Procedure : 2016/2961(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1339/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 15/12/2016 - 6.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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further to Question for Oral Answer B8-1807/2016

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on international aviation agreements (2016/2961(RSP))

Marie-Christine Arnautu on behalf of the ENF Group

Motion for a European Parliament resolution on international aviation agreements (2016/2961(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on international aviation agreements (O-000128/2016 – B8-1807/2016),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2011 on international air agreements under the Treaty of Lisbon,

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 July 2013 on the EU’s External Aviation Policy – Addressing future challenges,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2015 on aviation,

–  having regard to the Aviation Strategy for Europe presented by the Commission on 7 December 2015,

–  having regard to the Council decision of 8 March 2016 authorising the Commission to open negotiations on aviation safety agreements with China and Japan,

–  having regard to the Council decision of 7 June 2016 authorising the Commission to open negotiations on EU-level air services agreements with ASEAN, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,

–  having regard to the Council decision of 1 December 2016 authorising the Commission to open negotiations on EU-level air services agreements with Armenia,

–  having regard to the three air agreements, known as the ‘open sky’ agreements, signed between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the United States, Canada and Brazil, of the other part,

–  having regard to Article 218(10) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the principle of the sovereignty of States over their air space is enshrined in international law, on the basis of the provisions of the Chicago Convention of 1944;

B.  whereas the air transport agreement signed in 2007 between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United States of America, of the other part, is unbalanced and does not properly safeguard European interests, since it allows the US to maintain its ban on cabotage in its airspace and imposes restrictions on European investment in US airlines;

C.  whereas the protocol of 24 June 2010 amending the ‘open sky’ agreement signed in 2007 between the European Union and the United States did little to clear up the issues which remain unresolved under that agreement;

D.  whereas the Commission’s forecasts regarding the benefits of aviation agreements of this kind have repeatedly been shown to be overly optimistic;

E.  whereas there is a real danger that negotiations will produce unbalanced agreements which are unfavourable to European carriers;

F.  whereas a number of European and US airlines have complained to their respective regulatory authorities about distortions of competition stemming from the State aid payments which some third-country airlines allegedly receive;

G.  whereas in recent years a number of third-country airlines have taken stakes in European airlines, giving rise to public debate and controversy;

H.  whereas these agreements have implications for safety, security and the quality of services offered to passengers and for the future of European airlines and the European aviation industry in general;

I.  whereas the negotiations must not result in standards being lowered or abolished, a development which would inevitably undermine safety and security and working conditions in the aviation industry;

J.  whereas the conditions of secrecy in which the Commission conducts these negotiations, like those on the CETA, TTIP and TiSA, is jeopardising public trust in the institutions which are supposed to represent them and defend their interests;

K.  whereas the answers given by the Commission during the debate in plenary on 23 November 2016 on the oral question by the Committee on Transport and Tourism on international aviation agreements did not allay the concerns voiced by a number of MEPs;

1.  Expresses concern at the fact that the Commission should be seeking to open up Europe’s skies even further to hugely successful third-country airlines at a time when many European airlines are facing serious financial problems;

2.  Calls on the Commission to provide an exhaustive assessment of the ‘open sky’ agreements currently in force, taking account of the comments made by all interested parties;

3.  Deplores the Commission’s failure to conduct negotiations on aviation agreements in a transparent manner;

4.  Insists, in that connection, that the procedure for consulting confidential documents should be completely transparent so that parliamentarians can have access to them easily and study them under good working conditions;

5.  Calls on the Commission to keep Parliament informed before and after each round of negotiations;

6.  Calls on the Commission to specify the substance of the competition clauses it intends to introduce in order to guarantee fair competition between European and non-European carriers, in particular by securing from the third country concerned an undertaking to open up airline accounts to genuine scrutiny;

7.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that rules on ownership and the regulation of carriers are reciprocal;

8.  Calls on the Member States to adopt a firm stance in negotiations, in particular by paying the closest possible attention to the adverse social impact which air agreements could have and, where appropriate, authorising on their territory the freezing, restriction or even the withdrawal of the operating rights granted to carriers from the third countries concerned;

9.  Insists that agreements which have been concluded should not be implemented provisionally without the approval of the Member States;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

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