Procedure : 2020/2649(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0182/2020

Texts tabled :

B9-0182/2020

Debates :

PV 17/06/2020 - 30
CRE 17/06/2020 - 30

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0169

<Date>{10/06/2020}10.6.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0182/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 145kWORD 48k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<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 Transport and Tourism in 2020 and beyond</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2649(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Elena Kountoura, Anne‑Sophie Pelletier, José Gusmão, Marisa Matias</Depute>

<Commission>{GUE/NGL}on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0166/2020

B9‑0182/2020

European Parliament resolution on Transport and Tourism in 2020 and beyond

(2020/2649(RSP))

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 the Commission communication of 13 May 2020 entitled ‘Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond’ (COM(2020)0550),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 13 May 2020 on COVID-19 – Towards a phased and coordinated approach for restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls (C(2020)3250),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 13 May 2020 on Guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity – COVID-19 (C(2020)3139),

 having regard to the Commission recommendation of 13 May 2020 on vouchers offered to passengers and travellers as an alternative to reimbursement for cancelled package travel and transport services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 13 May 2020 on EU Guidance for the progressive resumption of tourism services and for health protocols in hospitality establishments – COVID-19’ (C(2020) 3251),

 having regard to the Commission and Council Communication of 15 April 2020 on the Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures,

 having regard to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+), adopted by Parliament on 26 March 2020 and 17 April 2020, respectively, notably allowing more flexibility in the use of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds for Member States,

 having regard to the EUR 540 billion package adopted by the Eurogroup to support Member States, companies and workers during the COVID-19 crisis, via the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE),

 having regard to the adoption on 19 March 2020 of a temporary framework to enable Member States to further support the economy in the COVID-19 outbreak using the full flexibility provided for under State aid rules,

 having regard to its resolution of 15 May 2020 on the new multiannual financial framework, own resources and the recovery plan[1],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 27 May 2020 entitled ‘Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation’ (COM(2020)0456),

 having regard to the Commission Communication of 27 May 2020 entitled ‘The EU budget powering the recovery plan for Europe’ (COM(2020)0442),

 having regard to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) preliminary assessment note of 18 March 2020 entitled ‘COVID-19 and the world of work: Impacts and Responses’,

 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, and in particular Article 13 thereof on responsibility for the performance of the package, Article 16 on the obligation to provide assistance and Chapter V, which regulates the protection of travellers against the insolvency of an organiser or a retailer[3],

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

A. whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented health crisis in all EU Member States and globally; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a massive impact on employment, wages and working conditions and on the entire economic systems of the EU Member States;

B. whereas the tourism and travel sector is one of the sectors that has been most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak; whereas during the first quarter of 2020 all tourism activities reached a gradual halt, in the EU and globally; whereas recovery of the sector is of crucial importance for the economies, employment and social development of the EU countries;

C. whereas many EU Member States have applied measures such as restriction to free movement and temporary internal border controls; whereas non-essential travel restrictions have been applied at the external borders of the EU;

D. whereas the COVID-19 outbreak is having a major impact on transport and connectivity in the EU; whereas measures to contain the outbreak have resulted in a dramatic reduction in transport activity, especially in passenger transport;

E. whereas the EU tourism sector employs around 13 million people; whereas the World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that in 2020 the travel and tourism sectors could lose 75 million jobs worldwide and 6.4 million jobs in the EU; whereas many workers have precarious work relations and have lost their jobs or risk losing their jobs soon; whereas tourism relies heavily seasonal and temporary workers, often employed with non-standard forms of employment;

F. whereas Member States should lift travel restrictions and resume tourism activities in a coordinated way and implement harmonised health and safety protocols; whereas unilateral and fragmented measures by national governments will only lead to confusion and disruption for travellers and companies; whereas safeguarding worker and customer health should always be the top priority; whereas all businesses must respect health, safety and physical distancing requirements in order to re-open;

G. whereas tourism is a complex sector of many stakeholders, in which mobility plays a crucial part; whereas 90% of the sector is made up of SMEs; whereas the majority of tourism companies are facing a liquidity crisis; whereas the crisis has hit SMEs the hardest; whereas self-employed individuals such as tourist guides are faced with economic destruction;

H. whereas for many Member States, European regions and cities, tourism is a key contributor to the economic and social fabric; whereas, often, tourism provides jobs and income to regions with no alternative sources; whereas islands, coastal and outermost regions have felt the brunt of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis;

I. whereas the lack of new bookings and the unprecedented reimbursement claims for cancellations have created a dramatic liquidity problem for the travel and tourism sector;

J. whereas EU passenger rights regulations and the EU Package Travel Directive to protect the rights of travellers, have been undermined, notably in terms of the reimbursement of customers unable to travel because of the pandemic, and because of the subsequent cancellation of flights, the liquidity problem of the travel and tourism sector, and the tendency of certain companies to favour stakeholder giveaways over other costumer rights obligations;

K. whereas by adopting the Communication on ‘Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond’ and the Tourism and Transport Package on the 13 May 2020, the Commission took the first step towards a coordinated recovery of the transport and tourism sectors;

L. whereas there is no dedicated line for tourism in the EU budget, and actions in this field fall under various different funds, pilot projects and preparatory actions;

M. whereas tourism and transport sectors in the EU need a shift towards a more sustainable; innovative and resilient model;

1. Acknowledges the importance of tourism and transport sectors for the economy and employment in all EU Member States; maintains that swift short-term support for the tourism and transport sectors, while necessary to ensure their survival and competitiveness, should be in line with the EU’s carbon reduction and sustainability commitments, and must be followed up with implementing measures that give travellers the confidence to travel back to and within Europe;

