With millions of jobs in the tourism and transport industry endangered by the COVID-19 outbreak, S&Ds urge European authorities to listen to the people and take the necessary measures to prevent the collapse of the third largest economic sector in Europe.
István Ujhely, S&D vice-chair of the committee on tourism and transport, stated:
“As the third largest economic branch in Europe - which contributes to the entire European GDP with more than 10% and provides over 25 million jobs in the continent – the European tourism sector is on the edge of collapse. In the current situation, millions of jobs are at risk, while, in parallel, taking into account the characteristics of the tourism sector, numerous small and medium-sized enterprises risk closing their businesses.
“The stakeholders of European tourism have a crystal clear position on what necessary steps should urgently be taken by the decision-makers in order to reduce the economic effect of the outbreak of the COVID-19 and to save millions of jobs which are in significant danger. The S&D Group fully supports the call for immediate measures which have been formulated by the players of the European tourism industry.
“Indisputably, health and safety come first, however we have to act by taking the needed measures in time in order to prevent the collapse of the European tourism sector. Therefore, the S&D Group urges the European Commission to take further steps and prioritise in the response to the crisis, as well as in the recovery plans.”
Johan Danielsson, S&D spokesman on transport, added:
“Transport and tourism go hand in hand. The transport sector has been hit hard by the ongoing crisis with many restrictions and even closures of airports, cancellation of flights, trains and cruises. The EU and its member states must take action to ensure the health and safety of transport workers and that transport companies can survive the crisis.
“The Union and governments should also ensure sick pay for all, and support collective bargaining solutions for short-time working arrangements in order to avoid massive lay-offs. We also need to create as much certainty as possible for the tourism sector and for passengers. Therefore, I welcome the guidelines on passengers’ rights in the EU presented by the Commission.”