports? What distinguishes them from a “necessary” airport? Would the development of a connectivity index help identify growth potentials?

Round table discussions

14.55 – 15.35

Intermodality

Question: How aviation can contribute and benefit from being integrated into a multimodal network?

What is the experience today as concerns transfers to airports? What are the partnerships / solutions provided by airports / airlines ? What would be the difficulties / solutions to develop an ‘intermodal fast lane’? What are the strategies in place for the aviation sector to fit into an intermodal European transport network? How do you assess the competition / complementarity of high speed railway lines?

Round table discussions

15.35 – 16.15

Aviation 2050

Question: How should the aviation sector look in 2050?

How are ICTs concretely used today and used in 2050? What new technology developments are to be expected to respond to airport security, capacity crunch, environment requirements? How would you assess the synergy within the sector to ensure the coherence of innovative developments? How should connectivity in an ICT world look like in 2050? How should aviation infrastructures (on the ground and on air) look like in 2050?

Round table discussions

16.15 - 16.45

Aviation Strategy: what is still missing?

Looking into concrete proposals.

Round table discussions

16.45 - 17.00

Conclusion

29 June 2016

Brainstorming Session

Aviation Strategy: what is missing

Room ASP5G365, European Parliament, Brussels

List of Participants

First name

Last name

Organisation

Olivier

Jankovec

ACI-Europe

Markus

Broich

Airbus Group

Guillaume

Xavier-Bender

Airlines 4 Europe

Niamh

McCourt

Airlines for America

Léa

Bodossian

Airport Regions Conference

Alexandra

Covrig

Airport Regions Conference

Juan-Jesus

Garcia

Amadeus

Petr

Votoupal

Committee of Regions

Nathalie

Vande Velde

DG MOVE E3

Luc

Tytgat

EASA

Philip

von Schöppenthau

Eurocockpit

Stefania

Gazzina

Eurocontrol

John

Hanlon

European Low Fare Airlines Association (ELFAA)

Stijn

Lewyllie

European Passengers’ Federation

Leonardo

Massetti

European Regions Airline Association (ERA)

Rupert

Hornig

German Airport Association (ADV)

Clemens

Brandt

German Airport Association (ADV)

Philippe

Morin

International Air Transport Association

Bill

Hemmings

Transport&Environment

Andrew

Murphy

Transport&Environment

Luka

De Bruyckere

Transport&Environment

Follow up to the

Brainstorming Session

on

Aviation Strategy: what is missing

hold on 29 June 2016

Organisation / Contact:

Questionnaire :

Connectivity

Question: How central is the role played by Connectivity in deploying the EU Aviation strategy?

How do you assess connectivity?

What is the difficulty in trying to improve connectivity?

How would you ensure/ improve it?

What drives the strategy to open a certain route and not another?

What are the incentives to build / develop airports and / or another line?

Based on previous experience, how would you identify ghost airports?

What distinguishes them from a “necessary” airport?

Would the development of a connectivity index help identify growth potentials?

Intermodality

 

Question: How aviation can contribute and benefit from being integrated into a multimodal network?

What is the experience today as concerns transfers to airports?

What are the partnerships / solutions provided by airports / airlines ?

What would be the difficulties / solutions to develop an ‘intermodal fast lane’?

What are the strategies in place for the aviation sector to fit into an intermodal European transport network? How do you assess the competition / complementarity of high speed railway lines?

Aviation 2050

 

Question: How should the aviation sector look in 2050?

How are ICTs concretely used today and used in 2050? What new technology developments are to be expected to respond to airport security, capacity crunch, environment requirements?

How would you assess the synergy within the sector to ensure the coherence of innovative developments?

How should connectivity in an ICT world look like in 2050?

How should aviation infrastructures (on the ground and on air) look like in 2050?

Role of the aviation industry?

Aviation Strategy

What is still missing and what is essential

Looking into concrete proposals.

