4 - FOOD POLICY – Foster voluntary initiatives on diet and nutrition for local food services instead of
horizontal EU legislation
The well-being of its customers is at the heart of the 2 million hospitality businesses
in Europe, which is composed of almost 1 million restaurants and similar
establishments. With this goal in mind, the European hospitality sector supported
the recent European legislation to manage the risks linked to acrylamide in food. It
shows that the sector is fully taking its responsibilities when safety is at stake.
Considering the fight against obesity, one of the major current public health
challenges, the sector is fully engaged at national and local level in the promotion
of healthy nutrition and lifestyles through various actions and projects and will further enhance its voluntary
campaigns during the next EU mandate. This was commended by Commissioner Andriukaitis who invited
HOTREC to join in 2017 the EU platform for diet, physical activity and health with a commitment to present
HOTREC Members’ panorama of actions in favour of a healthy nutrition.
This shows that voluntary measures, as the ones which took the European hospitality industry together with
the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) to reduce food waste and develop food donations, are proving
their effectiveness and therefore favourably replace European-wide legislation in this case. Indeed, hospitality
businesses often produce non-standardised dishes based on local gastronomic expectations and availability
of seasonal products. They are typically small local service providers regulated as such.
Therefore, in the absence of risks for the integrity of the single market, EU Institutions should foster voluntary
industry initiatives instead of horizontal EU legislation which may impact local businesses.
5- SOCIAL AFFAIRS - Skills: Make the fight against skills shortage a truly EU case
Despite the fact of representing 2 million businesses, 90% of which are micro-
enterprises, and 11.9 million jobs, the hospitality sector strives to attract and retain
workers. Technological changes have created new needs for digital skills to respond
to customers’ demands and to be more visible online. Societal change also drives
new demands, for instance in food services, were qualified chefs are missing. In fact,
while the average job vacancy rate is of 1.7% in the EU, in the accommodation and
food service sector, it reaches 3% in Belgium, 4.4% in Germany, 7.4% in Greece.
A strong EU policy should be set-up to help the tourism industry to innovate, attract, train and retain the
workforce. Solutions pass through EU funding able to finance massive trainings (e.g. on digital, interpersonal
skills, languages); the promotion of quality, cost-effective and attractive apprenticeship schemes and vocational
education and training (VET); advertising existing tools (e.g. European Hospitality Skills Passport, which enables
employers and job seekers match on the labour market); facilitating the transition from education to work to
meet the labour market demand; anticipating and detecting emerging skills needs. At the same time, the EU
should secure the possibility of using flexible working arrangements, to help the industry face the challenge of
seasonality and the fact that customers expect hospitality business to be open outside normal working time,
week-ends included. All in all, the EU Institutions should support the launch of multistakeholder campaigns to
improve the image of the hospitality and tourism sectors.
2019 EU elections
White Paper for Hospitality in Europe