Live from Brussels – Issue 108

Dear readers, 

Welcome to the new issue of our ‘Live from Brussels’ newsletter. Last Friday marked a grim anniversary for hospitality worldwide: two years since the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. At this meaningful threshold, we can’t help but ask ourselves where our sector is standing now. 

The impact of the pandemic is far from over and will continue impacting our industry for years to come: one only has to think of the still below-average levels of business travel and international tourists to realise that. However, we are on the right path toward much-needed stability, with governments across Europe progressively lifting pandemic and travel restrictions and tourism and customers’ confidence rising.

I wish I could leave it on this positive note. However, the truth is that another crisis today is overshadowing the (still noteworthy) effects of the pandemic. 

HOTREC is looking with extreme sadness at the dramatic situation unravelling in Ukraine. We stand by the people of Ukraine and our member, the Ukrainian Hotel and Resort Association (UHRA), who is now facing unimaginable hardship. We are proud of having UHRA among our members and working together to help our industry thrive. We also want to praise the solidarity of our members and the hospitality sector across Europe, who have been mobilising since day one to provide immediate assistance and shelter to Ukrainian refugees. 

Unfortunately, this war is bound to impact our industry at a time of great fragility. Not only do we expect it to influence travellers’ confidence in the short and medium-term, but hospitality venues are already suffering the effects of a severe increase in energy, food and commodities prices. Ahead of tomorrow’s informal ministerial conference of tourism ministers, we call for continued support to our sector from the EU and governments: venues across Europe will need even more help to face this new challenge while dealing with the consequences of Covid-19. 

In other news, we have a few updates for you in this new issue of our newsletter. 

Last month, we welcomed the launch of the EU Pact for Skills and joined forces with employers to call for a compromise approach on the EU pay transparency. The Digital Markets and Services Act will continue to be at the top of our agenda in the months to come, as the French Presidency of the EU aims to seal temporary agreements. We had a chance to discuss the DSA and Short-Term Rentals with Mr Mark Boekwijt, EU representative of Amsterdam, whom I want to thank for his precious insight.

I hope you will enjoy our newsletter.



Interview with Mr Mark Boekwijt, EU representative of the city of Amsterdam

Mr Mark Boekwijt (1964) graduated from the European School in Brussels and continued to study International Law and Communications Science at the University of Amsterdam. He worked on policy and research in the Dutch audiovisual industry, before becoming an advisor on media affairs for the city of The Hague. Since 2002 Mark is a strategic advisor for the mayor and deputy-mayors of the city of Amsterdam, on several issues such as Integration, Housing, Monuments, local Media. In 2011 he became the EU representative for Amsterdam, based in Brussels.


French Presidency of the EU aims for rapid agreement on key digital policy files

The French Presidency of the EU aims to seal temporary agreements between the EU Member States and the European Parliament on the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act by the end of its mandate and possibly in early spring 2022. Council and Parliament would both be keen to see these two landmark legislative texts for the digital world in force by 2023.

Live from the network

Employers join forces on a compromise approach on EU Pay Transparency

Ahead of tomorrow's vote on a proposed Directive on Pay Transparency by the European Parliament EMPL and FEMM Committees, HOTREC and other employer associations issued a proposal of compromise.

Social Affairs

A compromise approach to platform work in the hospitality sector: HOTREC position paper

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

EU Pact for Skills: time to up-skill and re-skill the hospitality workforce

On 31 January 2022, tourism stakeholders, with the encouragement of the European Commission, launched the Pact for Skills for the Tourism sector.

European hospitality steps in against war in Ukraine

In response to the crisis, a great number of hospitality businesses have been launching actions to provide immediate shelter and protection to the Ukrainian refugees. We strongly encourage all efforts from our member organisations who have been coordinating these actions with governments and local authorities. 


Further harmonising tourism restrictions in Europe key to restart travel to international markets

Given the current improvement of the epidemiological situation concerning COVID-19, HOTREC, together with other tourism and travel stakeholders, hopes that the continuous harmonisation of the travel restrictions will lead to the re-opening of travel to all international markets shortly.

DIVETOUR project: HOTREC to help develop innovative training tools for skills in tourism

Funded by the Erasmus + program, the DIVETOUR project aims to create and test innovative methodologies and tools for training and the labour market, with a specific focus on accessible tourism and the post-covid recovery of the sector. 

Download the pdf


Meeting DG HOME + DG GROW: Ukrainian refugees
14:00 - 15:00
On 1 March 2023, HOTREC held a meeting with DG Home and DG GROW on the Ukrainian refugees topic.  Participants to the meeting European Commission [...]
Pact for Skills - coordination meeting
15:00 - 16:30
Main outcome of the meeting available
09 Mar
10:00 - 12:00
Presentation and draft minutes are now available.
European Platform Undeclared Work - Ukraine refugees sub-group
Participants:  Participants of ELA (European Labour Authority), labour inspectors from Member States, European Federation of Employers; HOTREC (Marta Machado) Agenda Subgroup on displaced persons and [...]
10 Mar
11:00 - 12:00
ExCom Video Conference Link ExCom draft agenda - 10 March 2023 Draft Minutes of ExCom meeting of 25 January 2023 Antitrust Statement HOTREC Statutes HOTRE [...]
14 Mar
10:00 - 12:00
We are delighted to invite you to the Social Affairs Working Group meeting, taking place on 14 March 2023, online. Please register by using this [...]
Sectoral Social Dialogue meeting
10:00 - 13:00
We are delighted to invite you to the next Sectoral Social Dialogue (SSD) meeting, which will be hybrid, taking place on 20 March 2023 (from [...]
23 Mar
10:00 - 12:00
SAVE THE DATE: 23 March Exact timing and agenda TBC
Online Series: 90 Minutes to Close The Loop
14:00 - 15:30
Online Series: 90 Minutes to Close The Loop Episode 9 – broadcast live on the 30th of March 2023 at 14:00 to 15:30 Roadmap for [...]
Events on 01/03/2023
Events on 02/03/2023
Events on 10/03/2023
Events on 14/03/2023
14 Mar
Events on 20/03/2023
Events on 30/03/2023