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Parliamentary questions
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6 November 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Pedro Marques
 Answer in writing 
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Bankruptcy of Thomas Cook

On 23 September, Thomas Cook, the second largest tour operator in Europe, went bankrupt, leaving more than six hundred thousand tourists scattered all over the world, including in the Algarve and Madeira in Portugal, and leaving twenty-two thousand people without jobs.

If we look at the causes and consequences that have led to the bankruptcy of 32 airlines since 2017, then the collapse of the Thomas Cook Group is not surprising and this calls for a rapid strengthening of the mechanisms to protect consumers and workers in cases of bankruptcy, accompanied by swift access to the European Union’s financial instruments intended to compensate the sector.

There is also a need to adapt to new consumer behaviour in this sector, as it is clear that more and more people only book a flight and not a package – as was previously mostly the case – and hence do not enjoy the same kind of legal protection.

Could the Commission say, inter alia to bolster confidence in an economic sector as important as the tourism industry, what concrete measures it intends to take quickly to safeguard the rights of employees and consumers affected by bankruptcies such as those in the tourism sector?

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