2.  Takes notes of the European Commission’s communication on ‘Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond’ and the Tourism and Transport Package of 13 May 2020; calls on all Member States to apply a coordinated approach to the lifting of travel restrictions and to safely and gradually re-establish transportation links and tourism activities, while ensuring the protection of public health and especially the health of workers and travellers; stresses the need for effective and clear sanitary protocols at EU level in order to ensure trust between hosts and travellers;

3. Affirms that the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis must not be used to promote an even greater monopolistic concentration of the transport sectors, namely in the aviation sector;

4. Stresses that EU Member States should have the possibility to reverse the liberalisation of the transport sectors (rail, road, single European sky, ports) in order to defend the interests of the people, national sovereignty and development;

5. Urges the Commission to provide further clarification on the criteria to be used by Member States when deciding on the resumption of travel and tourism activities; underlines that the current situation does not provide certainty for stakeholders and travellers to prepare for the summer tourist season;

6. Underlines that screening is an effective means of reducing the spread of the virus and building confidence in cases where social distancing is not possible, such as in aircraft, provided that fast, reliable and affordable screening methods are available; calls on the Commission, in cooperation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Member States, to regularly evaluate the existence of tests meeting these conditions and, when available, to carry out coordinated procurement in order to ensure the best possible conditions and price; urges the Commission and Member States to use all available funding tools to ensure that citizens can be tested free of charge;

7. Urges Member States and the European Commission to guarantee the protection of all jobs in the tourism and transport sectors by promoting decent and regulated working conditions, based on collective bargaining and by improving the general income conditions of workers in the sector; underlines that employment support must cover all workers, including those with non-standard forms of employment who are so far widely excluded from short-time arrangement or other forms of state wage compensation schemes; stresses that investments should be devoted to the promotion of quality jobs and financial stability in order to overcome economic fluctuations;

8. Stresses that the current health crisis demonstrates the importance of investing in public transport; deplores the shortage of supply and the transport of passengers under conditions which do not protect public health;

9. Calls for the establishment of a minimum income guarantee system in the Member States, as a complement to universal and high-quality public services, namely health and social security services, providing decent living conditions and an effective safety net for the most vulnerable, especially in times of crisis such as the current COVID-19 crisis, with a view to achieving full social inclusion;

10. Stresses that thousands of companies, in particular SMEs, are struggling to survive, while many of them are facing insolvency; calls on the Commission and Member States to monitor developments and assess the possibility of enhanced emergency support, in relation to the instruments already announced, by taking all appropriate measures to urgently avoid the bankruptcy of viable businesses, especially SMEs, including, for example, guarantees and cheap loans and arrangements for outstanding debts, such as tax relief, deferral of bank loan repayments and solutions to cover the risks incurred by service providers until tourist and transport flows resume;

11. Notes that a failure to prevent a wave of bankruptcies in the sector will put the surviving big companies in a dominant position, leading to higher prices for consumers and lower incomes for the remaining SMEs;

12. Calls for the full protection of the rights of consumers and travellers rights against unlawful practices by certain companies; calls on the Member States to ensure the strictest and swiftest enforcement of consumer and travellers’ rights, especially where the companies in question benefit from public bailouts; calls for the creation of a travel guarantee fund to ensure the effective protection of travellers’ rights;

13. Calls for the tourism and transport sectors to be strongly supported by the EU recovery plan; calls for a significant part of the recovery plan, at least 20 %, to be devoted to reviving the sector; calls for this recovery plan to be strictly in line with the EU’s commitments on carbon reduction and sustainability; calls for a socially responsible approach to protecting jobs and wages;

14. Highlights the importance of tourism for certain countries and geographical areas of the EU, where the tourism-related services are often an important factor in securing employment and are one of the main sources of income for the local population; calls on the Commission to draw up tailor-made measures when restoring freedom of movement and transport links between the outermost territories and islands and the EU mainland; points out that specific connection lanes and additional financial and administrative support are of the utmost importance for these regions; stresses the importance of developing a costal and maritime focus in the EU tourism strategy and initiatives, including financing opportunities and promotional and communication tools, by establishing custom-made policies in cooperation with destination stakeholders and authorities;

15. Urges the Commission to propose a new European social tourism programme enabling vulnerable social groups to use national tourist vouchers in associated establishments in other Member States which also offer a social tourism programme to their citizens; notes that many Member States are implementing such programmes with very good results and believes that it would be very positive to make these schemes interoperable at EU level;

16. Reiterates its call for the establishment of a dedicated budget line for sustainable tourism in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027), and points out that there is not a concrete and targeted financial instrument in order to help to boost prosperity and growth in the sector;

17. Calls on the Commission to study the feasibility and potential benefits of a crisis‑management mechanism for the EU tourism sector, in order to respond adequately and swiftly, not only to the current COVID-19 outbreak, but also in order to prepare for future challenges such as climate change, over-tourism, security issues and to promote Europe as the world’s leading destination; stresses the importance of including funding solutions for short term financial shortages and also providing for medium and long-term frameworks and strategies to be activated;

18. Points out that the overriding objective must be the sustainability and resilience of tourism, in line with commitments made by the EU under the Paris Agreement on climate change, in order to ensure the creation of high-quality jobs, sustainable growth and a greater contribution to social and regional cohesion;

19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the European Council and the Commission.

 

[1] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0124.

[2] OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 64.

[3] OJ L 326, 11.12.2015, p. 1.

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