European Council approves Eurogroup's €540 billion package
Leaseurope Policy Latest: la Newsletter di Leaseurope che fornisce ai membri una panoramica delle ultime novità del settore del leasing e del noleggio auto, degli sviluppi della politica e dei prossimi eventi in un formato facilmente digeribile.
Riunisce in un unico luogo le informazioni aggiornate sugli sviluppi che avranno un impatto sul settore del leasing e del noleggio auto, e tiene aggiornati i membri sul lavoro del team di supporto di Leaseurope.
In questo numero, un aggiornamento sul lavoro in corso presso le istituzioni dell'UE per affrontare la crisi COVID-19, l'impegno di Leaseurope con la Commissione Europea per coinvolgere specificamente l'industria del leasing e del noleggio nei piani di ripresa. Infine i nuovi sviluppi sul lavoro di sensibilizzazione di Leaseurope su Basilea IV e sulla prevista proposta della Commissione e sul recente lavoro sui veicoli collegati. Di seguito l'intera Newsletter (in inglese).
EU UPDATES & INDUSTRY TRENDS
€540 BILLION SAFETY NET PACKAGE ENDORSED BY EUROPEAN COUNCIL
On 23 April the European Council held their fourth video conference to deal with COVID-19 and its consequences. The EU head of states discussed progress on the European response to the pandemic, welcomed the Joint European Roadmap for COVID-19 de-containment measures and defined four key areas for action: a fully functioning Single Market, an unprecedented investment effort, acting globally, and a functioning system of governance. The Council endorsed the agreement reached by the Eurogroup previously on important safety nets for workers, businesses and sovereigns, amounting to a package worth 540 billion euros which they would like to be operational by 1 June 2020. They also agreed to work towards establishing a recovery fund and tasked the European Commission with creating a proportionate proposal as well as clarifying the link with the Multiannual Financial Framework, which in any event will need to be adjusted to deal with the current crisis and its aftermath.
You can find a useful summary of all EU Covid-19 related measure here.
COVID-19 TOURISM CRISIS DEBATED BY EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COMMISSION
On 21 April the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee of the European Parliament held a debate with Commissioner Breton on urgent measures to support the tourism sector and how to ensure its future resilience. He announced that the Commission will support the tourism ecosystem through funding and reforming the sector, accelerating a restructuring which was already needed. An EU Sustainable Tourism Summit will take place in September this year discussing how to ensure tourism is sustainable, resilient and innovative. Following MEP questions, he stated that any travel or hotel vouchers will need to have a State guarantee in case the company becomes insolvent. While some political groups supported the creation of a specific fund to reimburse tourism bookings (full cash reimbursement), others supported a crisis management mechanism for tourism, stronger than a simple funding tool. Commissioner Breton concluded that the Commission published specific guidelines on the voucher issues
EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL TIMELINE ALTERED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
In light of the ongoing situation surrounding COVID-19, the European Commission will alter the timelines of selected proposals. Whilst some proposals will retain their original timeline, a number of initiatives under the European Green Deal will be postponed or altered. Notably, the 2030 Climate Action Plan setting out the emission goals for 2030 will remain the same, whilst the Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility will potentially be postponed. Additionally, the New EU Strategy on Adaption to Climate Change has been postponed from an expected publication at the end of this year to 2021. In a recent debate with the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee, Vice President Timmermans highlighted the role the European Green Deal would play in helping overcome some of the problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis, categorising the Deal as “a way to give Europe a growth strategy that is a winning strategy”.
COORDINATING INFORMATION SHARING BETWEEN MEMBERS ON COVID-19 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
As part of our ongoing monitoring work on the impact of COVID-19 on our members’ operations, Leaseurope has compiled a table giving an overview of developments at national level. It sets out what is being done by Governments, national authorities, and national associations, as well as the main challenges facing our members across member states. The table is updated regularly and can be found here. If you wish to update the information set out in the table, please contact the Leaseurope team.
JOINT LETTER FOR LEASING, FACTORING & CONSUMER FINANCE ON COVID-19
Leaseurope, Eurofinas and the European Factoring Association (EUF) have written to the Croatian Presidency and European Commission to call for a number of COVID-19 related clarifications and actions for leasing, factoring and consumer finance. It was stressed that the leasing industry has always enabled European businesses, particularly SMEs, to invest and grow by providing essential equipment like manufacturing machines, agricultural equipment, fleet cars, delivery trucks, computers and printers, amongst many more. In order to sustain these efforts, requests were made with regards to state aid rules, requests for temporary payment relief, as well as liquidity focused measures. In the coming weeks Leaseurope will continue to follow up with the relevant Institutions on all these issues.
