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BT4Europe outlines priorities in 2024 manifesto

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BT4Europe, the European network of business travel associations, on Wednesday (15 May) published its 2024 manifesto outlining its priorities for the next five years, including its intention to actively engage with newly-elected EU officials.

Chief among these is forging a path towards sustainable business travel as well as driving digital transformation across the industry to increase efficiencies.

Following the EU Parliament elections in June, BT4Europe chair Patrick Diemer said the group of 13 business travel associations anticipates “devoting our efforts… to working alongside new EU officials and politicians”.

“Together, we will advocate for policies and initiatives that drive positive change and propel the business travel industry towards a more sustainable and digitally transformed future,” he added.

In line with its previous mandate, BT4Europe will continue to advocate for and inform EU regulation pertaining to business travel, such as the recently introduced Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the forthcoming Multimodal Mobility Digital Services initiative (MDMS). The latter, according to the association, must fully integrate booking, payment and ticketing processes across all forms of transportation, including last mile journeys, to allow for more sustainable and cost-effective business trips.

BT4Europe is also pushing for the development of a common framework for CO2 emissions calculation, as outlined in the proposed CountEmissionsEU regulation, to enable a fair comparison of travel services as well as provide corporates with more standardised data for CSRD reporting compliance.

To foster greater dialogue with EU policymakers, earlier this year the association launched a series of workshops, in the form of webinars, that involve discussions with members of the European Parliament and allow business travel professionals to engage and ask questions.

The first two workshops took place in March and April, respectively, with a focus on MDMS and cross-border travel using digital IDs. A third webinar dedicated to CountEmissions EU is currently being planned, according to BT4Europe.

Additionally, the group will continue to champion business travellers’ passenger rights and seek to remove ‘the excessive paperwork and administrative burden’ associated with travel by campaigning to change the EU’s Regulation 883/2004 to allow business travellers an exemption from A1 form requirements, if travel is under two weeks.

BT4Europe was formed in 2022 by founding members ABTA (Austria), AEGVE (Spain), AITMM (Italy), AFTM (France), ASTM (Switzerland), BATM (Belgium), CORTAS (The Netherlands), DBTA (Denmark), FBTA (Finland), NATM (The Netherlands), NBTA (Norway), SBTA (Sweden) and VDR (Germany).

Affiliate members such as BizAway, FCM, CDS Groupe, Goelett and Corporate Rates Club (CRC) have since joined to support the organisation. 

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