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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 20 December 2012

Aviation: EU and Eurocontrol agree on stronger technical cooperation

The EU and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) signed today in the margin of the Transport Council a high-level agreement. The agreement will provide a general framework for cooperation and will allow the Commission to make use of the know-how and the expertise of Eurocontrol to speed up the implementation of the Single European Sky (SES). The main goal is achieving an optimal and integrated Air Traffic Management (ATM) network, offering a high degree of safety, cost-efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, for the benefit of passengers and citizens.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, said: “Strengthening the mutual cooperation between the EU and EUROCONTROL means strengthening the Single European Sky. An accelerated implementation of the SES is crucial for the competitiveness, growth and sustainability of Europe's entire air transport system. EUROCONTROL will be able now to bring even more of its valuable expertise into the project.”

The objectives of the agreement are:

  • the recognition and utilisation of EUROCONTROL expertise including civil-military cooperation to support the EU in the implementation of SES and other related policies, in particular in the fields of environment, including climate change, and research and development, in order to improve the performance of the European ATM network;

  • to establish the necessary cooperation to support and facilitate the involvement of non-EU Member States in the SES, with a view to extending the implementation of the SES beyond the EU and to progressively achieving the application of the SES legislative framework by EUROCONTROL's entire membership;

  • to ensure synergies and avoid duplication of the European Aviation Safety agency's (EASA) work in safety related ATM matters and environmental issues, including, through the development of robust cooperation mechanisms between EASA and EUROCONTROL, taking into account EUROCONTROL’s pan-European responsibilities.

Background

The agreement replaces the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in 2003 and it is taking into account the evolution of EU (and EASA) competences in the field of air traffic management and in the development of the SES.

The European Commission received a mandate to negotiate a high-level agreement with EUROCONTROL in July 2011. Following four rounds of negotiations, the agreement was initialled in April 2012.

Next steps

The agreement will be provisionally applied from the date of signature. The agreement still needs to be ratified before it will formally enter into force.

The joint committee set up by the agreement will have to define the technical activities to be done by Eurocontrol to support the Commission and EASA in the implementation of SES. These activities are financed by the Commission through a new financial agreement.

Further information:

More information on technical cooperation with EUROCONTROL at:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/single_european_sky/co-operation_eurocontrol_en.htm

MEMO/12/1007


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