Luxembourg, 24 June 2010
Siim Kallas welcomes the signature of the Second Stage EU–US "Open Skies" agreement
Vice-President Kallas has today welcomed the adoption of the 'second stage' Open Skies aviation agreement with the United States. In Luxembourg today, Vice-President Kallas, Spanish Minister for Transport José Blanco and the US Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum, together with the Member States' transport ministers, signed the agreement. The full implementation of the first and second stage agreements is expected to give the economy a €12 billion boost as well as create up to 80,000 new jobs.
Vice-President Kallas said: "This is a significant step forward in our mutually beneficial aviation relationship with the US. It is extremely good news for passengers, cargo shippers, airports and airlines who will all benefit from the additional commercial opportunities and strengthened regulatory framework provided by this agreement. This agreement will help the European aviation industry emerge from the recent period of challenges."
The second stage agreement builds on the benefits of the groundbreaking EU–US Open Skies agreement signed in 2007. It generates new commercial opportunities and strengthens the framework of cooperation on issues such as the environment, social protection, competition, and security. Furthermore, it creates the prospect of additional investment and market access opportunities in the future.
Second-stage negotiations started in May 2008 with a view of further regulatory cooperation and additional market opportunities. The negotiators have now fulfilled the mandate given in the EU–US summit in November 2009.
The Agreement provides clear commercial advantages, including greater access for EU airlines to the "Fly America" programme. The United States and Europe have committed to the goal of removing remaining access barriers and will review progress towards this objective on an annual basis. Additional commercial rights will be exchanged in the future subject to following legislative change. See below:
The negotiators also achieved significant improvements in terms of regulatory cooperation:
The European Union and the United States' markets are the largest aviation markets in the world. Together, they represent approximately 60% of global aviation. The economic benefits associated with the implementation of this second stage agreement have been independently estimated to be equivalent to the transatlantic benefits to be expected from a successful conclusion of the Doha round of trade. Following signature of the agreement, the consent of the European Parliament and ratification by all Member States will be necessary for its formal entry into force.
The potential economic benefits of removing the barriers to the EU–US transatlantic market are very significant (Booz Allen Hamilton, January 2007):
The cargo market would see growth of between one and two percent.