EurECCA welcomes the Transport and Tourism Committee’s vote on the report on regulation (EC) No 868/2004 that intends to defend the Union air carriers against unfair practices of some third countries. The new amended proposal intends to set clear rules for the investigation and adoption of redressive measures.
The efforts of EurECCA, along with some European airlines, to obtain better protection for the European Union against the unfair competition practices of certain third countries, are beginning to bear fruit.
The European Parliament's transport committee has decided to take a strong position with redressive measures. This would allow the European Commission to implement a set of instruments against foreign companies accused of unfair practices. Thus, even without waiting for the conclusions of the European Commission's investigation, if it considers that there is a serious risk of injury.
The MEPs hardened the text originally drafted by the European Commission, which was limited to the possibility of imposing "provisional countervailing measures" on third- country companies subject to a formal investigation for anti-competitive practices. The newly implemented possibility of suspension of traffic rights was not envisaged, as they had been negotiated under bilateral or multilateral international agreements.
By tightening the rules, the European Parliament wants to give the commission the same tools as the US authorities which are also faced with the problem of unfair competition.
The review of 868/2004 is part of a wider European Aviation Strategy, which, amongst other goals, aims to reinforce the social agenda and creating high quality jobs in aviation.
All that remains to be validated by the Council of Ministers of the Member States. EurECCA urges the Council to follow the same approach as the Parliament. The Euro- pean Aviation strategy can only succeed if all decision makers follow the shared vision on a strong, social and sustainable European aviation industry.