The EU’s image has been suffering for some time now because people perceive EU policymakers as “Brussels bureaucrats” who make decisions that are out of touch with their everyday lives. To strengthen Europe it is more important than ever before to seek dialogue with the EU institutions and that’s exactly what the TUI Group will be doing from its Brussels office.
The new Brussels office
Close liaison with European decision makers will help the TUI Group to contribute to ensuring fair and objective tourism policies for European citizens and the holiday destinations. This is why the Hanover-based travel company is stepping up its activities in Brussels. Just a few months from now it will be officially opening its new office in the Belgian capital. It aims to engage in constructive dialogue with the Brussels policymakers and emphasise the positive role that tourism plays in many areas of society.
The politicians call for greater commitment from the industry
The EU Package Travel Directive, which was adopted in 2015 after seven years of consultation in Brussels and is currently being transposed into national law, is an example of how valuable the expert input from travel companies and associations is in the legislative process. It was an extremely complex issue from the outset and the EU was keen to make ambitious improvements. The ultimate outcome is a less-than-ideal compromise for both sides, but particularly for the policymakers. Interestingly, the tourism experts in the Bundestag now all agree that the tourism sector should be quicker in future to point out potential problems and pitfalls, and proactively seek dialogue. The TUI Group welcomes this and intends to contribute its expertise at EU level in key policy areas such as consumer and environmental protection, and also on development and security policy issues.
Pragmatism is a must in Brexit negotiations
The Brexit negotiations leading to the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU are a very significant issue. The TUI Group is a European company with German and British roots, so the Brexit process represents a challenge. It is particularly important that all partners take a solution-oriented approach to the negotiations, even though it is clear that there will be no access to the EU internal market with a zero tariff arrangement. There’s too much at stake to start a “War of the Roses”. And the risks of making wrong decisions with wide-reaching consequences are high, especially in decisions affecting the air travel sector – a key sector for many other industries. European holidaymakers and travel companies need a secure framework for long-term planning because flight schedules are already being prepared for 2018 and 2019.