Which are the options for the future implementation of the European Tourism Quality Label (ETQ)? The European Commission discussed this topic with stakeholders during an open conference that took place on January, 25.
Regarding operational options, the majority of stakeholders expressed their support for a full European Coordination (option 1): the majority also agreed on the recognition of all types of quality systems (national, sub-national, regional, private and transnational).
A smaller group of stakeholders was in favour of the option 2 “Management and decision at national level” that requires the establishment of National Boards that will carry out all administrative and recognition procedures.
Option 3, “European Coordination with delegation to National Boards” has been supported by a couple of private industry stakeholders. This option foresees that some tasks are delegated to the national governance bodies, but the European Board will take final decisions.
The EC proposed a possible option for the future organizational framework of the ETQ Label: at the initial phase, a Full European Coordination, with the recognition of all types of quality systems. Member States could establish their National Boards but final decision on the assessment of national and transnational quality systems would always be taken by the ETQ Board.
One of the most discussed topic have been the legal instrument to be adopted to establish the Label. The EC proposed to adopt a Regulation but industry stakeholders as well as Member States expressed their concerns on the flexibility and the effectiveness of this legislative instrument.
The EC underlined that it will analyze the most appropriate legal instrument for the ETQ Label but, even in the form of a Regulation, the initiative will remain voluntary and there will be no attempt of standardization.
The Commission is now finalizing the terms of reference for the Impact Assessment Study which will try to meet stakeholders requests. An Impact Assessment Report will be then prepared in support of the proposal on the European Tourism Label. The adoption of the Label is foreseen by the end of 2012.