1. Develop the rail network within the EU and connect the larger cities with fast trains. It should be easier to travel between different countries. The flight is taxed. It will be easier to book international train travel. This is also in the January agreement. Sweden will trade more night trains to Europe.
Jakop Dalunde: We greens want to facilitate train travel in Europe by making it cheaper, faster and easier, to make it possible for trains to replace flights as the main means of transport throughout Europe. Therefore, during the term of office, I have pushed several green reforms into the European Parliament’s Transport Committee to accelerate the shift from flight to trains. I have been involved in ensuring that train passengers should have stronger rights when it comes to, among other things, compensation of costs. The European Parliament has adopted our proposal that travellers should have the right to take the next train to the same destination if they miss their connection. In addition, they shall be entitled to higher compensation for delays. Parliament also adopted our proposal that train operators should open up their booking systems to make it easier to book international travel. We Greens want to develop the rail network within the EU by building high-speed railways and creating more connections with night trains. The Swedish Transport Administration will, for example, procure night trains with daily departures to several European cities.
2. Tax the aviation fuel so that aviation pays its entire climate impact. Public procurement of night trains.
JD: I want to make it more expensive to fly and cheaper, faster and easier to take the train. In order for the aviation to pay for its entire climate impact, we greens want to introduce fuel and energy taxes on aviation fuel. In addition, we want to increase the Swedish air tax successively. Revenue from the air tax can then be invested in expanded rail traffic, so that it becomes easier and smoother to travel by train. Night trains is an excellent way to reduce travel times and therefore I want to promote that the Swedish Transport Administration procure night trains with daily departures in Europe. I think that levelling the playing field between trains and flights and a greater support for climate-friendly transport like trains go hand in hand.
3. It has not worked well. Would like to see a review of the train market.
JD: As greens we have been critical of the liberalization of the national rail market. Historically, there have been better alternatives. The system that is in place has its shortcomings and, at present, good and flexible cross-border train connections are rather an exception than a rule. Our focus is to make it easier for train operators to operate across borders. In the European Parliament, therefore, I would like to continue to introduce open booking systems so that it becomes easier for travelers to book a coherent journey on cross-border routes and routes run by different operators.
4. Excellent, everything that increases train travel at the expense of the flight is good.
JD: I welcome all initiatives that reinforce the opportunities for train travel within Europe. If we are to reduce our air travel, there must be climate-friendly alternatives. An interconnected network for cross-border day and night trains is what we want to achieve in European transport policy. The European Commission has produced a proposal to link several existing train routes and to build important high-speed railways. I see this so-called TEN-T proposal as a big step in the right direction.
5. It must be easier to travel by train in Europe, tie up big cities with fast trains, even from Sweden.
JD: We Greens want to develop the rail network across the EU and tie the major cities with high-speed trains. The TEN-T proposal I think is a good step in the right direction to harmonize the patchwork of railways that exist today. Above all, we need many new high-speed tracks. The train staff should also be able to speak more languages on the train. Another important measure is that train operators open up their booking systems completely and allow other train operators to drive on their routes, and vice versa.
6. Travelers’ rights must be strengthened, for example, one should be able to jump on the next train at no cost if one is delayed. Easier to book also over operator boundaries. A more cohesive system for travelers’ rights.
JD: The European Parliament adopted its position on train passengers’ rights in the autumn of 2018. Our vision is that it should be cheaper, faster and easier to travel in Europe. I have been involved in several green reforms which are now included in Parliament’s position. The most important thing is that train companies should open up their booking systems so that it becomes easier for travelers to book international travel. In addition, train passengers’ rights must be strengthened so that they receive higher compensation for delays and the right to take the next train to the same destination – even if it is operated by another train operator. The European Parliament endorsed the Commission’s proposal for “exceptional circumstances” or “force majeure” as it is called in the negotiations. If this writing would be discussed again will do my best to make it as restrictive as possible. In the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council, I will also defend the rights of train passengers as they are now formulated in Parliament’s position.
7. Aircraft fuel, other than that used in private pleasure-flying, is exempt from excise duty.
The exemption is included in the Energy Tax Directive 2003/96/EC (Article 14(1)(b)).
JD: I am very critical of the international agreement CORSIA because it contains too many loopholes. For example, sustainability criteria for what fuels may be counted as biofuels are very weak. In addition, the agreement allows the airline to compensate for its emissions. In addition to climate compensation being an inefficient tool for sustainable development, I think it is wrong that the aviation as the most climate-destroying means of transport should be able to buy itself free from its own emission reductions. CORSIA also threatens the Swedish air tax because the agreement wants to replace all national or bilateral air taxes.
In accordance with the January agreement, Sweden will be take a leading role in renegotiating the international agreements that hinders taxation of fossil fuel, just as CORSIA intends to do with the Swedish air tax. I want to negotiate an international tax on aviation fuel. Until then, we will support the countries that develop bilateral air taxes. A work that is going on in parallel is of course to reduce flights in total numbers.
7.1 Yes, Mp wants to introduce energy and fuel tax on aviation fuel. So what is needed is a review of the current directive from 2003:
Aircraft fuel, other than used in private pleasure-flying, is exempt from excise duty.
The exemption is included in the Energy Tax Directive 2003/96 / EC (Article 14 (1) (b)).
JD: I am in favor of introducing both energy and fuel taxes on aviation fuel, and this is an issue we actively pursue in the European Parliament. The Netherlands has recently taken a good initiative on the issue by advocating an EU air tax. At present, aviation fuel is unfortunately the exception in EU taxes, although it can be taxed nationally or bilaterally. A revision of the energy tax directive is needed for a shift towards greener taxation, which can, among other things, help to combat climate change, reduce tax on labor and improve the economy.
7.2 I can imagine driving such a ban. But first, fuel and energy tax on aviation fuel.
JD: As greens we push for the airlines to be responsible for their entire climate cost. We want to introduce energy and fuel taxes on aviation fuel and to abolish all subsidies to fossil fuel activities, including airports and motorway construction. A general ban on short flights in the EU is nothing that we have proposed, even though there are interesting initiatives from for example the Belgian Greens for a ban on short-haul flights such as Brussels – Amsterdam. However, for measures such as these, there must be good alternatives, and I believe that radical reforms such as those proposed above are more effective in changing travel behavior than prohibition proposals.