Impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector
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.
- Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
- All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
- 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.