Procedure : 2022/2643(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0223/2022

Texts tabled :

B9-0223/2022

Debates :

PV 03/05/2022 - 15
CRE 03/05/2022 - 15

Votes :

PV 05/05/2022 - 7.12
CRE 05/05/2022 - 7.12

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2022)0207

<Date>{28/04/2022}28.4.2022</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0223/2022</NoDocSe>
PDF 168kWORD 57k

<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 the impact of the Russian illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on the EU transport and tourism sectors</Titre>

<DocRef>(2022/2643(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Karima Delli</Depute>

<Commission>{TRAN}on behalf of the Committee on Transport and Tourism</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>


B9‑0223/2022

European Parliament resolution on the impact of the Russian illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on the EU transport and tourism sectors

(2022/2643(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU) 2022/334 of 28 February 2022[1],

 having regard to the ‘Strategic Compass for Security and Defence - For a European Union that protects its citizens, values and interests and contributes to international peace and security’ action plan, which was approved by the Council on 21 March 2022 and endorsed by the European Council on 25 March 2022,

 having regard to the 8 April 2022 Informal meeting of transport ministers,

 having regard to the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees,

 having regard to the Versailles Declaration of the EU Heads of State or Government of 11 March 2022,

 having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2022 on the Russian aggression against Ukraine[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 24 March 2022 on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 7 April 2022 on the Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24 to 25 March 2022: including the latest developments of the war against Ukraine and the EU sanctions against Russia and their implementation[4],

 having regard to its resolution of 7 April 2022 on EU Protection of children and young people fleeing the war against Ukraine[5],

 having regard to its recommendation of XX April 2022 to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine[6],

 having regard to the International Energy Agency’s 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use,

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

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Transport and Tourism,

A. whereas the EU has adopted five packages of sanctions in response to Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine;

B. whereas a new wave of sanctions is expected to hit Russia harder in the road and maritime transport sectors;

C. whereas on 28 February 2022, Russia announced, as retaliation, prohibitions on the use of Russian airspace, affecting aircraft from 36 countries, including the EU states;

D. whereas the European Council cut the draft budget line for military mobility under the Connecting Europe Facility from EUR 6.5 to 1.69 billion as part of the 2021 to 2027 Multiannual Financial Framework;

E. whereas, with Ukrainian airspace closed, roughly 3.3 % of air passenger traffic movements by air in Europe have stopped, in addition to the passenger flights between Russia and Europe, which accounted for 5.7 % of total European traffic in 2021;

F. whereas in 2020 there were some 8 848 port calls by some 535 Russian-flagged vessels at EU Member States’ ports;

G. whereas the situation in the Black Sea and Azov Sea has deteriorated as the Russian navy is blockading the region and parts of those seas have been declared a war zone, in recognition of security risk to passing maritime traffic;

H. whereas, in that area, the Russian navy has attacked vessels with EU owners or EU operators;

I. whereas Ukrainian and Russian seafarers make up 14.5 % of the global shipping workforce, and EU fleets rely on them heavily;

J. whereas concerns are growing in relation to the overall security and operability of rail and maritime transport to and from Ukraine;

K. whereas the trend in the price of fuel has been upward in the past months, and that situation has been worsened due to Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, and whereas fuel represents one of the highest costs for transport operators and users;

L. whereas tourism destinations in many EU countries will take a further brutal hit following two years of the pandemic that have already had a destructive effect on the sector;

1. Reiterates its strongest possible condemnation of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in that war, and demands that Russia immediately terminates all military activities in Ukraine and unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine;

2. Welcomes the EU’s unprecedented and evolving sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and calls on the EU to continue evaluating and adopting further, effective sanctions in the transport sector in order to undermine the financing of Putin’s war machine; stresses that this is the first time that the transport sector has been explicitly targeted in EU sanctions against Russia;

