In their first meeting with new EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Iona Vălean, A4E CEOs laid out their most pressing priorities for the new Commission mandate, according to a press release sent to CaleaEuropeană.ro.
Those priorities include: close collaboration with industry on climate change goals; incentives and investments for sustainability investments instead of new taxes on aviation; urgent reform of Europe’s outdated air traffic management system and completion of the Single European Sky initiative, which would reduce Europe’s carbon emissions by 10 per cent; urgent revision of Regulation 261 on Air Passenger Rights.
In order to best contribute to the European Commission’s upcoming Green Deal strategy, A4E and other airlines have joined forces with Europe’s airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers in the development of a cross-sector climate initiative. Run as an independent study, this sustainable aviation roadmap for Europe will identify opportunities for even greater industry decarbonisation, whether through technology, operations, sustainable aviation fuels or price incentives by 2030 and/or by 2050.
“The new European Commission has begun its work at a time of enormous challenges, but also tremendous opportunities for both the EU and its aviation industry. A4E airlines stand behind Europe’s ambition to move towards a zero or low-carbon economy. Europe’s airlines take these goals very seriously and we are investing billions to more than contribute our share. We also know that this is an industry challenge which requires an industry solution, and we believe our sustainability roadmap will show us where we can do even more”, said Michael O’Leary, A4E Chairman.
Europe’s airlines have already reduced their fuel consumption per passenger kilometer by 24% over the last 30 years by flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, and by making their overall operations more efficient. A4E airlines are currently investing €170 billion through 2030 to operate the most fuel-efficient, next generation aircraft.
The right combination of policies, incentives and investments at both the European and national levels will ultimately best support the aviation industry’s decarbonization efforts. Sustainable aviation fuels, for example, have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%.
“It is critical that industry works in close partnership with the EU institutions if we are to be successful in fulfilling Europe’s climate ambitions — whether it be on a dedicated policy for increased sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production at an economically affordable price, or by implementing the Single European Sky, which would save 10% in CO2 emissions. Aviation taxes do nothing for the environment. On the contrary, they limit airlines’ ability to invest in new aircraft, innovation and sustainable fuels”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).
Since 2012, European airlines have been paying for their carbon emissions through the EU carbon trading scheme. From 2021, they will also be part of the UN global offsetting mechanism named CORSIA, which will reduce aviation emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes between 2020 and 2035 through €36 billion ($40 billion) investment in carbon reduction projects1.
“We are also very proud to welcome TUI — the world’s largest tourism group, into the A4E family at this crucial time for our industry. TUI will strengthen A4E’s joint advocacy efforts in a number of key areas – including sustainability, where they will serve as a vital, in-house link between airline and sustainable tourism policy goals”, O’Leary added.
“We are looking forward to working with A4E on the very important policy issues that all airlines and tourism partners in Europe face. At TUI we have thousands of employees working in holiday destinations across Southern Europe and around the world and see each day the positive impact that the travel industry has on jobs and growth in these tourism-dependent regions. Together, we need to do our utmost to support healthy, sustainable and environmentally responsible growth for our industry which connects so many people and cultures. This should be supported by European policy makers so that rather than inventing new or additional taxes we allow this money to be invested in innovative and sustainable technologies”, said Kenton Jarvis, CEO TUI Aviation.
Launched in 2016, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation advocates on behalf of its members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued safe and competitive air transport market. With more than 720 million passengers carried each year, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 3,000 aircraft and generating more than EUR 130 billion in annual turnover. Members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of goods each year to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Current members include Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. In 2019, A4E was named “Airline & Aviation Business Development Organisation of the Year” by International Transport News.
Head of Romanian EPP MEPs responds to S&D Group leader: Treat Romania differently. You cannot compare PSD’s attacks against the rule of law with EPP Government measures
The actions undertaken against the rule of law by the former Social-Democrat governments in Romania cannot be compared with recent measures announced by the centre-right government, member of EPP family, says MEP Rareș Bogdan, head of the Romanian delegation within the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
In an exclusive statement for CaleaEuropeană.ro, Bogdan responded to critics drawn by Iratxe Garcia, leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. In a Twitter post earlier on Monday, Garcia said EPP Romanian government should take note of Venice Commission, which prohibits changing the electoral law one year ahead of the elections.
