The priorities of the Romanian Council Presidency in the area of tourism were presented today by Minister of Tourism Bogdan Trif in the framework of an exchange of views with the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), which took place in Brussels.
Romania holds the Council Presidency in the first half of 2019, a context in which the Minister of Tourism accepted the MEPs’ invitation to speak before the TRAN Committee on the priorities in the area of tourism.
“Our priority during the Council Presidency office is to make tourism more visible, to draw attention on the fact that it is a constantly changing sector and that our policies must be adapted to the new challenges. Tourism is a genuine driver of economic development and we intend to approach it accordingly. Our main objective is to keep Europe in the world’s top-ranking tourist destinations. To that end, however, we need to adjust the way in which we conceive of tourism, the more so in the context of digitalisation. We must neither leave out the security element, an important chapter for the holiday makers, as they first need to feel safe – and Europe is now an oasis of calm, which is beneficial to the growth of tourism. As you know, there is no budget line earmarked for tourism yet. We have taken note of the European Parliament’s resolution on the need to finance tourism directly, but it is not within the Council’s mandate to settle now matters regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. What is of high importance to us is the proposal to draw up conclusions on the tourism sector in the COMPET Council meeting, to be held by the end of May. We want to introduce digitalisation in the list of priorities and to warn of the new challenges in this sector. In that context, we have emphasised that it is necessary to develop a strategic paper that would replace or update the Commission Communication of 2010 “Europe, the word’s No. 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe” and adapt it to the developments on the single market and on the digital single market”, stated Minister of Tourism Bogdan Trif.
As far as Romania is concerned, the Council Presidency intends to organise three informal events.
In the last few years, tourism has witnessed a great diversification of services, which urges us to place particular emphasis on sustainable tourism development, not only from the environmental perspective, but also socially and economically, both at EU level and worldwide. These aspects will be approached in the conference on “Sustainable tourism – common policies of EU Member States”, to be held in Bucharest on April 1-4, 2019. The event will comprise a high-level meeting (April 2, 2019) and an expert-level meeting (April 3, 2019).
The Ministry of Tourism will also organise the ministerial meeting on “The EU Strategy for the Danube Region – An instrument for economic development”, an event for the EUSDR member countries, to be held in Tulcea, on June 11-14, 2019.
The third conference organised under the auspices of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the meeting of the EDEN network, which will bring together representatives of the European Destinations of Excellence, will be held in Piatra Neamț on April 10-12, 2019.