Brussels, 6th December 2007
The European Union and Ukraine officially opened this week negotiations on a Common Aviation Area agreement in Kiev. The aim is to further deepen aviation relations with Ukraine following the signature of similar agreements with the Western Balkan countries and Morocco.
Vice-President Jacques Barrot, in charge of transport, said: ‘By sharing the benefits of the single aviation market, Ukraine and the EU will improve their relationship and create huge benefits for aviation industries and consumers. With such an agreement, we will ensure high levels of safety and security and facilitate trade and social links with a close neighbour.’
The agreement would strengthen aviation relations between EU and Ukraine. Both aviation markets are closely connected and air traffic between them is growing. In 2006, over 2.1 million passengers travelled between the EU and Ukraine by air transport, 21% more than in 2005. Ukraine has an important aviation industry and is a country with a high potential for tourism. It is linked through bilateral air services agreements with all 27 EU Member States.
The agreement should not only open the respective markets but also integrate Ukraine into European aviation structures. Ukraine will harmonise its legislation with European standards and implement a large part of the European aviation acquis communautaire. The agreement will thus be a further important step in the creation of a wider Common Aviation Area between the EU and its neighbours.
Ukraine is considered a priority country in the European Neighbourhood
Policy. Increased cooperation in the field of civil aviation, including on
safety and security issues, is one of the concrete priorities outlined in the
EU-Ukraine Action Plan.