Friday

26th May 2017

Stakeholder

Impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector

  • A full re-establishment of border controls within Schengen could discourage tourists from travelling within Europe (Photo: Lee Kelleher)

The deteriorating refugee crisis highlights how the lack of a comprehensive EU migration and asylum system seriously affects the EU economy, especially the transport sector and networks.

On 3 March, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group of the European Parliament hosted a hearing on the human and economic impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector.

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.

ALDE MEPs Matthijs Van Miltenburg and Angelika Mlinar, co-hosts of the hearing, along with EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc and key players in the sector discussed the financial and social consequences of reintroducing border controls and the challenges facing Schengen.

Calling for a common European asylum and migration policy, Van Miltenburg warned that “the lack of a coherent and common EU approach to the refugee crisis is having a negative effect on the European transport sector.

"From Hungary to Germany, from Denmark to Britain, governments have introduced border controls, erected fences and suspended public transport. These changes are also starting to hit the tourism sector. Without a comprehensive EU approach, our transport sector will continue to be forced to bear the consequences,” he said.

"Our failure to find a European response to the refugee crisis is now starting to hit the European transport sector, with direct consequences for the daily activities of EU citizens,” Mlinar added.

"A number of studies have made it clear that the costs of a further deterioration of the Schengen agreement are incredibly high and the transport sector would be one of the hardest hit sectors. We need to clamp down on people traffickers much more effectively and instead work to provide safe and legal routes to Europe for both asylum seekers and migrants."

The European Commission estimates that a full re-establishment of border controls within Schengen would have a direct cost of €5 billion to €18 billion. The road transport of goods would become more expensive, workers would lose time crossing borders and tourists could be discouraged from travelling within Europe, the Commission predicted.

Transport to lose billions from EU border checks

An increase in internal border controls could cause transport firms to lose €10 billion in annual revenues, with the European Commission reportedly citing conservative estimates of around €6 billion.

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.

We must renew Europe for all Europeans

A call for socialist values and rights at a time when Europe is facing a number of existential threats, says a group of progressive European affairs ministers.

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

News in Brief

  1. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  2. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  3. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  4. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  5. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  6. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  7. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  8. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms