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Brussels, 18 September 2006

EU – African Union Aviation Seminar: meeting the needs of modern aviation

A European Union – African Union aviation seminar for African States and Regional Economic Communities was held on 13th-14th September in Brussels. The event was organised jointly by the European Commission and the African Union in order to share information on the regulation and functioning of the EU internal aviation market and its relations with third countries. The seminar brought together the aviation authorities from 30 African States, Regional Economic Communities and specialised organisations in the field.

On this occasion, European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot declared: “The seminar not only eased co-operation between the European Union and the African Union in order to achieve the highest levels of safety and security for aviation services in both continents, but proved to be an important step in promoting regional integration in Africa as well.”

The seminar addressed the main challenges African States are facing in order to meet the needs of a modern aviation sector. These are related to economic regulation, safety and security standards, technological and infrastructure investments, which call for a coordinated assistance within a common strategic framework.

The seminar provided an important opportunity for deepening the aviation policy dialogue with the African partners (Regional Economic Communities and individual States) and for discussing prospects of cooperation in key areas of aviation safety, security and air traffic management. The participants agreed to develop the aviation partnership with the EU further which should aim primarily at bringing the existing bilateral air service agreements between the EU Member States and the African States concerned into legal conformity.

The EU adopted last December an EU Strategy for Africa where civil aviation was identified as one of the key sectors as it plays an important role in the political and economic development of the regions.

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