Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-02-17-Speech-4-218"

PredicateValue (sorted: default)
dcterms:Is Part Of
lpv:document identification number
lpv:translated text
"Mr President, I would like to begin with some words of optimism, which came to us in the form of the High-Level Group communication of October 1998, the first page of which said that by the end of the next decade, it would be possible to create between 2 200 000 e 3 300 000 new jobs in tourism activities in the Union. In addition, it said that this would only happen if the right conditions were created. The Commission and Parliament are called upon to answer two questions: what are the right conditions and what is the role of the European Union on this? The Commission and Parliament can help us understand, in the first place, exactly what we are dealing with, because even the term ‘tourism’, as was, moreover, pointed out in the Viceconte report, is still an ambiguous term, a kind of variable that depends on latitude, climate, a range of opportunities, and a series of background factors; it can be synonymous with holidays or it can be a true area of production, income, wealth and employment. There is a shortage of facts: we have no information on the economic impact, which still remains a complete mystery. We have criteria for the gathering and interpretation of statistics which are totally at odds with each other, despite what was said in a 1995 directive by the Commission and Parliament. With the aim of working out a strategy, it is vital to have a reading of these facts which harmonious and as strict as possible, so that we truly make tourism capable of creating jobs. This does not follow automatically: often in the past a great deal of wealth has been accumulated thanks to the promotion of the tourist industry, without this being matched by an increase in employment. There is no legal basis, and we feel that this is currently the major obstacle to any intervention in the tourism sector. A legal basis translates into the ability to formulate strategies, to coordinate and to programme, all vital factors for making European Union tourism competitive with other markets. A legal basis would mean we would avoid having to draw on the Structural Funds, as was the case in the past, to obtain some loose change. Moreover, only minimal amounts were made available to us: we should bear in mind that the Commission communication indicated amounts totalling EUR 4 700 000 000 over the last five years, which corresponds to the cost of building 400 kilometres of motorway. There is no opportunity to send a strong message to the Member States: recognising the legal basis of tourism would allow the States to acknowledge one of the European Union’s competences which at the moment, is only exercised in fits and starts. We fully endorse the Community measures which were recommended in the Commission communication: advantageous taxation, that is, fiscal measures that offer conditions that are truly competitive in this market to the production sector – 95% of which, I would point out, is made up of small and medium-sized businesses, which is equivalent to 2 million small and medium-sized businesses in the European tourism sector; it awards special attention to vocational qualifications in the European Union, and therefore to investing in training; finally, it undertakes to make the job market transparent. The tourism market is by definition a flexible market; we do not want this flexibility to be seen in a solely negative light, with seasonal work being misinterpreted as illegal work: remember that 50% of employment, especially in southern countries of the European Union, is done on the black economy. We feel that the European Union and the Commission needs to make a strong commitment to sustainable tourism, which means having a strategy that is compatible with the environment, after the excesses of recent years when private wealth often did not correspond to high levels of employment. First and foremost, we need to compete in terms of quality. Finally, we consider that tourism can, in addition to being a growth factor, be a factor for democracy, and in this regard we are asking the Commission for a clear, conscious commitment."@en1

Named graphs describing this resource:


The resource appears as object in 2 triples

Context graph