LEASEUROPE MET WITH EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT AND COMMISSIONER FOR TRANSPORT ON BASEL IV
OA Leaseurope delegation led by our Chairman Patrick Beselaere and including representatives of all leasing types and assets (e.g. operational and financial leasing, equipment and automotive) met with the Cabinets of the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis as well as the European Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean to discuss the prudential capital treatment of leasing and the negative impact of the implementation of Basel IV in Europe.
The meeting was very positive as the Cabinets were open to the possibility of providing leasing (subject to certain requirements to be met) with a preferential capital treatment in the upcoming CRR III. The Secretariat is now working together with the Prudential Supervision Committee on several follow-up actions/information requested by the Cabinets.
The Cabinets also confirmed that the European Commission proposal for implementation of Basel IV will no longer be published before summer but is delayed until the end of 2020 or even the first quarter of 2021.
LETTER TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR INCLUSION OF LEASEUROPE IN RECOVERY PLANS
Leaseurope addressed a letter to the Cabinet of Commissioner Breton asking to be included in DG GROW policy engagement on COVID-19 crisis relief, recovery and stimulus of the automotive and tourism sectors, two of the European sectors most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to date. Whilst the Commission has already undertaken some short-term relief for these sectors, Leaseurope stressed the importance of developing a coherent set of European measures (both regulatory and financial) that reinforce national schemes and support the sustainable recovery in the medium and longer-terms.
You can find a related press release here.
EUROPEAN TOURISM MANIFESTO GROUP MET WITH EUROPEAN COMMISSION
As a member of the European Tourism Manifesto, the pan-European federation representing the tourism industry, Leaseurope joined a virtual meeting with Commissioner Breton and other representatives of the private travel & tourism sector. The Manifesto’s Chairman conveyed the message put forth in our common public statement, emphasising the urgent measures needed to support the sector and calling for further support measures in the crisis aftermath.
Commissioner Breton acknowledged that the tourism sector needs a holistic approach with regards to support measures. He proposed the creation of a new governance body for the European tourism ecosystem in order to propose concrete solutions for the immediate mitigation of the crisis and the recovery period, including both the private sector and the European Commission. The European Commission will select the representatives to be part of this group and the Manifesto Alliance, through its Chairman and Secretariat, will certainly be represented there. This will allow Leaseurope to ensure our industry specific issues are taken onboard.
ADDRESSING RENTAL ISSUES WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Leaseurope has recently raised specific short-term rental issues faced in the current COVID-19 crisis in a letter to the Commission, in particular those relating to tourism. We outlined a number of potential measures to be implemented in Member States, for example among others:
- address fixed costs (e.g. temporarily reduce/eliminate VAT for new and second hand vehicle purchase, relaxation of (re)registration rules when transferring motor vehicles between countries)
- financial aid should be available to all airport concessionaires including car rental, encourage waiver/reduction of rent charges
- implement a 12-month delay for implementing SCA procedures within PSDII
- allocate labour market support measures (e.g. by extending the EU ‘SURE’ fund to underpin temporary unemployment) and increasing the grant threshold for each eligible company under the Commission’s State Aid Temporary Framework
- ensuring that VAT for car rental services is in line with VAT for tourism services in general
- reduction/elimination of vehicle registration taxes on rental fleets in the 2020-2022 period
Leaseurope is hoping to work with the Commission to develop a tourism recovery strategy and called for car rental, which in an essential part of the tourism ecosystem, to be included in the recovery actions while at the same time enabling sustainable growth for mobility.
EDPB GUIDELINES FOR CONNECTED VEHICLES
Leaseurope recently responded to a consultation on the European Data Protection Board’s draft Guidelines on processing personal data in the context of connected vehicles and mobility related applications. We stressed the need to ensure the Guidelines do not impose a disproportionate burden on leasing and rental companies and noted that an ownership centric approach to the issue of personal data in the context of connected vehicles would be problematic. We also highlighted the operational problems that the Guidelines in their current form would create for the leasing and rental sector.
You can find our full response here.