The Spaniard MEP advised the Romanian Government against going the ”same path as Poland and Hungary” in ”undermining the rule of law”.
In his reaction, Rareș Bogdan mentioned that we would ask for a discussion with ”Mrs. Garcia to clarify that her statement was made without knowing the reality in Romania and the steps taken by the Orban government”.
“I think there is no bad will, but a simply less unfortunate information about the situation in Romania”, he replied.
”There is no term of comparison” between PSD and PNL, said Bogdan, ”although both parties are from Romania”.
”You cannot compare the continuous attack of PSD against Romania’s strategic partnerships with the EU and the US, against the rule of law (…) with the natural, logical and normal proposal of PNL, using constitutional tools, to introduce a two rounds vote for the local elections in June 2020. The purpose of our proposal is to enhance the representativeness and legitimacy of the elected local politician. By introducing a two rounds election we do not reduce, in any case, electoral rights”, explained the head of the Romanian delegation in the EPP Group.
Moreover, Rareș Bogdan asked that the situation in Romania to be treated ”differently”, considering Garcia’s comparison with the situations in Poland and Hungary.
“My request is that our colleagues in the European Parliament treat Romania as a different situation. Also, pay close attention to the statements of the leaders in Bucharest, led by President Klaus Iohannis and the right-wing Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who have no connection with the statements made by Romanian officials at the head of the Government or Parliament in the period 2017-2019”, said Bogdan.
Take part in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. EPP group urge the Member States to join forces and fight cancer together
EPP Group, the largest political family in the European Parliament, is launching a cancer awareness campaign, the disease that causes one of four deaths in Europe.
Through #EUCanBeatCancer campaign, the EPP group calls for better cooperation between research centers in Europe, more money for cancer research, but also fair and accessible care across Europe for citizens.
How can you get involved in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign
You can join the 1537 citizens already registered in the campaign through 4 simple steps:
- You subscribe using the email address HERE
- Follow the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Use the Twibbon in the profile picture
- Draw the Twibbon symbol and post it in order to show support
Everyone has their own story about cancer, even European politicians or leaders:
According to the World Health Organization, one third of cancers are preventable and half of the deaths could be prevented.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Romania and in many cases the disease is detected when it is already in an advanced stage.
According to the private health network, Regina Maria, in Romania, 80% of breast cancers are diagnosed in the advanced phase, a stage in which the treatment can not bring healing, but only prolong the survival.
Romania had the lowest rates (0.2% of women aged 50-69 – 2015) in breast cancer screening.
Our multimedia platform – Calea Europeana – has joined the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. During the campaign informative articles will be published and we will keep you updated with the measures taken at European level to beat cancer.
Citizens’ and Youth Agoras to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe, MEPs say
Citizen and Youth meetings should set the tone for EU reform, according to the resolution adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament, were MEPs propose establishing several Citizens’ and Youth Agoras under the Future of Europe Conference that should be launched on Europe Day 2020.
Following a debate with Dubravka Šuica, Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography and Nikolina Brnjac, representing the Croatian Presidency of the Council, Parliament adopted a resolution setting out its vision for the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe with 494 votes for, 147 against and 49 abstentions.
MEPs want citizens to be at the core of broad discussions on how to tackle internal and external challenges that were not foreseen at the time of the Lisbon Treaty. People of all backgrounds, civil society representatives and stakeholders at European, national, regional and local level must be involved in setting the EU’s priorities in line with citizens’ concerns in a bottom-up, transparent, inclusive, participatory and well-balanced approach.
Parliament proposes establishing several Citizens’ Agoras (thematic fora of citizen representatives chosen randomly in line with proportionality and representativeness criteria), and at least two Youth Agoras, each comprising 200-300 citizens with a minimum of three per member state. Citizen representatives will discuss Agora conclusions at the Conference Plenary with MEPs and national parliament representatives, Council ministers, Commission Vice-Presidents and representatives of other EU institutions, bodies and social partners.
In addition to high-level support from the presidents of the three main EU institutions, Parliament urges Council and Commission to commit to the possibility of treaty change. The adopted text also underlines that a permanent mechanism to engage citizens should be considered.
Parliament is the first among the three main EU institutions to adopt a position on the set-up and scope of the upcoming Conference. Negotiations with the Commission and the European Council should be concluded in time for the Conference to be launched on Europe Day 2020 (May 9) and run until summer 2022.
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