Thursday

19th Jul 2018

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

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.

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

Polish PM defends judicial witch-hunt

Poland's judicial purge was meant to punish former communists, its PM has said, in an angry EU debate that saw him ultimately promise to respect EU court rulings.

EU leaders still in search of migration plan

Select EU leaders met amid rising tension over migration, with Italy's PM, who had threatened to boycott the summit, putting forward a new plans to stop boats from leaving Libya.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  2. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  3. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs
  4. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's 'Stop Soros' law
  5. EU warns Turkey on anti-terror bill
  6. Report: EU secretly scorns UK's Brexit paper
  7. Hungary: UN treaty could 'inspire millions' of migrants
  8. Nato reacts after Trump disparages Montenegro

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us