Live from Brussels – Issue 107

Dear readers, 

Happy new year, and welcome to the first issue of ‘Live from Brussels’ in 2022. I hope you could spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoy days of well-deserved rest.

This festive season has been again challenging for tourism and hospitality. The Omicron variant took Europe by storm, and most countries had to cope with record-high new cases and winter travel chaos. Hospitality venues experienced the full impact of the pandemic and had to face closures, dramatic lack of guests or cancellations, and adjust to ever-changing health and safety guidelines.

2022 is already shaping up to be another busy year for HOTREC and our members. One thing is for sure: the next twelve months will see us prioritising the survival of the millions of businesses and workers that make up our industry. The recovery will require strong cooperation and increased coordination at the EU level. Hospitality businesses – especially SMEs – will need the European Institutions and the Members States to continue deploying concrete support and guidance. But I fear that these actions alone will not be enough to create a real turning point for European hospitality. As vaccines are giving the global population a tool to protect themselves, start travelling again, and get back to a normal life, saving our sector might need us to learn how to live with Covid-19 into the future.

Hospitality might be facing its worst crisis yet, but I firmly believe in its intrinsic resilience and, most importantly, in our sector’s potential to drive the recovery of the entire European economy. The French presidency of the Council of the EU, which kicked off on January 1st, will undoubtedly play a determinant role in shaping the next steps in the EU coordinated response to the virus. We trust them to help us bring hope and stability to the industry. In this issue, we were honoured to discuss the priorities of the French government and Presidency with regards to tourism with Mr Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French Minister delegate for tourism, French national abroad, francophonie and for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, whom I thank for his precious insight.

In other news, we expect some relevant developments to take place in the EU in the upcoming weeks. Trialogue negotiations on the Digital Markets Act will follow the crucial European Parliament vote from December, which approved critical proposals to improve future legislations and decided on specific criteria to identify so-called gatekeepers platforms. At the beginning of this year, the European Parliament EMPL and FEMM Committees are set to vote on an EU Directive on Pay Transparency. Trialogue negotiations are also set to get underway on the EU minimum wage.

To conclude, I want to congratulate MEP Roberta Metsola, who was elected President of the European Parliament yesterday. We had the honour to interview her for this newsletter in 2020, and she showed great support for our sector. We can’t wait to continue our excellent collaboration.

HOTREC is looking forward to another year of challenges, partnerships, achievements, and to continue informing you on the latest policy developments in European tourism and hospitality. We wish you a wonderful 2022!

I hope you will enjoy our newsletter.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Interview

Digital

Live from the network

Social Affairs

Sustainability

Tourism


Interview



Interview with Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister delegate for tourism, French national abroad, francophonie and for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne is the French Minister delegate for tourism, French national abroad, francophonie and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises since July 2020. First appointed Minister of State in 2017, he was previously elected as Senator of the Yvonne department in 2014 and 2020. In 2014, he also served as the mayor of the city of Vallery. He is a graduate of the Strasbourg Institute of Political Science and ESSEC Business School in Paris.

Digital



HOTREC welcomes European Parliament’s report on the Digital Markets Act

HOTREC warmly welcomed the European Parliament’s vote on the Digital Markets Act, which approved some crucial improvements to the future legislation and brought important clarifications to the criteria which will be used to identify so-called ‘gatekeeper’ platforms.


Tourism transition and short-term rentals on French Presidency of the EU’s ‘to-do’ list

France took the reigns of the EU Presidency on 1 January 2022 with a busy programme that gives high priority to the management of borders, a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and the European economic recovery plan.

Live from the network



Preventing and fighting future crises: HOTREC joins the MYRIAD project

HOTREC is taking part in MYRIAD, a 4-year project part of the Horizon 2020 EU framework programme for research and innovation.

Social Affairs



Trialogue negotiations on minimum wages to start

On 6 December 2021, the Council adopted a general approach to the proposal for a Directive on minimum wages.


Council of the EU reaches general approach on pay transparency

On 6 December 2021, the Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a Directive on Pay Transparency.


New Commission directive focuses on working conditions of platform workers

On 9 December 2021, the European Commission proposed a legislative text on “Improving working conditions in platform work” - COM (2021) 762 final to strengthen the protection of workers on digital platforms.

Sustainability



Renovating hospitality buildings to help Europe go carbon-neutral

On 15 December 2021, the Commission took another major step towards accomplishing its ambitious goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, as enshrined in the EU Climate Law, by adopting a second package of proposals amending the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies with a view to reducing net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Tourism



Commission sets validity period of EU COVID Certificate at 9 months, while winter travel chaos proliferates in Europe

On 21 December 2021, a delegated Regulation on the validity period of the EU Digital COVID Certificate was announced by the Commission and was set at nine months (270 days) after the first full vaccination schedule.


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n this context, elements considered and relevant for hospitality are: A proposal to set binding food waste reduction targets at the EU level which HOTREC opposes (more here) The revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) and the consideration to introduce mandatory re-use targets