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A4E CEOs lay out priorities in first meeting with Adina Vălean, EU Transport Commissioner, ahead of Green Deal strategy publication

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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incentives and investments for sustainability investments instead of new taxes on aviation; urgent reform of Europe’s outdated air traffic management system and completion of the Single European Sky initiative, which would reduce Europe’s carbon emissions by 10 per cent; urgent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.

Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este membru al programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

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VirtualCall – m-Training for Inactive Women Aiming their Employment as Call Center Agents at their Homes

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INCSMPS implements, together with 5 EU countries, the ERASMUS+ project VirtualCall- m-Training for Inactive Women Aiming their Employment as Call Center Agents at their Homes (2020-1-TR01-KA202-094553 “Erasmus+ Project”) aiming “to e-train inactive women for their e-employment as call center representatives, to work from their homes”.

The training concept also includes e-stage possibility for efficient and complete result achievement. After such a program, individuals will be ready to start working, without needing extra steps.

The MAIN OBJECTIVE is “to increase the employability of inactive women in a profitable scheme for both employee and employer, under current market conditions”. 

OUTPUT: Integrated e-Training and e-Stage portal supported by Android APP will allow future call center representatives to be e-trained and practice by means of calling each other and simulating clients in changing roles. Grading/rating anonymously and repetition of e- learning modules depending on the strengths/weaknesses, re-studying while repeating e-courses and similar features will bring the possibility of satisfactory self-evaluation before starting to actual work. 

IMPACT: After having this kind of e-training and e-stage opportunity, home-based employment possibility for inactive women will not be a dream any more. Thus, this will surely open a new challenging door for inactive women, including women with physical disabilities; for them to work from their homes and integrate themselves into labor market. 

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MEP Vasile Blaga: It’s vital that Romania continues to implement regional and local programmes through the EU cohesion package

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MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomes the positive vote of the Council of the European Union for the Cohesion Package 2021-2027 worth €330 billion, of which Romania will benefit from around €28 billion.

“The European Union’s main investment programme is cohesion policy. As far as Romania is concerned, the cohesion funds must continue to finance the development gaps between the older Member States and those that have integrated later. It is vital that Romania continues to implement regional and local programmes. At the same time, investments financed by the cohesion funds will to a large extent also ensure recovery from the pandemic, alongside the funds specifically earmarked through the NRDP”, said the NLP MEP for the news platform Calea Europeana.

According to MEP Vasile Blaga, “the two funding programmes must be complementary, both having sustainable objectives – from infrastructure funding to green transition and digitalisation projects”.

”The European Parliament will now vote on the Council’s position before it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union in June, most likely during the plenary session in Strasbourg”, added the EPP MEP.

The Council gave its final green light to the adoption of the cohesion package for the financial period 2021-2027.

The package is a set of regulations governing the structural and investment funds, which amount to more than €330 billion (in 2018 prices) or nearly one third of the EU’s long-term budget. The funds will finance regional and local projects designed to reduce economic and social disparities between member states and regions, while boosting a sustainable recovery from the pandemic by investing in green and digital priorities.

 

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Europe Day. MEP Vasile Blaga: EU solidarity in the face of the pandemic has proved that this project is the only option for Romania’s present and future

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© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

9 May is a double anniversary, Romania’s Independence Day and Europe Day, two fundamental milestones for Romania, said MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP), in a message for Europe Day.

”We honour the past of our country which, on 9 May 1877, gained independence. We celebrate, also today, 9 May 1950 – the Schuman declaration which laid the foundations of the European Union,” he said.

“I would like each of us to ask ourselves a simple question: Where would we be now without integration into the European Union. What would this particularly turbulent period have looked like in Romania outside the EU? The Union’s solidarity in the face of the pandemic has proved to everyone that this project is strong, solid, and the only option for Romania’s present and future. I would like every Romanian who still has a trace of Euroscepticism to ask themselves these questions. They have only one answer – Romania is Europe – in the past, present, and future”, added the Romanian MEP.

Europe Day held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration‘. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.

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