Number 3 to 5 elements without which the Aviation Strategy will not fly.

 

 

Deadline: In order for your contribution/ideas to be potentially reflected in the report, thank you for submitting your replies to the questionnaire by next Tuesday 5 July 2016.


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (*) (14.10.2016)

for the Committee on Transport and Tourism

on an Aviation Strategy for Europe

(2016/2062(INI))

Rapporteur: Ole Christensen

(*)  Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas 4.7 million jobs in the Union are directly (1.9 million) and indirectly (2.8 million) generated by air transport, airports and the manufacturing industry1; whereas a further 917 000 jobs elsewhere in the global economy are supported by the European aviation industry; whereas despite the fact that the aviation market in the Union has been booming in the period 2000-2013 with passenger traffic growing by 47 %, the number of jobs in aviation has remained stable or has even declined in some subsectors;

B.  whereas the aviation sector in the Union faces fierce and unfair competition such as unlawful state aid and non-compliance with international labour standards from carriers based in third countries; whereas this unfair competition puts European carriers under pressure, thereby causing job losses in Europe; whereas international labour standards and sound competition principles must be respected to ensure a level playing field;

C.  whereas new business and employment models have emerged due to increased internationalisation, liberalisation and global competition;

D.  whereas according to Eurocontrol air traffic in Europe is likely to be 50 % higher in 2035 than in 2012;

E.  whereas recent ILO findings suggest a deterioration of working conditions in the aviation sector; whereas greater diversification in contracts can be a tool for more flexibility, but can also be misused for purposes of ‘rule shopping’ to avoid paying social security contributions; whereas in some cases atypical employment can have a negative effect on social and labour rights, safety, competition, wages, health and safety and quality standards; whereas some airlines offer cadets a position with deplorable conditions, or even resort to pay-to-fly schemes where the pilot actually pays the airline to fly revenue-earning flights;

F.  whereas in some airspaces 94 % of delays are caused by a lack of capacity in area control centres (ACCs);

G.  whereas a study carried out by the University of Ghent found that more than one pilot out of six surveyed(1) was facing atypical employment conditions, e.g. being employed through a temporary work agency, or self-employed, or on a zero-hour contract with no minimum pay guaranteed; whereas low-cost airlines are by far the biggest users of atypical employment;

H.  whereas the mobile and transnational nature of aviation makes it difficult to detect social abuses and circumvention of labour standards and means that it is impossible to tackle the problems solely at national level;

I.  whereas the European social partners, in their Joint Declaration against EU-based Flags of Convenience in Aviation, have called on European legislators to take urgent action to prevent the development of EU-based flags of convenience in aviation, or the importing of non-EU flags of convenience into the sector;

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s communication on ‘An Aviation Strategy for Europe’; stresses that more efforts are needed to reinforce the social agenda and create and maintain high-quality jobs in aviation, as well as to strengthen the competitiveness of the European aviation sector; believes that ensuring a level playing field in the sector is crucial; encourages the Commission to come forward with concrete initiatives in order to prevent unfair competition and protect workers’ rights;

2.  Points out that there are significant differences between Member States as regards working conditions and social protection and that undertakings exploit freedom of establishment in order to reduce costs; calls on the Member States to put a stop to this damaging competition;

3.  Highlights the importance of having strong, independent social partners in the aviation sector, a regular, institutionalised social dialogue at all levels, and the participation and representation of employees in company matters; insists on a proper consultation process and strengthened social dialogue ahead of any EU initiative concerning the aviation sector;

4.  Underlines that the right to form and join a trade union and to undertake collective action is a fundamental right and must be respected, as laid down in Article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; rejects any attempts to undermine the right to strike in the aviation sector;

5.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to closely and continuously monitor employment trends in European civil aviation and, where necessary, regulate new business and employment models; suggests that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) could scrutinise new business and employment models in order to ensure aviation safety; insists that EASA involves the social partners in such a task;

