Belgium and eight other member states of the European Union have written to the European Commission to invite its future president Ursula von der Leyen to launch a debate on taxation of the aviation sector on the ‘polluter-pays’ principle.
Along with its societal and economic advantages, aviation “produces about 2.5% of world CO2 emissions with negative consequences like noise and atmospheric pollution,” France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Bulgaria emphasised in a joint statement.
Air transport is exempt from excise duties; there is no tax levied on international flights or coordinated tax on tickets, they added in this post from The Hague.
The nine countries are calling on the next European Commission to open the debate by nonetheless taking account of the competitiveness and particular circumstances of each member state. They are asking the executive to come up with a draft directive, without specifying the form the tax will
eventually take (on airline tickets, aviation fuel, etc.).
The Netherlands has for several months been the driving force behind taxation in the aviation sector. In 2021, albeit without an agreement at the European level, The Hague intends to introduce a tax of €7 on airline tickets whatever the destination. France announced in July it would be initiating an ecotax of €1.50 to €18 on airline tickets from 2020. The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Norway have also already introduced aviation taxes.