In a joint statement, 9 finance ministers called upon the European Commission to advance a proposal for an EU initiative on aviation pricing. The ministers of Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands and Bulgaria stated that aviation is not sufficiently priced when compared to other means of transportation.
Negative effects of aviation
The ministers emphasised that aviation transport is responsible for approximately 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it causes additional negative externalities like noise and air pollution. However, these negative effects are currently not covered in the price of international flight tickets. Aviation transport is exempted from excise duties, no VAT is levied on international flights, there is no coordinated ticket tax, and economic instruments to curb greenhouse gas emissions can be strengthened in the aviation sector.
In addition, these tax exemptions lead to unfair competition. Since other means of transportation are being taxed, the air flight tickets are under-priced. It would be more than fair to tax flights the same way as other types of transportation.
According to the ministers, EU coordination on the pricing of the negative externalities of aviation would be most effective for all member states and could ensure that the polluter pays a fairer price. By means of the joint statement, the ministers ask the incoming European Commission to present a proposal for an EU initiative on aviation pricing. When doing so, the European Commission is asked to take into consideration the existing effective national systems and policies, the competitiveness of the sectors concerned, and the geographical position and the development of the transport infrastructure in member states.