Thursday

18th Apr 2019

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.

... or 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.

Prison suicide rates in France highest in Europe

Suicide rates per 10,000 inmates in 2017 in France stood at 12.6, higher than any other European country. The latest figures are part of a much bigger report out Tuesday by the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us