Nine EU countries urge new Commission to tax aviation more

(EurActiv, 8 Nov 2019) A coalition made up of Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden urged the next European Commission on Thursday (7 November) to propose new measures on aviation pricing, in what has been described as “an unprecedented opportunity”.

In a statement signed by the finance ministers of all nine countries, the group calls on Ursula von der Leyen’s incoming executive to “bring the debate on aviation pricing, e.g. in the form of aviation taxation or similar policies, a step further”.

The Dutch-led initiative insists that “aviation is not sufficiently priced” compared to other transport modes and that “we are convinced that EU coordination on this matter is the most effective for all member states”.

Finance state secretary Menno Snel told reporters that “we are sure the Commission will pick this up enthusiastically and come up with a proposal”.

He added that “introducing a new tax is always difficult” but insisted it is necessary to create a level playing field and avoid carbon leakage.

The nine countries in question are responsible for more than half of the EU’s aviation emissions. Spain and the UK are notable absences from the letter, although both will hold elections over the next month.

An EU diplomat told EURACTIV that Madrid is not opposed to the plan but that more impact assessments on factors like jobs and tourism have to be completed first.

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EurActiv, 8 Nov 2019: Nine EU countries urge new Commission to tax aviation more