3. Recalls that transport is a strategic means for the EU to provide solidarity and support to Ukraine and its suffering people, in terms of logistics, humanitarian aid and refugee evacuation and mobility;

4. Welcomes measures adopted by the Commission to help Member States, transport operators and workers continue transport operations and support the transport of refugees from Ukraine and of humanitarian aid; recognises the bravery of transport workers in Ukraine, risking their lives while continuing to work to transport people and goods;

5. Welcomes the operational guidelines adopted by the Commission to ensure the transit of Ukraine people without valid documents on board EU transport operators;

6. Applauds European transport operators for offering free travel by train, bus, ship and plane to Ukrainian citizens and the countless initiatives of associations and individuals, throughout the EU, providing free transport of goods and persons to and from the Ukrainian border;

7. Points out that that ongoing conflict as well as Russia’s retaliation against EU’s sanctions have an impact also on the EU transport sector, which is severely disrupted regardless of the mode of transport;

8. Highlights the fact that rising fuel prices and the disruption in the logistic and supply chains are among the main consequences affecting all modes of transport and creating great uncertainty in the markets;

9. Believes that EU-based and EU-owned transport operators with links to the Russian market should be supported as they reorient their transport operations away from Russia;

10. Calls on the Commission to urgently carry out an economic and social assessment of the consequences of the war on all modes of transport in the EU market and to swiftly present, where necessary, support, including through further legislative and/or financial measures, to mitigate the negative effects and to ensure the well-functioning, level playing field and the fair completion for the European transport sectors;

Aviation

11. Expresses concerns over the severe impact that the conflict is having on the aviation sector when it comes to operating costs, making both passenger and freight more expensive; stresses that the combination of the sanctions and the air bans has forced airline companies to suspend or reroute their flights; points out, moreover, that the maximum necessary route extensions in order for aircraft to avoid Russian and Belarusian airspace varies between three and four hours each way leading to refuelling issues (extra stops, therefore extra costs), and longer crew working hours than those provided for in EU regulations;

12. Points out that Ukraine and Russia are among the leading producers of titanium, the key metal used in the manufacturing of aircraft, and the ongoing conflict could impact supply in the near term;

13. Calls on the Commission to evaluate and, where necessary, to present a support strategy for EU airlines and their workforces, which have been severely hit, first by the COVID-19 pandemic and now by overflight bans for Russia and Belarus, high fuel prices and dropping demand; stresses, however, the need to ensure a level playing field and fair competition between airlines, in particular when providing financial support;

14. Deplores the fact that Russia, in clear breach of international civil aviation rules (Chicago Convention) has approved a law to force a re-registration of airplanes leased from foreign companies in Russia’s aircraft register; insists that such a theft cannot be tolerated and demands the immediate return to the airplanes in question to their lawful owners; welcomes the Commission decision to include in the Air Safety List the Russian carriers operating aircraft covered by this re-registration, given that the Russian authorities lack the airworthiness safety oversight capacity for the hundreds of re-registered aircraft; stresses that the Russian authorities will be solely responsible for putting the lives of their own citizens at risk when putting these stolen aircraft into operation over Russian skies without being able to fulfil the necessary security requirements;

15. Requests continued EU action to stop mercenaries from the Wagner Group and foreign fighters from Syria etc. to effectively join the battlefield in Ukraine in order to commit atrocities against the civilian population; requests therefore that the High Representative demand in particular that the governments of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iraq, as well as the governments of the Central Asian republics, to close their airspace to any Russian, Iranian or Syrian military or charter planes, or to any regular airlines, that transport such mercenaries; requests that the EU blacklist any airline that may participate in such transports;

Maritime

16. Welcomes the Commission’s third pillar of the fifth package of sanctions against Russia related to the ban on Russian flagged vessels and Russian operated vessels from accessing EU ports; believes that the European Maritime Safety Agency could in this respect play an important role in providing a clear list of Russian vessels to be banned from EU ports, taking into account those vessels that have re-flagged or re-registered since 24 February;

