Procedure : 2019/2854(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0122/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 24/10/2019 - 8.6
CRE 24/10/2019 - 8.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the negative impact of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook on EU tourism</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Carlo Fidanza, Jorge Buxadé Villalba, Angel Dzhambazki</Depute>

<Commission>{ECR}on behalf of the ECR Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0118/2019


European Parliament resolution on the negative impact of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook on EU tourism


The European Parliament,

 having regard to Article 6(d) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

 having regard to Article 195 of the TFEU,

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 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 repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91[1],

 having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘An agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism’ (COM(2007)0621),

 having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’ (COM(2010)0352),

 having regard to Directive 2011/83/EU, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 85/577/EEC and Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council[2],

 having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 29 March 2012 on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air[4],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 18 March 2013 on passenger protection in the event of airline insolvency (COM(2013)0129),

 having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 (‘EGF Regulation’)[5],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 February 2014 entitled ‘A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism’ (COM(2014)0086),

 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[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 29 October 2015 on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 14 November 2018 on the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 – Parliament’s position with a view to an agreement[8],

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 27 May 2019 on the competitiveness of the tourism sector as a driver for sustainable growth, jobs and social cohesion in the EU for the next decade,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the collapse of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest established tour operator, is having a negative effect on the economy, the internal market and employment throughout the EU;

B. whereas tourism accounts for about 4 % of the EU’s GDP, and for more than 10 %if all sectors related to tourism are taken into account; whereas the tourism sector is also a key driver of employment, employing almost 12 million workers and providing at least 5 % of all jobs (more than 27 million workers and almost 12 % of all jobs when considering its links to other sectors), as well as 20 % of the jobs performed by young people under the age of 25;

C. whereas the tourism sector encompasses a great diversity of services and professions and, due to the personal nature of activities in the sector, requires large numbers of employees; whereas tourism acts as a major stimulus to many other sectors of the economy; whereas the sector is dominated mainly by small and medium-sized enterprises whose activities generate employment and wealth in regions that are heavily dependent on tourism;

D. whereas, since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has the competence to support or supplement the action of the Member States in the field of tourism;

E. whereas tourism is a key sector for the economy and employment in the EU, and the priorities of the new Commission, in particular that of supporting ‘an economy that works for people’, should therefore reflect the sector’s importance and its needs;

F. whereas the cessation of operations by Thomas Cook has required an enormous repatriation operation for more than 600 000 people from different locations around the world to their places of origin;

G. whereas the cessation of operations by Thomas Cook has caused serious economic damage to the tourism sector and to employment; whereas this will require appropriate measures to be taken to improve the competitiveness of the sector and to help European tourism companies to continue to position Europe as the world’s number one tourist destination, a position that drives the growth and sustainable development of cities and regions;

H. whereas many consumers had purchased package travel arrangements from Thomas Cook; whereas the revised Package Travel Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/2302) supplemented and harmonised consumer protection across Europe for consumers of package travel products; whereas insolvency of travel operators negatively affects consumers, particularly when abroad and therefore more vulnerable, and whereas it is therefore essential to provide a high level of protection in such exceptional circumstances;

I. whereas consumers of travel products and passengers more generally should benefit from up-to-date information and adequate guidance as to their rights and the responsibilities of tour operators or travel companies; whereas consumers rely on services being provided as scheduled and are afforded rights in the event that travel operators fail to provide services that have been paid for;

1. Expresses concern about the management of Thomas Cook Group, as it has ultimately been forced to cease trading, and about the fact that many thousands of employees around Europe have, as a consequence of management failure, lost their jobs; welcomes the news that segments of Thomas Cook’s business are to be purchased by other companies, including its former UK high street stores, which are to be purchased by Hays Travel, saving 2 000 jobs, and Thomas Cook’s Belgian subsidiary Neckermann, which is to be purchased by Spanish firm Wamos, saving significant numbers of jobs;

2. Expresses regret that 600 000 holidaymakers and travellers were stranded as a result of the cessation of operations by Thomas Cook but is encouraged that the relevant authorities were able to implement swiftly the significant operation to repatriate those affected; understands that the vast majority of passengers were able to return on the same day as their original booked flight and sympathises with those passengers who faced delays, were stranded for longer or suffered extra costs for holidays for which they had already paid, or other difficulties as a result of the company’s collapse;

3. Regrets, too, the impact on local tourism operators, such as hotels and transport service providers, together with related businesses which will undoubtedly be affected by the failure of Thomas Cook;

4. Underlines that the European tourism industry is strong and that the Thomas Cook case is a single event caused by multiples factors; calls on the Member States, in the light of this failure, to examine their own legal requirements and taxation rules that apply to the tourism sector in order to ensure that they are fit for purpose and promote a healthy and competitive tourism industry; calls on the Commission to consider establishing a working group to study the impacts of the collapse of Thomas Cook on other European tourism companies;

5. Further underlines that the consumer protection regime in the EU, most notably the Package Travel Directive, was envisaged for this type of event and has sought to provide adequate protections for this eventuality, including providing for the repatriation of stranded passengers who were traveling on a package holiday; understands that the system implemented in 2018 has functioned well and that consumers have benefited from the reforms undertaken;

6. Calls on the Commission to identify, and to enable swift and effective access to, EU financial instruments that could compensate for the harm caused to the sector and help to improve its competitiveness;

7. Encourages the Member States, moreover, to make use of the tools provided by the European Social Fund, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and other EU instruments; calls on the Commission to draw up, on a regular basis, specific calls for tender related to the tourism industry, based on the priorities set out in the respective funds;

8. Urges the Member States and the Commission to consider support measures that could mitigate the negative economic impact on businesses, together with the serious consequences for employment;

9. Calls on the Commission to inform Parliament about any new relevant information regarding the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook; underlines, in this regard, the importance of knowing whether the relevant licensing authorities had assessed the financial situation of Thomas Cook;

10. Calls on the Commission to consider further measures to maintain a high level of consumer protection in the event of business failure, while recalling that the Package Travel Directive has been shown to function adequately; calls on the Council to adopt its position on the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 on the enforcement of air passenger rights and air carrier liability limits as soon as possible and to endorse the position taken by Parliament in February 2014; regrets the fact that the Council has been unable to reach an agreement in the last five years;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

[1] OJ L 46, 17.2.2004, p.1.

[2] OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 64.

[3] OJ L 326, 11.12.2015, p. 1.

[4] OJ C 257E, 6.9.2013, p. 1.

[5] OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.

[6] OJ C 93, 24.3.2017, p. 336.

[7] OJ C 355, 20.10.2017, p. 71.

[8] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0449.

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