6.  Stresses that bogus self-employment in aviation has significant negative consequences with regard to aviation safety, the social protection of workers as well as fair competition in the market; calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase efforts to combat bogus self-employment in the aviation sector; encourages the Member States, where necessary, to provide for a clear distinction between employees and self-employed persons, in collaboration with the social partners;

7.  Welcomes attempts by the social partners to negotiate an agreement on the working conditions and social rights of employees in the European aviation sector; encourages them to negotiate collective agreements in all parts of the aviation sector in line with national laws and practices, as they are an effective instrument in combating a race to the bottom regarding social, working and employment standards and in ensuring decent remuneration for all workers;

8.  Stresses that there is no need for any further liberalisation of groundhandling services at Union airports; stresses the need to ensure better working conditions, higher levels of qualification, safety and better quality services in the groundhandling sector; calls for clarification of the concept of ‘economic entity’, with a view to extending the benefits of Directive 2001/23/EC to groundhandling workers in case of a call for tender or partial loss of activities;

9.  Draws attention to a number of instances of unfair competition in the aviation sector; recalls that unfair competition can contribute to the degradation of working conditions; calls on the responsible authorities to adequately sanction any misconduct in this regard;

10.  Believes that precarious working conditions, which are particularly common for young pilots and crew members, constitute a safety risk; insists that direct employment remains the standard model of employment in aviation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure decent working and employment conditions;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to present proposals on how to prevent indirect employment being misused to circumvent EU and national legislation on taxation and social security in the aviation sector;

12.  Notes that all airlines operating in the European Union must be fully compliant with EU and Member State social and employment requirements;

13.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that working conditions for staff, especially pilots, are such as to prevent safety standards being compromised as a result of excess fatigue;

14.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, on the basis of respect for the competences of each, to come forward with legislative initiatives to prevent flags of convenience, ‘rule shopping’ and unfair competition, also with regard to zero-hour contracts and pay-to-fly schemes in European commercial aviation, in order to guarantee fair working and employment conditions;

15.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the application and proper enforcement of labour law, social legislation and collective agreements for airlines operating in a given Member State;

16.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the proper application of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 and to evaluate the necessity of reviewing this regulation in order to improve the ‘principal place of business’ criteria;

17.  Calls for clarification and consistent application of the ‘home base’ criterion in order to ensure that it determines applicable social, employment and taxation legislation for all aircraft operations of carriers holding an EU Air Operator Certificate (AOC), both in the internal market and in international operations; believes that no employee should be in doubt on the applicable labour legislation or on where he or she is entitled to social security; draws attention to the special situation of highly mobile workers in the aviation sector in this context, and calls for better coordination of social security systems within the EU;

18.  Demands that all aircrew from third countries fully comply with EU/EASA licensing requirements in order to be allowed to operate EU-registered aircraft; stresses the need to prevent and clamp down on social dumping and any form of exploitation of workers or illegal use of aircrew from third countries on board EU-registered aircraft, in order to ensure fair working conditions and a high level of safety; calls in this context on the Commission to extend the application of the Single Permit Directive (2011/98 EU) to mobile workers in civil aviation; recalls that crew from third countries have the same rights in terms of labour protection and working conditions as EU-based crew;

19.  Insists that any agreements in the field of EU external aviation policy must include respect for human rights and the relevant ILO conventions, as well as effective means of enforcement, including the denial or withdrawal of landing rights; calls on the Commission to ensure that negotiations with third countries do not lead to aviation agreements that undermine the protection of workers or social standards in Europe;

20.  Emphasises that when enforcing the regulation on ‘Occurrence Reporting in Aviation’ it is crucial to report regularly on incidents regarding crew fatigue or contaminated air in the pilots’ cabins, in order to improve standards of crew health and the safety of flying personnel as well as passengers;

21.  Reiterates that any agreement on aviation must include respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the European Social Charter and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

