Live from Brussels – Issue n°102

A message from Ms. Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC

Dear reader, 

It’s been over one year since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed our lives, reshaping our habits and putting the European hospitality sector and its value chain under unprecedented pressure. Twelve months and yet most hospitality establishments all over Europe are still closed in a collective effort to fight the virus.

We have worked hard with our membership and EU policymakers to ensure a seamless exchange of information, best practices and a fast response to the crisis. We joined forces with other industry partners calling for measures and initiatives to help the industry, and we are still urging for increased coordination of travel restrictions at the EU level, accessible funding and more predictability for businesses.

Now it’s time to bring our commitment a step further in making the voice of European hospitality heard. Today is a special day for HOTREC, as we proudly present you our campaign: #TogetherForHospitality.

It is impossible not to feel a sense of loss reflecting on all that we are missing without hospitality. Not only from an economic perspective but also at a personal level: the feeling of community when sharing a meal, the life-changing experience of travel, of visiting new places and meeting old and new friends. The road to recovery will be long and challenging, but if we stand together we can persevere and go back to our favourite hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes.

We want to support the industry at the most critical time to help millions of businesses, SMEs, owners, staff, managers and chefs.

We want to help hospitality thrive because it’s a central pillar in the European economy, culture and society.

We want to protect the sector because helping the industry recover and secure a better future isn’t just crucial for the economy. It’s also the only way to protect our way of life. A better future for hospitality is a better future for all!

Help us bring hope to the industry. Commit to hospitality. Join our campaign.

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Interview

Competition

Data protection

Digital

Live from the network

Social Affairs

Statistics

Taxation

Tourism


Interview



Interview with Kęstutis Sadauskas, Director Director for Circular Economy and Green Growth at the European Commission (DG ENV)

Mr. Kęstutis Sadauskas is a Lithuanian national. He holds Master degrees from Vilnius University in Political Science/International Relations and Geography. From 1993 until 2006 he worked at the Lithuanian Foreign Service on multilateral issues. In September 2006, Kęstutis Sadauskas was appointed Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Vilnius. From April 2010 until October 2014 he was Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta responsible for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud, Audit, and Statistics. Since November 2014, Kęstutis Sadauskas has been the Director for Circular Economy and Green Growth at the DG Environment of the European Commission.

Competition



State Aid temporary Framework extended!

On 28 January 2021, the European Commission announced the following changes with regard to the State aid Temporary Framework.

Data protection



E-privacy Regulation: Council reaches mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament

On 10 February 2021, Member States agreed on a negotiating mandate for the revised ‘ e-Privacy ‘Directive. The rules define cases in which service providers are allowed to process electronic communications data or have access to data stored on end-user's devices. HOTREC supports the Council’s mandate.

Digital



European Platform Observatory clearly identifies how OTAs exercise their market dominance

HOTREC notably welcomes the conclusions of the Analytical paper: “Multi-homing: obstacles, opportunities, facilitating factors”. It extensively covers how and why, despite the fact that hotels can ‘multi-home’ on several OTA platforms, the benefits of such multihoming are limited for hotels, exposing the many ways in which OTAs exert their market power over hoteliers, including imposing price parity clauses and only sharing limited data with hotels about guests.


HOTREC underlines negative effects of narrow price parity clauses in reply to consultation on Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER)

The European Commission opened a public consultation on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) at the end of 2020, as the current set of rules will expire in May 2022 and will need to be revised. Hoteliers see the revision of the VBER as a major opportunity to request end to narrow price parity clauses imposed by OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia on hoteliers.

Live from the network



Joining forces with industry partners to fight devastating effects of COVID-19

Twelve months after the first hospitality establishments were forced to close or drastically reduce their activities due to COVID-19, businesses in the sector are still facing severe hardships. With so much uncertainty ahead, the beginning of 2021 was a crucial time for HOTREC to join forces with its industry partners.

Social Affairs



Pay Transparency: a Directive is on the way

On 4 March 2021, the European Commission launched its proposal for a Directive on Pay transparency (COM(2021)93with the aim of ensuring that women and men in the EU get equal pay for equal work.


Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights is out

On 4 March 2021, the Commission launched the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan outlining concrete actions to further implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Statistics



Hospitality statistics in Q4 2020 show huge impact of Covid-19 “second wave”

Recent statistics published by Eurostat for turnover for accommodation and food service activities in Q4 2020 show the drastic impact of COVID-19 induced measures restricting tourism and the opening of hospitality establishments.

Taxation



EU Member States adopt new taxation rules to tackle lost fiscal revenues of sales generated through digital platforms

On 22 March, the Council adopted amendments to the directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation in order to address Member States’ loss tax revenue through digital platforms selling goods or providing service and the unfair advantage this creates traditional businesses.

Tourism



EU strategy for sustainable tourism: European Parliament calls for reduced VAT and stimulus package for tourism SMEs

MEPs have called on the European Commission “to encourage Member States to temporarily set reduced VAT rates on travel and tourism services, accompanied by a special stimulus package for all micro enterprises and SMEs for the 2020-2024 period, in order to minimise the number of bankruptcies and preserve jobs and workers’ rights in the European tourism industry, while utilising investments to foster the transition towards a more digital and sustainable tourism ecosystem” in a Parliamentary Resolution adopted on 25 March.


European Commission proposes Digital Green Certificate

On 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented its proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic (2021/0068 (COD). The text needs to be approved both by the European Parliament and the Council.


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Calendar

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08 Nov
08/11/2022    
All Day
Next meeting of the PTD expert group on 8/11: agenda available: https://www.hotrec.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/draft-Agenda-8-Nov-2022.pdf
Informal meeting with Airlines4Europe - Possible impact of Fit for 55 on airline pricing and travel
08/11/2022    
09:45 - 11:15
Main outcome of the meeting available (summary + PowerPoint from Airlines4Europe)
14 Nov
14/11/2022 - 16/11/2022    
00:00
On 14-16 November 2022, the Czech presidency of the EU Council will organise the European Tourism Forum.
Webinar on Practical solutions to food waste monitoring in hospitality
17/11/2022    
10:30 - 11:30
Webinar - 17 November, 10.30-11.30 CET
Preparatory meeting SSD plenary + Update on Social Affairs
21/11/2022    
10:00 - 11:30
On 21 November 2022, HOTREC will organise its Sectoral Social Dialogue preparatory meeting + update on Social Affairs (policy and legislative files). The meeting will [...]
22 Nov
22/11/2022    
11:30 - 14:00
HOTREC has shared consolidated comments on ISO Restaurant Vocabulary Project (WD16520) now accessible and will attend the 22 November meeting. 
24 Nov
24/11/2022    
11:00 - 12:30
Slides and recording are available online. Other documents will be shared next week.
24 Nov
24/11/2022    
15:00 - 16:30
New meeting - all HOTREC members are welcome to attend - 24 November 2022
Sectoral Social Dialogue Plenary meeting
25/11/2022    
10:00 - 16:00
HOTREC-EFFAT Work Programme 2023-2024
28 Nov
28/11/2022    
15:00 - 17:00
Stanhope Hotel Brussels by Thon Hotels List of Participants Draft Agenda for ExCom meeting on 28 November 2022 PLEASE NOTE THAT FROM 16:30, THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, [...]
European Hospitality Day - Event at European Parliament
29/11/2022    
08:30 - 14:30
HOTREC is organising meetings and exchanges for HOTREC members at the European Parliament on Tuesday 29 November 2022 in Brussels.
Events on 14/11/2022
14 Nov
Events on 22/11/2022
Events on 24/11/2022
Events on 25/11/2022
Events on 28/11/2022
28 Nov