The decision was made against the background of an expectation of at least some degree of harmonisation of tax rates as part of the process of completing the single market. That has not happened; there remain massive differences in excise rates and abolition of duty-free before that issue is addressed is putting the cart before the horse.
The warnings of job losses, damage to the regions and higher travel costs come from a number of independent research studies. These were commissioned by the industry, but only because the Commission itself has consistently refused to undertake a study of the economic and social consequences of abolition, as formally requested by the European Parliament in 1991.
Since 1991 the Commission has likewise made no effort to propose an alternative workable regime to duty-free. Hence the chaotic situation if duty-free is abolished.
This whole issue must be reviewed by EU finance ministers.Reuse content