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The Communication from the Commission on the European Green Deal contains - in addition to a plan for achieving the climate targets - many starting points for demands from the workers' perspective. The AK supports the European Green Deal in principle but emphasises that all measures withing the framework must be socially just and in the interests of the employees.

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Norbert Templ

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Florian Wukovitsch

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For all people in Europe, the current crisis has a tremendous impact on all areas of live. Not least for passengers. Whilst airlines and tour operators are lobbying for watering down current EU law, the Chamber of Labour and consumer protectors are fighting for those who are affected.

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The ambitous plans of the European Commission on the European Green Deal are not least also raising social issues. In order to create a fair path towards a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, the Commission had published a proposal on setting up a Just Transition Fund already in January. The Chamber of Labour has scrutinized the proposal within the scope of its current Position Paper on the Green Deal.

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On 12th March 2020, the European Commission revealed another component of its plan to make Europe energy neutral by 2050: the circular economy action plan shall ensure that the European economy becomes more resource efficient. This does not only concern improved recycling and the reuse of raw materials, but also facilitating repairs and providing better information for consumers.

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On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, the EU Commission presented the eagerly anticipated climate law. This proposal, which had been announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the first 100 days of her term in office, is regarded as the centrepiece of the European Green Deal. However, it received a mixed reaction.  

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On 20 February 2020, Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean presented the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament the focus areas of the new Commission for the current year. However, the following debate with MEPs was dominated by the tense situation at the Brenner Pass, which might result in new infringement proceedings against Austria.

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How do European companies report on the social and environmental impact of their business activities? To answer this question, the Alliance for Corporate Transparency presented a large-scale review in Brussels this week. For the first time, an extensive data set has been available, which analyses the sustainability reports of 1,000 European companies.

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Currently, the reforms of rail and air passenger rights, which are established at European level, are negotiated in Brussels. Even though a current study by the Commission determines a need for action, passengers might enjoy fewer rights in future, in particular in respect of possible compensation in case of delays or cancellations.

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The ongoing search for a compromise regarding the Mobility Package has almost come to an end. After at the end of last year, the representatives of EU Parliament, Council and der Commission had agreed a joint text in trilogue, the EU Parliament’s Transport Committee has now confirmed the result with a relatively slim majority.

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A recent study by the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour takes a closer look at the consequences of further liberalisation in road transport for truck drivers and transport companies, given that liberalisation prevails without practical control mechanisms that would allow for a fair competition. The study highlights the consequences of lacking measures combatting wage and social dumping on European roads and examines the effects on climate protection and environmentally friendly rail freight transport.

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Richard Ruziczka

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