17. Requests, however, to go beyond those measures in order to prevent their circumvention and to refuse the call at EU ports to all ships, irrespective of who owns or operates them, if they also call at Russian ports along their route, except when necessary justified humanitarian reasons require the call; welcomes already the voluntary decision of several of the world’s largest shipping companies based in Europe, to halt all cargo bookings to and from Russia until further notice;

18. Requests that all ships that want to make an EU port call be forbidden to bunker fuel in Russian ports or from Russian bunkering ships at sea;

19. Believes that the European Maritime Safety Agency should, in that respect, provide guidance on the uniform application of such sanctions, maintaining a level playing field for EU ports;

20. Asks the governments and the competent public authorities, both at national and EU level, to take up their responsibilities and plan enough staff and resources to ensure a smooth application of the measures, avoiding further delays in an already disrupted supply chain;

21. Takes note of the fact that a great number of ships are currently blocked in the regions; echoes calls by the Commission and the Member States for safety and security for international shipping in the area as a matter of urgency, and for the safety of seafarers in particular to be ensured; calls for the urgent reprovisioning of the ships concerned with the vital supplies needed by their seafarers, and for the implementation of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high-risk and affected areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov;

22. Deplores that a number of free floating sea mines have recently been threatening the lives of seafarers and passengers, as well as international trade flows in the Black Sea, and requests international support for the demining efforts of littoral countries;

23. Expresses concerns over the impact of international shipping, logistics, supply chains and fuels prices, especially in freight rates, in the maritime sector;

Rail

24. Regrets that there is no direct ban on rail transport operations with Russian Railways for the time being; notes, however, that Russian Railways has been added to the list of legal entities and bodies subject to financial restrictions;

25. Points out that trains can still travel through Russia, in particular the freight trains that operate between Europe and China; notes, however, that the conflict is having a dramatic impact on rail freight flows between Asia and Europe, creating uncertainty for businesses operating trains and shipping freight;

26. Stresses that cargo on freight trains are running up against physical barriers, with thousands of wagons stuck in queues at the border of Ukraine and EU countries; calls on the Commission to support Ukraine in its efforts to diverge the traffic flows, to establish new connections and to set fast-track trade routes;

27. Calls on the Commission to support Ukraine and its efforts to strengthen rail connections between Ukraine and the EU;

28. Considers that the Russian attack on Ukraine and the resulting transport needs within the EU have underlined the necessity for the EU railway system to accommodate higher volumes of passengers and freight; calls therefore on Member States accelerate the standardisation, harmonisation and interoperability of the railway systems across all Member States and on the Commission to continue monitoring the implementation and for the remaining shortcomings;

29. Underlines the heroism of some Belarusian railway workers that have sabotaged the deployment of Russian forces attacking Ukraine and calls on all citizens in Russia and Belarus to follow their example of civil resistance to this atrocious war of aggression;

Road

30. Welcomes the Commission’s action to ensure the return of European truck drivers from the conflict zone, and the carriage of goods by road to Ukraine and Moldova;

31. Welcomes the recent sanctions prohibiting road transport undertakings established in Russia and Belarus from carrying goods by road within the territory of the European Union, as they will drastically limit the options of the Russian industry to obtain key goods;

32. Points out that transport of goods to Ukraine and bordering Member States with major refugee inflows risks hitting regulatory obstacles; welcomes the steps taken by the Commission to clarify, and to encourage Member States to apply, certain measures facilitating the road transport operations carried out in the exceptional circumstances created by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine such as granting temporary drivers cards to Ukrainian drivers operating in the EU who are unable to return to Ukraine to renew their cards expire, adopting temporary exemptions from rules on driving and rest times, exempting from the payment of tolls for transport considered as an emergency service and exemptions from transport authorisation for the carriage of all products required for medical care; highlights the fact that Ukrainian truck drivers in Europe are under great tension because of the war in their country; calls on the Commission to implement a strategy for helping truck drivers from Ukraine to re-join their families displaced in the European Union and to ensure that Member States provide assistance to drivers in need;

