Examination of Witness (Questions 120-126)|
WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY 2002
120. What does that mean? I am a very stupid
Welsh woman, I like it all spelt out. What is that?
(Mr Rees) It means that we as a community aim to get
the best deal for the community as a whole.
121. Who decides what is the best deal for the
community as a whole?
(Mr Rees) The community.
122. Whatever the interests of the individual
companies concerned and the individual countries concerned it
would be the Commission in the final analysis who decides whether
or not the negotiation that is carried on is acceptable. Is that
what you are saying?
(Mr Rees) No.
123. Do you not think that should be made clear
to the aviation industry?
(Mr Rees) I think it is clear to the aviation industry.
What is also clear is that there are certain countries in the
world, one in particular, that is in a dominant position and because
it is in a dominant position it is able to exercise its weight.
124. It is a matter of judgment. We do not want
to have an argument about that. I am just trying to work out the
lines of responsibility. We can argue as to what you would call
the best or the worst results for the community, because they
may not be the ones that I would decide are the best or the worst
for the community. Are you saying to me that in future the community
would expect to take responsibility for the negotiations by individual
countries for airline arrangements, aviation arrangements with
foreign nationals outside of the community?
(Mr Rees) Let distinguish between the practicalities
of how we do it and on the principles. We believe that if the
community acted as 15 vis-a-vis our partners we would get a better
125. You would lay down the terms of the negotiation,
you would make sure that no country went out with that which was
decided not by their commercial or national interests but by the
interests of the Commission?
(Mr Rees) It is quite obvious that if we are starting
a negotiation and I was large country B facing 10 small countries
I as large country B would aim to fix a deal as quickly as possible
with two or three members.
126. Mr Rees, I am trying to work out what it
is that we are doing. I think you have made it quite clear. You
would lay down the parameters, you would insist that the individual
countries, and certainly the individual companies, stayed within
the parameters laid down at European level and you would expect
that negotiations to proceed along those lines? Presumably you
would have sanctions you would take if, for any reason, anyone
did not comply with those terms of reference?
(Mr Rees) These is a good description of it.
Chairman: Mr Rees, you have been very tolerant
and very kind, we are very grateful to you. We are not, necessarily,
unalloyed admirers of your White Paper, we may have the odd thing
to say about it, but I hope you will leave in the spirit of information.