Procedure : 2006/0048(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0416/2007

Texts tabled :

A6-0416/2007

Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/12/2007 - 3.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0600

REPORT     *
PDF 147kWORD 76k
5.11.2007
PE 382.507v02-00 A6-0416/2007

on the proposal for a decision of the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, on the conclusion of the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Kingdom of Morocco, on the other hand

(COM(2006)0145 – C6‑0333/2007 – 2006/0048(CNS))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Johannes Blokland

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, on the conclusion of the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Kingdom of Morocco, on the other hand

(COM(2006)0145 – C6‑0333/2007 – 2006/0048(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2006)0145),

–   having regard to Decision 2006/959/EC of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 4 December 2006 on the signature and provisional application of the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part(1),

–   having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part(2),

–   having regard to Article 80(2), and Article 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6‑0333/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6‑0416/2007),

1.  Approves conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Kingdom of Morocco.

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

GENERAL BACKGROUND

In March 2005 the Commission submitted a Communication on aviation relations(3), followed, in June of the same year, by the Conclusions of the Council of Ministers. These texts established an ambitious programme of action with a view to developing the Community’s aviation relations; they define the three pillars underpinning European policy, which should:

1) guarantee the legal certainty of existing bilateral agreements, also by including new designation clauses(4); the joint effort of the Commission and the Member States has already produced some important results: 430 treaties of the Member States have thus been amended;

2) develop a wider European Common Aviation Area, which means that neighbouring countries should incorporate European rules into their own legal systems, starting with safety rules. A key agreement has been concluded with the Western Balkan countries. The agreement with Morocco is the second agreement under the Common Aviation Area and the first to be signed with a country outside the European continent. The European Common Aviation Area should cover all EU neighbouring countries by 2010;

3) establish a range of new comprehensive aviation agreements, with inseparable twin aims: on the one hand, to open markets in order to create new economic opportunities and, on the other hand, to establish a process of regulatory convergence that ensures a satisfactory level playing field with sufficiently fair and equitable competition conditions.

This aviation agreement should be seen against the background of the special partnership which has emerged from the Barcelona process between the EU and the countries around its Mediterranean border. The key aims of this partnership, embodied in the agreement, are the opening of markets, fair operating conditions, but also more security, safety and respect for the environment, the aim being to support these countries in the development of their aviation sector. A similar partnership should be sought with the other Mediterranean neighbours of the EC, taking into account, where necessary, the specific features of certain countries.

HISTORY AND SUMMARY OF AGREEMENT

On the basis of a mandate received from the Council of EU Transport Ministers on 10 December 2004, the Commission opened negotiations on a Euro-Mediterranean aviation agreement with Morocco in May 2005; six rounds of talks were held.

The agreement is a so-called ‘comprehensive’ agreement, i.e. a new-generation aviation agreement of the same kind as that which is being finalised with the United States. It was signed and initialled on 12 December 2006 so that it could be applied on a provisional basis, and is due to be concluded definitively.

The agreement does not merely confine itself to opening markets but also includes a general alignment of aviation legislation on both sides, around key aspects of the Community rules and regulations on aviation, including those concerning safety, economic regulation and, in particular, competition, air traffic control and consumer protection. It also contains a fairly bold provision concerning bilateral investment on both sides of the Mediterranean.

Market opening between Morocco and the EU will be done gradually. The comprehensive agreement consists of two stages and enters into force on a provisional basis when it is signed.

Phase 1: Regulatory convergence begins in phase 1. The main competition rules and the ban on state aid are also applicable in phase 1. With regard to market access, phase 1 includes the following:

For Moroccan carriers:

· unlimited 3rd and 4th freedoms between Morocco and the EU;

· the right to operate from any point in Morocco to any point in Europe.

For European carriers:

· unlimited 3rd and 4th freedoms between the EU and Morocco;

· the right to operate from any point in Europe to any point in Morocco.

For instance, a Moroccan airline will be able to fly without restriction between Casablanca and Stockholm, or set up a new service between Marrakesh and Naples. Administrative procedures will be reduced to a minimum.

Phase 2: The satisfactory application of the relevant European legislation by Morocco is a prerequisite for entering into phase 2. The relevant European legislation in question covers the best part of some 28 regulations and directives (such as those concerning social legislation, air traffic control, denied boarding, environmental and noise restrictions, etc.).

With regard to market access, phase 2 includes the following:

For Moroccan carriers:

· 5th freedom consecutive traffic rights in Europe.

For European carriers:

· 5th freedom passenger traffic rights beyond Morocco to countries covered by the neighbourhood policy;

· 5th freedom cargo traffic rights beyond Morocco without restriction.

For instance, a Moroccan airline will be able to fly between Casablanca and Madrid and then continue its service towards Dublin, boarding passengers between Madrid and Ireland. That will help it to make the service profitable.

Joint Committee: an EU-Morocco Joint Committee will be set up from phase 1, in order to discuss the application of the agreement and to decide whether to incorporate any new laws into the agreement. The purpose of the Joint Committee will be to develop the agreement and to discuss its social implications and any economic issues relating to the ownership and control of airlines.

Position of the rapporteur

This agreement is the first 'global' aviation agreement between the Community and a non-European third country. It is created within the framework of the European neighbourhood policy, in which the Community wants to strengthen its relations with its neighbouring countries.

On a certain number of points this agreement reaches further than the EU-US aviation agreement, which has the same structure. This is in particular the case for the articles on regulatory cooperation and investment.

The agreement incorporates current EU legislation in the fields of aviation safety, air traffic management, environment, consumer protection, computer reservation systems and social aspects. No EU legislation on security has been taken on board. Parties have agreed on common standards in this area instead.

The result of this agreement is the enlargement of the European internal aviation market, which could be in the interest of all parties concerned as it increases the European market of air passengers and air cargo. It is to be welcomed that the Commission intends to establish similar agreements with other neighbouring countries. At this moment there is a global agreement with the Western Balkan countries and negotiations with Ukraine will start in the near future. Negotiations with other countries might follow in due time. Future agreements will probably be based on this model.

There is no need to say that the result of the negotiations on these kind of agreements depends to a large extent on the knowledge and experience of negotiators.

In that respect the rapporteur would like to urge the Commission and the Member States to benefit from the knowledge of the EU aviation sector when taking further steps within the context of this agreement or when new agreements are negotiated.

In conclusion the rapporteur proposes to give a positive opinion on this aviation agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco.

PROCEDURE

Title

Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Community and Morocco

References

COM(2006)0145 - 2006/0048(CNS) - C6-0333/2007

Date of consulting Parliament

5.10.2007

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

TRAN

11.10.2007

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Johannes Blokland

2.5.2006

 

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

Patrick Louis

 

 

Discussed in committee

10.4.2007

 

 

 

Date adopted

8.5.2007

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Arūnas Degutis, Christine De Veyrac, Saïd El Khadraoui, Robert Evans, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Mathieu Grosch, Georg Jarzembowski, Stanisław Jałowiecki, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Sepp Kusstatscher, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Erik Meijer, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Willi Piecyk, Reinhard Rack, Gilles Savary, Brian Simpson, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Georgios Toussas

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zsolt László Becsey, Johannes Blokland, Philip Bradbourn, Elisabeth Jeggle, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Salvatore Tatarella

Date tabled

6.11.2007

(1)

OJ L 386, 29.12.2006, p. 57.

(2)

OJ L 386, 29.12.2006, p.57

(3)

Developing the agenda for the Community's external aviation policy, COM(2005)0079.

(4)

The Community designation clause allows all Community carriers resident in the territory of the Member State in question to operate under this agreement.

Legal notice - Privacy policy