Today the 28 EU Transport Ministers authorised the European Commission to start negotiations for EU-level aviation agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is one of the main deliverables of the new Aviation Strategy for Europe – a milestone initiative to boost Europe’s economy, strengthen its industrial base and reinforce its global leadership position, which are three core priorities of President Jean-Claude Juncker.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Global connectivity is a driver of trade and tourism, directly contributing to economic growth and job creation. I am pleased that we have the support from the 28 EU Transport Ministers to upgrade Europe’s aviation relations with some of our key partners. Only months after its adoption, the delivery of the Aviation Strategy for Europe is firmly on track. Once agreed, these agreements will offer new business opportunities to the whole aviation sector, new routes and better fares to passengers, whilst guaranteeing a level playing field to our companies. However this is only the beginning. I now invite Member States to continue working on the remaining mandates.”
EU-level aviation agreements create new economic opportunities and ensure fair and transparent market conditions based on a clear regulatory framework for all actors. They ensure market access, promote investment opportunities, facilitate air travel and provide a wider choice to consumers. They also aim to ensure high standards of safety, security, air traffic management and infrastructure, as well as in consumer, social, and environmental protection.
Once concluded, it is estimated that the economic benefits of the agreements could be:
- ASEAN: up to € 7.9 billion in the first seven years of the agreement (2017-2023) and up to 5,700 new jobs by 2023. Download the full fact sheet here.
- Turkey: up to € 5 billion annually from increased tourism, up to a 50% decrease in ticket prices thanks to the opening of markets, and a total of up to 48,000 new jobs. Download the full fact sheet here.
- Gulf Cooperation Council States: considered all together, up to € 8.4 billion during the first eight years of the agreement (2018-2025) and 8,300 new jobs by 2025. Download the full fact sheet here.
The Commission will now reach out to these partners in order to start negotiations shortly.
The Transport Council today also discussed the progress achieved under the Dutch Council Presidency on the Commission’s proposal for a revision of the Aviation Safety Regulation. This proposal is another key component of the Aviation Strategy for Europe and aims to maintain high safety standards alongside growing air traffic. This includes the creation of the first EU-wide legal framework for drones. Work will continue during the Slovak Council Presidency.