Live from Brussels – Issue n°101

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

Dear reader,

I want to start by wishing you all a Happy New Year.  While there is no way of foreseeing what the future holds for the European hospitality sector, I am confident that we are in a year of hope and recovery.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Europe means that many of our establishments remain closed. These companies are struggling for survival.  Facing today’s challenges, they need a perspective for an exit strategy very soon and extended significant support to last beyond the coming months.

The closure of our establishments has led to a dramatic knock-on effect on suppliers. These businesses are intrinsic to the functioning of the hospitality sector. Together with a large number of European associations, social partners, we are calling for a hospitality task force across the EU Institutions to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on business and jobs and deliver a road map for the recovery of the hospitality sector and its value chain.

We welcome that Portugal, taking over the Council Presidency on 1 January, views tourism’s recovery as a priority and aims at paving the way to a more digital, greener and fairer Europe. This is an opportunity to put clearly tourism and hospitality at the heart of the recovery, in particular as Member States present their Recovery and Resilience Plans.  We are part of the solution, not the problem. A vibrant Tourism ecosystem will help to rebuild the economy.

EU heads of state and government recently vowed to work together towards common travel restrictions, testing, and vaccinations. We welcome their decision, but looking ahead it is safe to say that what businesses need now are more certainty and further coordination.

On the legislative front, among many initiatives, the EU presented its Digital Services and Markets Act (DSA and DMA), which will allow our industry to level the playing field and its businesses to increase their control over their digital presence. We were glad to discuss this topic in an interview with MEP Saliba, whom we thank for his informative words and contribution to this newsletter.

We hope you will enjoy our newsletter.





Live from the network

Social Affairs






Discussing the Digital Services and Markets Act and their impact on hospitality - Interview with MEP Alex Agius Saliba (Malta, S&D)

On 15th December 2020, the European Commission proposed the Digital Services and Markets Act. We asked MEP Alex Agius Saliba to share with HOTREC his views on the DSA and DMA in the tourism and hospitality industry.


European Commission publishes proposals for Digital Services and Markets Acts

On 15 December, the European Commission made two new legislative proposals: the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DSA and DMA will address new challenges that have surfaced with digital developments, and aim to ensure that users, consumers and businesses continue to benefit from digital developments. and Expedia commit to aligning practices with EU consumer law

The European Commission announced on 17 December that and the Expedia Group have committed to improving the presentation of their accommodation offers, aligning it with EU consumer law.

European Commission public consultation on Vertical Block Exemption Regulation

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and accompanying Vertical Guidelines. This consultation is part of the on-going review process which was initiated in October 2018 with a view to having revised rules in place when the current rules expire in May 2022.

European Commission publishes Platform 2 Business Regulation Ranking Transparency Guidelines

On 7 December 2020, the European Commission published the much-awaited Ranking Transparency Guidelines. These guidelines are essential to interpret key provisions of the Regulation 2019/1150 – the so-called Platform to Business Regulation – regarding requirements for online intermediary service and online search engine providers to set out the main parameters that determine ranking and the reasons for the relative importance of those parameters as opposed to other parameters.


Farm to Fork strategy measures: on-going consultation

On 6 January 2021, under the umbrella of the Farm to Fork, the European Commission released an Inception Impact Assessment on a series of topics.

Live from the network

EURACTIV debate: the future of hospitality after the coronavirus health crisis

Today our Director General, Ms. Marie Audren, participated as a speaker to the EURACTIV conference "The future of the food service sector in Europe: a road map beyond COVID-19". 

Social Affairs

Collective bargaining for the self-employed: Commission consultation

According to the European Commission inception impact assessment on collective bargaining for the self-employed, issued on January 2021, while services provided via digital labour platforms have opened up new opportunities, people working through platforms are often not involved in the determination of the price of their services and may lack the individual bargaining power to negotiate their terms and conditions.


Q2 and Q3 2020 figures show sharp decline in hospitality employment and turnover

Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality sector provided 12 million jobs per year, represented 2 million companies (90% of them are micro-enterprises) and contributed with 5% of the GDP to the EU economy.


Drinking-Water Directive entered into force

On 16 December 2020, the European Official Journal of the EU published the outcome of Directive 2020/2184 (L435/1) on the quality of water intended for human consumption, commonly known as “Drinking Water Directive”.


European Commission opens the floor for feedback on creation of an EU digital levy

On 18 January, the European Commission launched a public consultation on a new digital levy. This initiative aims to ensure fair taxation in the digital economy, while at the same time contributing to Europe's recovery.

Online payments: Several EU Member States delay full Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) enforcement

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules entered into application on 31 December 2020. According to reports, several EU Member States are delaying full enforcement of the rules (Austria; Belgium; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; and Lithuania).


New challenges for the European hospitality sector as post-Brexit agreement enters into force

The trade and cooperation agreement detailing the EU-UK future relationship provisionally entered into force on January 1st. How will this unprecedented treaty impact our sector?

Restrictions on non-essential travel might be put in place by Member States

On 19th January 2021 the European Commission issued a Communication with the aim to coordinate measures to beat COVID-19 and on 21 January the European Council issued its oral conclusions.

Portugal takes over the rotating Council Presidency

On 1st January 2021, Portugal took over the Council rotating Presidency and will be presiding until the end of June 2021.

Main objectives reached by the December European Council: recovery plans and emission reduction goal agreed

On 11-12 December 2020, EU leaders reached a historic agreement on the recovery package and on the 55% emissions reduction goal.

Download the pdf


08 Sep
09:00 - 13:00
List of Participants Ms. Olga Kefalogianni, Greek Tourism Minister, will join us during the morning for an exchange (timing will be confirmed later) Draft Agenda [...]
Together for EU Tourism (T4T) stakeholder meeting
09:00 - 13:00
On 11 September 2023, the European Commission (DG GROW) will organise the first stakeholder event to support the co-implementation of the Transition Pathway for Tourism. This will be a hybrid event, taking place in Brussels and online.
Social Affairs Working Group meeting
10:00 - 12:00
On 12 September 2023, HOTREC will organise another meeting of its Social Affairs Working Group.
Members session on HOTREC European elections manifesto
10:00 - 12:00
On 14 September 2023, HOTREC will organise a members-only session to discuss the upcoming European Elections (June 2024). 
HOTREC Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting
09:30 - 13:00
On the morning of 18 September 2023, HOTREC will organise another meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue (SSD) Committee. 
HOTREC Short-Term Rentals (STRs) Working Group meeting
10:00 - 11:30
On 21 September 2023, HOTREC will organise another meeting of its Short-Term Rentals Working Group.
Pact for Skills - Coordination meeting
15:00 - 16:30
On 21 September 2023 took place the 13th Coordination Meeting on the Pact for Skills - an initiative bringing together different skills national partnerships. The [...]
Social Dialogue reform - meeting with European Commission
09:30 - 12:00
Main outcome of the meeting available
Meeting MEP Engerer office - rapporteur Green Claims (ENVI)
10:00 - 11:00
Participants: - Sera Cutajar (assistant MEP Engerer (Malta/S&D - rapporteur ENVI committee / Green Claims file)) - S&D political advisor - Marta Machado Main outcome: [...]
Meeting MEP Weiss office - Green Claims
10:00 - 11:00
Outcome of the meeting available
Events on 08/09/2023
Events on 11/09/2023
Events on 12/09/2023
Events on 18/09/2023
Events on 29/09/2023