22.  Regrets that requirements for third-country airlines operating to and from airports in the Union today are non-enforceable or even non-existent; insists that unfair competition from third-country airlines due to, e.g., direct and indirect state aid, subsidies or exploitation of workers must be effectively addressed, and that existing tools to counter unfair competition must be thoroughly evaluated and, where necessary, updated; firmly believes that as long as fair competition clauses, including respect for workers’ rights, are not included in air transport agreements with third countries, their rights to operate in the Union should be limited;

23.  Calls on the Member States to invest in lifelong education and training in all parts of the aviation value chain, as the success of European aviation is highly dependent on skilled workers and innovation; recognises the need to address any skills gaps which may emerge; emphasises the importance of partnerships between education institutions, research centres and the social partners in order to update training programmes and ensure they reflect labour market needs; recommends that theoretical and practical components and internships be incorporated in educational programmes and that particular attention be paid to the latest technological developments, such as drones;

24.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure sufficient public and private investment in research and development in the aviation sector; highlights in this context the importance of manufacturing and service provision along the aviation value chain, as being of high importance for employment and growth; firmly believes that their role must be better addressed in the aviation strategy;

25.  Stresses that the European pilot’s licence should ensure a high level of safety and security, since this is to the benefit of all staff and passengers; notes that the recruitment of non-holders of a European pilot’s licence may lead to a general reduction in pilot salaries;

26.  Believes that a network of aviation training institutes under the auspices of the EASA Virtual Academy would help to establish common training and safety standards;

27.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to establish a certification system for educational centres that provide training for cabin crew, in order to enhance safety and security;

28.  Recommends that common standards regarding the competences of aviation safety inspectors should be established;

29.  Reminds the Commission that the Single European Sky (SES) liberalisation process, and in particular the performance scheme for the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), should not be implemented to the detriment of the working conditions of highly skilled operational personnel or lead to cuts in investment in new technology and training of new personnel; encourages the Commission to consider how to avoid such a development, since it would not serve the goal of a better, more effective and more productive air traffic service in Europe;

30.  Calls on the Member States to guarantee all workers in the aviation sector decent working conditions, including health and safety at work, regardless of the size and type of company which employs them, the place of employment or the underlying contract; stresses that this includes protection against exposure to particle pollution in airports; stresses the need for transparent rules on occupational health and safety in the aviation sector which must make all aircraft with an EU AOC subject to regular oversight in respect of national competence;

31.  Stresses the need for regular monitoring of the psychological wellbeing of air crew to ensure their health and safety at work; highlights the importance of rest time for air crew, to ensure the maximum level of safety and security during their working time;

32.  Insists that the need for further clarification of applicable law and competent courts vis-à-vis the employment contracts of mobile workers in aviation should be assessed in close cooperation with the representatives of those workers;

33.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to prevent social abuses and circumvention of labour standards by guaranteeing protection for those providing information, facilitating open reporting and enhancing cooperation between Member States’ labour inspectorates;

34.  Calls on the competent authorities to improve the current situation regarding ACCs by, for example, increasing staff numbers and improving working conditions, in order to handle the projected increase in air traffic and reduce the number of delays and congestion in EU airspace;

35.  Urges the Commission and Member States to ensure better implementation and enforcement of the existing Union legislation in the aviation sector.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

12.10.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

46

6

0

Members present for the final vote

Laura Agea, Guillaume Balas, Brando Benifei, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Ole Christensen, Martina Dlabajová, Lampros Fountoulis, Elena Gentile, Arne Gericke, Marian Harkin, Czesław Hoc, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Agnes Jongerius, Rina Ronja Kari, Jan Keller, Ádám Kósa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Jean Lambert, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Javi López, Morten Løkkegaard, Thomas Mann, Dominique Martin, Anthea McIntyre, Joëlle Mélin, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Emilian Pavel, João Pimenta Lopes, Georgi Pirinski, Marek Plura, Terry Reintke, Anne Sander, Sven Schulze, Siôn Simon, Jutta Steinruck, Romana Tomc, Yana Toom, Ulrike Trebesius, Marita Ulvskog, Renate Weber, Tatjana Ždanoka, Jana Žitňanská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Deirdre Clune, Tania González Peñas, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Flavio Zanonato