33. Calls on the Commission to continue exploring ways to support the transport of passengers or any kinds of goods towards/from Ukraine and its neighbouring EU countries as humanitarian aid and to provide for the necessary relief in terms of road tolls, infrastructure charges, access during weekends, taxation etc.;

34. Supports the Commission’s proposal to conclude transport agreements with Ukraine and Moldova, by partly liberalising road transport for their hauliers, which will allow to shift important export goods from sea routes – currently unavailable due to the Russian military aggression – and to make increased use of EU sea ports for the export and import goods to and from Ukraine; strongly supports in this respect the rapid rehabilitation of formerly abandoned rail and waterway links between Ukraine and Romania in particular;

TEN-T and military mobility

35. Welcomes the Commission’s communication on the extension of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) to neighbouring third countries and urges to use the ongoing TEN-T review to focus on much increased transport infrastructure connections investment with Western Balkans, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine; requests moreover the Commission, the Council and the Parliament to take jointly the ongoing TEN-T revision as an opportunity to review the new TEN-T maps as proposed in December 2021 and to propose an addendum for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in particular in order to adapt to the completely new transport needs situation caused by Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine; requests also the Commission to propose an EU- ‘Eastern Europe’ or ‘Eastern Partnership’ Transport Community, including an Eastern Europe Investment Framework, that could be partly modelled on the Western Balkans Transport Community;

36. Stresses the need to put much more ambition on the EU’s project for military mobility and in this respect welcomes EU Member States’ engagement to accelerate ongoing efforts to enhance military mobility thought the EU;

37. Reiterates its strong regret over the decision of the European Council to drastically cut the final envelope on the newly created military mobility budget line under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF II) programme 2021-2027, when adopting the figures under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and deplores that this mistake is now undermining our common European security; calls on the Commission to find and present solutions to significantly increase the military mobility budget line under the CEF II programme and suggests the mobilisation of unused funds under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in this regard; emphasises the importance of ensuring that military mobility aspects are thoroughly assessed and addressed both in terms of infrastructure and funding, with a view to ensure optimal cross-border cooperation and mobility within the Union; in this respect, calls on the Commission to propose targeted support of major infrastructure projects better connecting all Member States and to increase transport infrastructure connections with the Western Balkans, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine; asks in particular for a strengthening of all major dual use infrastructure leading to the Union’s Eastern border;

38. Calls on the Commission to provide the necessary funding in the EU Member States for developing of the dual use infrastructure with strategic role required in meeting present and future needs; emphasises the necessity to improve the EU capacity to assess and control the ownership and the investments in the field of strategic infrastructure, as a key aspect for guaranteeing the security of the EU and our citizens;

39. Calls on the Commission to further spell out the ‘Global Gateway’ initiative, to foster joint infrastructure investments in particular in those countries which are sharing universal values with us. Instead of leaving the field to autocracies, Europe has to offer a both economically attractive and value based alternative for infrastructure investments in poorer third countries. In this endeavour, Europe should join forces with other major democracies such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan or South Korea;

Rise of energy prices on transport

40. Stresses that a combination of higher energy and transport prices would impact all citizens, and in particular low-income households, with increased risk of transport poverty; furthermore, highlights the fact that higher fuel cost for aviation, road and maritime transport is having a direct impact on final goods and services prices and that the increase of fuel prices is affecting the recovery of tourism from the pandemic;

41. Welcomes the Commission communication on ‘REPowerEU: joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy’ and supports the need of swiftly making Europe energy independent from Russian energy sources, which can become at the same time an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition; regrets, however, that the Commission has not yet addressed the fuel price increase for transport operators; calls on the Commission to analyse in depth the economic impact of fuel prices on EU transport and mobility, and to adopt further measures to respond to rising prices in transport in line with the European Green Deal;

