The European Commission has decided to refer Croatia to the Court of Justice of the EU for the non-ratification and non-deposition of the Protocol of Accession of the European Community to the Eurocontrol International Convention, signed in 2002.
Eurocontrol is an intergovernmental organisation with over 40 States. Many activities conducted by Eurocontrol are relevant to the EU, notably in respect of the implementation of the European Single Sky, which is also one of the priorities of the Aviation Strategy for Europe. In this context, the Council decided already in 2004 to conclude the above mentioned Protocol on behalf of the Union (Decision 2004/636/EC), so as to allow the Union's accession (as a member) to Eurocontrol. However, as long as the Protocol is not ratified notably by all Member States, that accession cannot be completed.
The Commission considers that, having still not proceeded with the ratification, Croatia is failing to fulfil its obligations under Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). This Article lays down the principle of sincere cooperation and underlines the obligation of the Member States to facilitate the achievement of the Union's tasks and to refrain from any measure that could jeopardise the attainment of the Union's objectives.
Despite numerous exchanges with the Croatian authorities since March 2014, they have not taken all the steps necessary to complete the ratification of the Protocol. The Commission is, therefore, referring Croatia to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Eurocontrol is the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, an intergovernmental organisation. To enhance cooperation between the European Union and Eurocontrol in the area of air traffic management, the Commission negotiated on behalf of the Community a Protocol for EU accession, signed in Brussels on 8 October 2002. In 2004 the Council decided to conclude the Protocol on behalf of the Union (Decision 2004/636/EC). To date, Croatia has not ratified this Protocol.
In December 2015, the Commission adopted the Aviation Strategy for Europe. Its objective is to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the entire EU air transport value network.
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