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Raymond Finch

(1)

Y. Jorens, D. Gillis, L. Valcke and J. De Coninck, ‘Atypical Forms of Employment in the Aviation Sector’, European Social Dialogue, European Commission, 2015


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (29.9.2016)

for the Committee on Transport and Tourism

on an Aviation Strategy for Europe

(2016/2062(INI))

Rapporteur: Tibor Szanyi

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission’s Aviation Strategy proposal highlights the aviation sector’s significant contribution to the EU by bringing economic, social, technological and connectivity benefits; stresses that Europe should play a leading role in international aviation and be a global reference model for sustainable aviation, and that further ambitious, sustainable steps are needed and that these must take into account environmental, climate, health and employment aspects in order to combine ecology with the economy, the environment with finance, and a long-term vision with short-term political interests;

2.  Notes that sustainable development of the sector is essential in order to avoid aggravating environmental impacts such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, air pollution and noise; notes that although today’s aircraft produce less emissions than their equivalent 30 years ago, aircraft sold on the global market must be regulated by global minimum environmental standards; welcomes in this regard the new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) international noise standard that applies to new types of large aircraft from 2017;

3.  Expresses concern that CO2 emissions from international aviation are projected to be seven times higher in 2050 than in 1990, despite improved combustion efficiency and action already taken to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020, such as improvements in efficiency and the development of alternative fuels and lighter aircraft; welcomes all technological efforts made through R&D activities such as additional standards for aircraft CO2 emissions and emissions of aircraft engine particulate matter;

4.  Stresses the importance of securing a number of ratifications necessary for the Paris Agreement to enter into force; urges the Member States in this context to also ratify the Agreement immediately; recalls that transport is the second biggest GHG-emitting sector, and regrets that international aviation is not explicitly mentioned in the Paris Agreement, as all economic sectors must contribute to the low-carbon transition; notes that the Agreement’s temperature limit and reference to anthropogenic emissions, however, require ambitious emission reduction efforts from the aviation sector; notes that if the future growth of the world aviation sector is not matched with environmental sustainability and global mitigation efforts, these goals cannot be achieved;

5.  Calls for the establishment later this year at ICAO of a fair and robust global market-based measure (GMBM), to be implemented at international level from 2020 onwards; expresses its deep disappointment at the current proposal discussed at ICAO; stresses that the GMBG must fully reflect the goals of the Paris Agreement if the aviation sector is to make a fair and effective contribution to the 2030 climate targets and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, to be implemented at international level from 2020 onwards and reviewed at fixed intervals in order to optimise their efficiency;

6.  Calls for the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be improved; recalls that any amendment of the existing legislation on including aviation in the EU ETS can only be considered if the GBMB is ambitious, and that in any case intra-European flights will continue to be covered by the EU ETS; calls for aviation provisions within the EU ETS to be maintained and strengthened as an essential part of the measures to achieve the EU’s goal of reducing emissions by at least 40 % by 2030; notes that although emissions from flights within the EU are included in the ETS, they increased by 3 % in 2014 compared with the preceding year and by a further 3.6 % in 2015 compared with 2014;

7.  Calls for ending such exemptions, starting with intra-EU flights, recognising that fuel tax and VAT exemptions for aviation disincentivises efficiency and distorts the internal market; regrets that the CO2 efficiency standard under consideration by the ICAO will fail to reduce emissions below business-as-usual levels; calls for measures to be adopted at EU level to go beyond the global standard;

