Brussels, 17 December 2009
EU and West African Economic and Monetary Union sign a horizontal agreement on air services
The European Union and the West African Economic and Monetary Union 1 (WAEMU) signed today in Brussels an aviation agreement which will provide legal certainty to bilateral air services agreements between the Member States of both the EU and WAEMU.
Delegations of the European Union and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU Member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo) signed on 17 December 2009 in Brussels an aviation agreement which will restore legal certainty to the bilateral air services agreements between the Member States of WAEMU and EU.
The agreement brings several provisions of the 47 existing bilateral air services agreements between EU and WAEMU Member States in line with EU law. In particular, and following the so-called “open skies” judgments of the European Court of Justice of 5 November 2002, it will remove nationality restrictions in the bilateral air services agreements between the Member States of both organizations and allow any EU airline to operate flights between any EU Member State and any WAEMU Member State where a bilateral agreement between the two countries concerned exists and traffic rights are available. The agreement also provides WAEMU carriers with increased opportunities to operate to the EU from WAEMU countries other than their licensing state, in a reciprocal recognition of a WAEMU designation.
The agreement is the first "horizontal" agreement with another regional organisation. It constitutes an important step towards further strengthening the EU-Africa aviation relations and will foster cooperation in the aviation area between the EU and WAEMU on a number of important aspects, such as aviation safety and security.
As of today, the European Commission has negotiated forty two "horizontal" aviation agreements with third countries.
More information on the EU and international aviation:
In French: Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA)