Wednesday

28th Jun 2017

Transport to lose billions from EU border checks

  • Increased internal border checks are likely to cause transport delays. (Photo: dmytrok)

EUobserver understands transport experts at the European Commission are analysing the potential economic blowback should border controls become more severe throughout the passport-free Schengen area.

Arrien Kruyt, vice-chair of the Meijers Committee, a Dutch independent experts' group, told this website the European Commission is analysing possible transport costs should internal borders reappear.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Kruyt, who attended a meeting on the issue with commission officials at its transport branch on 28 January, said on Thursday (4 February) conservative figures put forward hover at "around €6 billion".

The commission's transport spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the study or the figure but instead referred back to a speech earlier this week at the European Parliament by EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on safeguarding Schengen.

Juncker had previously said at a press conference that border checks in Europe would cost road transport companies €3 billion a year in lost revenue.

Juncker's €3 billion figure comes from the Geneva-based International Road Transport Union (IRU), an association that represents bus, coach, taxi and truck operators.

Its branch in Brussels told EUobserver the real figure is likely between 3 to €10 billion, depending on border delays.

"The potential for just the road transport industry could be as high as €10 billion depending how severe the delays and border crossings become," said IRU spokesperson Stuart Colley.

Around 6 million people are employed in land and passenger transport with several million trucks transporting goods throughout the EU on a daily basis.

Colley cited estimated costs per vehicle somewhere between €55 and €70 per hour of delay.

"That is in terms of fuel, lost contracts, in terms of drivers' wages," he said.

Other possible factors include penalties for delivery delays, which may force companies to hire out more truckers to provide the same service. Perishable goods like food may also be at risk.

Trade between EU states in 2013 was €2.8 trillion.

The European Commission, for its part, briefly highlighted the concerns in its 200-page Winter Economic Forecast.

The report, out Thursday, says "the long term reintroduction of internal border controls" may disrupt economic growth in the internal market.

It notes the public perception of the increased number of refugee numbers may also thwart economic confidence.

Economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said any risk to Schengen would be "political and an economic mistake".

In a study published earlier this week, French public think-tank France Strategie estimated the total loses throughout the EU at over €100 billion by 2025.

"Widespread permanent border controls would decrease trade between Schengen countries by a factor of 10 percent to 20 percent," it noted.

Would the euro really be in danger without Schengen?

EU Commission president Juncker and chancellor Merkel say there is a direct link between the euro and Schengen, but the single market would not necessarily falter with the reintroduction of border controls.

Stakeholder

Impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector

The ALDE Group recently hosted a hearing on the human and economic impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector, which would be one of the hardest hit sectors if the Schengen system falls apart.

Border management going virtual

EU leaders at a summit in Brussels are set to endorse new border control measures, while the head of a Tallinn-based EU agency predicts a future where border management goes virtual.

Interview

EU visa waiver unlikely to import Ukraine crime

Visa-free travel, which began last week, unlikely to prompt a Ukrainian crime wave, an EU police expert has said, but Ukraine itself is seeing increases in lawlessness.

Opinion

Why Schengen deserves to be saved

Far-right parties around Europe have managed to turn the passport-free Schengen area into a game of political hot potato despite its numerous benefits.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  2. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  3. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  5. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  6. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  7. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  8. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  9. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  10. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  11. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  12. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million

Latest News

  1. 'USB condoms' and migration on Estonia's EU agenda
  2. EU parliament should befriend transparency
  3. EU fines Google €2.4 bn over online shopping
  4. EU Commission could get say on Russia gas pipeline
  5. G20 is 'test run' for Trump-era climate governance
  6. Political conditions for EU funds prompt debate
  7. May defends proposal on EU citizens' rights
  8. UK visitors to pay into EU budget after Brexit