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Brussels, 25 May 2010

EU and Latin America agree to strengthen cooperation in civil aviation

At a joint EU–Latin America Civil Aviation Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, today signed two "joint declarations" with Latin American aviation leaders that will lay the foundation for closer cooperation in civil aviation between the EU and Latin America.

Vice-President Siim Kallas said in Rio de Janeiro: "Given the steady growth and common challenges facing our aviation sectors, I am extremely pleased with the prospect of enhancing cooperation in civil aviation with Latin America. Cooperation will create opportunities for companies in both the EU and Latin America and result in more and safer flights to the benefit of our citizens."

The Latin American air transport market is forecast to be among the fastest growing in the world over the next 20 years and therefore of increasing strategic importance to the EU and its industry.

In his opening speech at the joint EU–Latin America Civil Aviation Summit, Vice-President Kallas invited Latin America to cooperate more closely with the EU on civil aviation, including improving aviation safety and reducing the impact of flying on the environment.

Mr Kallas welcomed the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC) which will enhance cooperation between Latin America and the EU in aviation. The two sides agreed to develop a joint action plan before the end of 2010 setting out the concrete actions of cooperation.

Mr Kallas, together with Brazil's Minister of Defence, Mr Nelson Jobim, and Mr José Blanco, Transport Minister of Spain, welcomed that the negotiations on two important agreements between Brazil and the EU have been successfully finalised: an agreement on certain aspects of air services – a so-called "horizontal agreement" – and an agreement on aviation safety. The horizontal agreement modernises the legal framework and establishes full legal certainty for all air carriers operating flights between Brazil and the EU. The aviation safety agreement will expand our cooperation in all areas of safety facilitating trade in aeronautical products and services, reducing costs and simplifying administrative procedures for authorities and industries. The two agreements are expected to be signed at the EU–Brazil Summit in Brasilia on 14 July 2010.

On 5 May 2010, the European Commission proposed to open negotiations with Brazil on a comprehensive air services agreement which could generate significant economic benefits to both sides through a combination of market opening and closer regulatory cooperation. At the aviation summit in Rio, the two sides expressed the hope that negotiations on such an agreement could start during 2010.

The EU–Latin America Aviation Summit was highly successful in bringing together more than 300 leading representatives of the Latin American and EU aviation sectors, representing public authorities, airlines, airports, aerospace industries and service providers. The summit provided a very effective platform for identifying priority areas and ways forward in closer EU–Latin America aviation cooperation for the future.

See also: IP/10/591

COM(2010)210 : Developing an EU civil aviation policy towards Brazil.

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