8.  Notes that the success of sustainable aviation is intrinsically linked to continued support for strong research programmes such as Clean Sky and SESAR; welcomes the decision to extend the legal mandate of the SESAR Joint Undertaking and the Clean Sky 2, given their significant contribution to making European aviation safer and environmentally sustainable, by potentially reducing CO2 emissions by up to 50 million tonnes through the SESAR project, for example; further notes that significant investments in new and innovative technologies, such as in aircraft design, alternative fuels, including second-generation biofuels, and digital technologies, are needed for sustainable aviation, and calls on the Commission to place research high on the political agenda;

9.  Acknowledges that there are still several short-haul flights flying with obsolete technologies that produce high emissions; calls for measures to encourage a shift to more environmentally friendly regional modes of transport, such as the train; underlines, in this context, the importance of also integrating different sustainable modes of transport;

10.  Acknowledges, in line with the Riga Declaration(1), the major potential of developing drone technology and the market for civil drones rapidly with a view to making existing services and applications more climate- and environment-friendly, more sustainable, safer and cheaper; notes that smart techniques in agriculture – such as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) – can provide countless and diverse services and can contribute to enhanced resource efficiency and productivity, as well as greater environmental sustainability; acknowledges its potential beneficial effects on the environment, soil compaction and the mitigation of climate change; urges that an EU framework be set up for electric, remotely piloted aircraft systems and for drone operation; underlines the importance of unlocking the potential of drones, and stresses that the correct balance must be struck between aspects such as safety and security, legal certainty, and privacy and data protection;

11.  Calls for requirements for RPAS to be included in aviation law, while respecting the requirements on the safety and privacy of citizens and property; notes that in order to unleash the full potential of RPAS technology, beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operation in rural areas must be permitted; calls for no weight limitations to be set, as RPAS can replace larger transit vehicles and carry greater payloads over longer distances with less power;

12.  Calls for the best emission-reducing practices within the sector to be collected and disseminated; bearing in mind that high environmental standards must be preserved and enhanced over time in order to ensure that aviation develops sustainably, stresses the urgency and importance of establishing programmes and further incentives for development of the sector and job creation related to research, efficiency, energy sustainability, environmental impact reduction and technological innovation, focusing on global measures to tackle the climate impact of aviation, including the EU’s and Member States’ circular-economy objectives;

13.  Stresses the importance of non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation and the scope for reducing them and aviation’s other environmental impacts by improving performance of air traffic management, including gate-to-gate management; calls in this regard for continued efforts to reduce the fragmentation of European airspace and to strengthen the Single European Sky;

14.  Understands the need to optimise regulation and to improve infrastructure and capacity both at airports and in the air; stresses that, if unaddressed, these issues will stunt the growth of EU aviation, especially as a result of the costs of fragmentation; draws attention, meanwhile, to the need for strong environmental and consumer protection, with clear rules on passenger rights and their protection, in order to provide citizens with safer, shorter, cleaner and cheaper flights and more choice;

15.  Calls for the current review of the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) to expand the agency’s role in environmental affairs, including by granting the EU greater flexibility in adopting environmental standards.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.9.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

53

2

7

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Pilar Ayuso, Zoltán Balczó, Catherine Bearder, Ivo Belet, Simona Bonafè, Biljana Borzan, Lynn Boylan, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nessa Childers, Birgit Collin-Langen, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Angélique Delahaye, Jørn Dohrmann, Stefan Eck, Eleonora Evi, José Inácio Faria, Elisabetta Gardini, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Sylvie Goddyn, Matthias Groote, Andrzej Grzyb, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jean-François Jalkh, Benedek Jávor, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Giovanni La Via, Peter Liese, Norbert Lins, Susanne Melior, Massimo Paolucci, Piernicola Pedicini, Bolesław G. Piecha, Pavel Poc, Frédérique Ries, Michèle Rivasi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Dubravka Šuica, Tibor Szanyi, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Nils Torvalds, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Damiano Zoffoli

