MEPs Want Better Consumer Protection because of Thomas Cook's Bankruptcy
In a resolution adopted Thursday, MEPs expressed concern about the hundreds of thousands of blocked tourists (over 600,000), the thousands of jobs lost, the difficulties caused to small and medium-sized enterprises and the damage caused to the tourism sector by the bankruptcy of " Thomas Cook. "
MEPs say Member States should use the European Social Fund and theGlobalisation Adjustment Fund to help workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the bankruptcy, as well as companies affected by the collapse of the travel company, and the commission must establish financial EU instruments that could offset the damage done to the sector.
The Commission and the Member States must also ensure that workers affected by employer insolvency receive their paid but unpaid salaries and retirement benefits, they add.
MEPs note that since 2017, more than 32 companies have gone bankrupt and ask the commission to determine whether new measures are needed to prevent such situations in the future.
The reasons that led to Thomas Cook's bankruptcy should be investigated, given that the company's financial position was already known to the British authorities. If necessary, the rules could be modified to better monitor the financial situation of airlines, MEPs said, adding that state aid could be seen as an option to mitigate negative economic effects, but only as a last resort.
In order to increase the protection of passengers in the event of an airline bankruptcy, it is necessary that the EU rules on passenger rights include mandatory safeguards such as guarantee funds or airline insurance contracts. EU passenger rights rules are currently under review and Member States are expected to adopt their position.
MEPs also ask the committee to submit a proposal on the right of workers to receive information and to participate in consultations, as well as to forecast and manage restructuring processes in accordance with the European Parliament resolution of January 2013.
MEPs stress that the tourism sector, which has suffered serious damage due to the collapse of Thomas Cook, generates more than 10 percent of EU total GDP and acts as an incentive for other sectors. It should therefore be included in the Commission's priorities and have a separate budget line in the next EU budget.
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