Aviation has a very broad impact on economic growth. The air transport system generates benefits beyond the immediate aviation industry. As well as connectivity and mobility for citizens and businesses, they include securing investments, supplying jobs and improving productivity and innovation - thus contributing to society's welfare. The aviation sector employs almost 2 million people and contributes EURO 110 billion to Europe's economy.
The European Commission has identified four key priorities in its Aviation Strategy for Europe: to place the EU as a leading player in international aviation, whilst guaranteeing a level playing field; to tackle limits to growth in the air and on the ground; to maintain high EU standards for safety, security, the environment, social issues and passenger rights and to make progress on innovation, digital technologies and investments.
Already earlier this year the EESC has set out a series of concrete steps necessary to achieve an Integrated EU Aviation Policy in its opinion adopted during the plenary session on 16 September. In order to remain competitive, the EU needs a coherent and comprehensive EU Aviation Strategy which removes the unnecessary burdens undermining the aviation value network, drives for a global consensus on sustainability and reflects the values of European citizens and businesses. "In its opinion, the EESC identified 6 areas in which action must be taken to boost competitiveness: safety, connectivity, innovation, sustainability, the social dimension and global competition. The key to success will be implementation. To deliver we need a cooperation and involvement of all representatives of the value chain in aviation," said Jacek Krawczyk, rapporteur for the EESC opinion on an Integrated EU Aviation Policy,
Anne Demelenne, the rapporteur for the EESC opinion on Social Dumping in the European civil aviation sector also adopted in September welcomed the European Commission's proposal to reinforce the social agenda and to create high quality jobs in aviation. However, she insisted that more should be done to fight social dumping. The EESC opinion sets out clear recommendations to the Commission to fight social dumping - the proper enforcement of national social legislation and collective agreements, scrutiny of uncompetitive practices from non EU carriers, such as subsidies, state aids and promoting direct employment as the standard model in the sector by limiting the use of self-employed workers and temporary employment agencies.
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