Substitutes present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Paul Brannen, Mark Demesmaeker, Christofer Fjellner, Karol Karski, Elisabeth Köstinger, Merja Kyllönen, Alessandra Mussolini, James Nicholson, Gabriele Preuß, Bart Staes, Carlos Zorrinho, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Pál Csáky, Iveta Grigule

(1)

Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport EC. (March 6, 2015) Riga Declaration. On remotely piloted aircraft. ‘Framing the future of aviation’. http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/news/doc/2015-03-06-drones/2015-03-06-riga-declaration-drones.pdf


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (18.7.2016)

for the Committee on Transport and Tourism

on an aviation strategy for Europe

(2016/2062(INI))

Rapporteur: Anneleen Van Bossuyt

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the inclusion of a specific section on consumers in the Commission’s Aviation Strategy; notes that for consumers booking travel many of the applicable rights are still based on horizontal consumer protection legislation; considers, therefore, that the ‘Fitness Check’ on the consumer acquis should take that into account;

2.  Recognises the importance of the aviation sector as an engine for growth, employment and new business opportunities for the European economy, and its crucial role in the mobility of goods, people and services in the internal market;

3.  Recognises the importance of the aviation sector in the European aeronautics industry, a world leader in the production of civil aircraft that is responsible for more than 500 000 jobs in the EU;

4.  Recognises the benefits derived from the liberalisation of air transport in the EU and the creation of the single market for air passenger services;

5.  Regrets the fragmentation of European Union airspace, the cost of which is put at EUR 5 billion by the Commission and which, in particular, results in delays for passengers;

6.  Regrets the fact that agreement has still not been reached within the Council on the Passenger Rights Regulation (revision of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004), on which Parliament submitted its report in April 2014; welcomes the Commission’s decision to make use of interpretative guidelines for present rules, but believes that the adoption of the revised Regulation 261/2004 is necessary to provide legal certainty for consumers and the aviation industry and address loopholes in the current legislation; stresses that strengthened consumer rights should be one of the main objectives of the aviation strategy and any reform of aviation rules;

7.  Recalls the ‘sweep’ of travel service websites across the Union undertaken by the Commission and national enforcement bodies in 2013; notes that this ‘sweep’ uncovered significant problems with more than two-thirds of websites checked, with difficulties relating to: a failure to provide mandatory contact information; a lack of instructions on how to submit a complaint; uncertainty as to whether the complaint has been received or failure to reply; price supplements such as baggage fees and insurance, or cancellation and amended booking policies not appearing on an ‘opt-in’ basis; and total prices not being displayed up-front;

8.  Calls on the Commission, therefore, to undertake further research on the evolution of the digital travel marketplace with a view to identifying policies to ensure a level playing field for travel companies and protecting consumers by providing for transparency and neutrality when they search for, plan and book travel products and services;

9.  Acknowledges the progress that was made following the ‘sweep’, whereby 191 websites were brought up to date within twelve months and other websites are subject to ongoing proceedings;

10.  Highlights that the public consultation undertaken in advance of the Aviation Strategy indicates that consumers still face challenges when booking air travel or checking in online; calls on the Commission to report more fully on the progress made to bring travel websites into compliance with EU law, and its future plans for enforcement in this area, as regards both online and offline air ticket sales;

11.  Calls on the Commission to step up checks on airlines in general and low-cost airlines in particular to ensure that they are complying with EU law on passenger rights and aviation safety;

12.  Underlines the importance of ensuring that travel websites and applications respect EU law, in particular EU law on consumer rights, as in 2015 travel and holiday accommodation bookings accounted for 52 % of all purchases made online, and consumer confidence in the sector and increased trust in the online environment are vital for the development of SMEs in the tourism industry; takes the view that consumers using sites must be correctly informed and not misled, and that companies need to take the necessary steps to protect consumers and hosts with regard to safety and security;

13.  Points to the importance of protecting and enforcing, both online and offline, the rights of travel-booking and travelling consumers, including people with a disability or with reduced mobility, as regards accessibility, assistance and access to information;