42. Welcomes the extraordinary measures adopted by several Member States aiming at mitigating the increase of fuel prices such as temporary tax cut and calls on the Commission to come up with an EU coordinated and common criteria and facilitate the adoption of these measures by national authorities;

43. Calls on the Commission, and in particular on national, regional and local governments, to implement measures along the International Energy Agency’s 10-point plan to cut oil use, including extended use of home office possibilities, car-free Sundays in cities, further promotion of public transport, micro-mobility, walking and cycling, increased car-sharing, promoting efficient driving for freight trucks and delivery of goods, using high-speed and night trains instead of planes, where possible, avoid business air travel, where alternative options exist, reinforce the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles;

44. Underlines the urgent need to significantly increase the Union domestic production, supply and storage of renewable fuels/energy and to further increase the diversification of the European Union’s energy supplies, also through imports of alternative fuels in the short-term, including through EU port terminals for LNG as a transitional fuel, whilst carefully avoiding lock-in affects and stranded assets, and in alignment with EU climate goals; further underlines the need to strengthen energy interconnections between Member States, notably between the Iberian peninsula and the rest of Europe;

45. Considers that the synergies and complementarities of the TEN-T and TEN-E should be promoted, while fully ensuring existing and future funding opportunities and levels of funding for the development of the TEN-T;

Tourism

46. Stresses that the Russia’s ongoing criminal aggression against Ukraine has left its tremendous mark on the tourism industries, especially in border areas. Tourists are refusing to travel to certain EU Member States, such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria or the Baltic States, due to the proximity of the border with Ukraine, and in the fear of the war. Despite its own problems, the above mentioned countries’ tourism industries are helping refugees from Ukraine; calls therefore for a common European tourism policy and in particular an action plan with effective financial support to help the sector and the destinations that have taken the greatest hit to overcome the most recent crises of Covid-19 and Russia’s criminal aggression against Ukraine;

47. Reiterates its strong support for the establishment of a European Crisis Management Mechanism for the EU tourism sector in order to respond adequately and swiftly to crises of great magnitude, such as pandemics, wars, humanitarian crisis impact of climate change; stresses the importance of including funding solutions for short-term financial shortages that arise from such crises and also providing for medium- and long-term frameworks and strategies;

48. Highlights that rising energy and foodstuff costs, which are being exacerbated by the war, will multiply costs for tourism enterprises, and the whole value chain, and especially SMEs that are already struggling to survive after two years of pandemic; calls, therefore, on Member States to provide the necessary relief through tax policies and specifically tax reliefs, as well as on the Commission to utilise EU funds in order to improve liquidity of SMEs; stresses in this regards that the recovery of the sector will be further delayed and calls on the Commission and the Member States to maintain existing public support, including by postponing repayments of arising obligations;

49. Highlights that the COVID pandemic and the current war crisis in Ukraine have shown the urgent need for the establishment of an ‘EU Agency for tourism’; believes that the coordination is an imperative for the recovery of EU tourism industry as a short term solution, and that a special department for tourism within the one of existing agencies should be swiftly set up and it should be responsible to create a new ‘EU tourism brand’ promoting Europe as a safe, sustainable and smart destination for all; calls for a common EU campaign to promote Europe as a destination with a view to attracting tourists to destinations most heavily reliant on Russian and Ukrainian tourists;

50. Calls on Member States to support EU hotels and short term rental services hosting Ukrainian refugees;

51. Welcomes the fact that Tourism enterprises are already hiring Ukrainian refugees and ask the Commission to support those actions by establishing an EU temporary financial programme to answering the shortage of tourism working force, which is a pertinent problem in the tourism sector after the pandemic;

°

° °

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

 

[1] OJ L 57, 28.2.2022, p. 1.

[2] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0052.

[3] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0099.

[4] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0121.

[5] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0120.

[6] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0099.

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