14.  Welcomes the final agreement and adoption of the Package Travel Directive; considers that the new rules will present significant benefits to consumers looking to purchase travel and related services in this way;

15.  Reiterates its commitment to high air and airport safety and security standards; welcomes consideration of the one-stop security approach and the Commission’s intention to promote the adoption of this approach with key trading partners; supports, furthermore, the Commission’s intention to maintain those high standards while alleviating the burden of security checks by making use of new technologies;

16.  Welcomes the notable increase in airport connectivity in the EU over the last 10 years; regrets the fact that some regions are still poorly served and that consumers in less-connected cities, regions and countries are therefore at a competitive disadvantage compared with those connected via major hubs; takes the view that particular attention should be given in the Aviation Strategy to less well connected regions and smaller airports, especially in the outermost and less populated regions, and that due account should be taken of the conclusions of the European Court of Auditors in this area(1); stresses the need to review the Airport Charges Directive, and urges the Commission to assess the negative impact of current aviation charges;

17.  Calls on the Commission to assess the fairness of practices whereby consumers are faced with significant charges for baggage fees or ticketing services where these have not been booked prior to the consumer checking-in or arriving at the departure gate;

18.  Welcomes the Commission’s ambition to strengthen the regulatory responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); stresses that safety and security considerations must be at the core of any efforts to enhance the performance and efficiency of the Single European Aviation Market, in order to ensure the continued trust of consumers and the competitiveness of the EU’s aviation sector globally; underlines the need for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties to ensure a culture of compliance and high safety and security standards across the EU aviation sector;

19.  Recalls that consumers must always have a route available to them for submitting complaints to traders and claiming refunds; believes this route should be available in a manner which does not dissuade consumers from exercising their rights and should be clearly signposted to consumers; calls on the Commission to work closely with national enforcement bodies in order to ensure that traders meet these requirements;

20.  Considers, while recognising the potential of the rapidly expanding use of drones, that passenger safety and security constitutes a priority, and urges the Commission, therefore, to put in place an adequate framework to ensure the safe use of drones within the EU;

21.  Requests that the Commission provide further information on the measures it plans to take with regard to price comparison websites in the area of aviation travel, which can be detrimental to consumers if presented in an unfair manner that grants preferential treatment on the basis of commercial arrangements;

22.  Highlights the need for air agents and operators to promote the 112 European emergency number on their websites and e-tickets;

23.  Highlights the importance of maintaining high standards and a coordinated approach among Member States in areas related to the aviation sector, such as tourism, employment, consumer policy and the environment, including with regard to noise reduction and air quality.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

14.7.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Carlos Coelho, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Nicola Danti, Vicky Ford, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Jiří Maštálka, Eva Paunova, Jiří Pospíšil, Virginie Rozière, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Olga Sehnalová, Ivan Štefanec, Catherine Stihler, Richard Sulík, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Mylène Troszczynski, Anneleen Van Bossuyt, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Pascal Arimont, Kaja Kallas, Julia Reda, Ulrike Trebesius, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Kerstin Westphal

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Gesine Meissner, Lieve Wierinck

(1)

‘EU-funded airport infrastructures: poor value for money’ European Court of Auditors (21/2014)


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

26.1.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

7

3

Members present for the final vote

Lucy Anderson, Marie-Christine Arnautu, Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Deirdre Clune, Michael Cramer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Andor Deli, Karima Delli, Isabella De Monte, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Tania González Peñas, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Peter Lundgren, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Gesine Meissner, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Jens Nilsson, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault D’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, David-Maria Sassoli, Claudia Schmidt, Jill Seymour, Claudia Țapardel, Keith Taylor, Pavel Telička, István Ujhelyi, Peter van Dalen, Wim van de Camp, Janusz Zemke, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Michael Gahler

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Dariusz Rosati

Last updated: 3 February 2017Legal notice