"Open Skies" or Open
Markets: Aviation Relations
72. The European Court of Justice handed down a series
of judgments on 5 November 2002 against 8 EU Member States. These
judgments affected the web of bilateral air service agreements
(ASAs) between EU Member States and non-EU Member States. The
ECJ judgments dealt with the "nationality" clause; and
articles relating to computer reservations systems and intra-EU
tariffs in "open skies" ASAs signed by some EU Member
States with the United States of America.
73. The "nationality" clause was deemed
to have infringed Article 43 of the Treaty establishing the European
Community and the "open skies" infringements to have
offended the principle of exclusive Community competence.
74. The European Community, in a Communication dated
19 November 2002, called on Member States to denounce existing
bilateral ASAs with the United States and to agree a mandate for
the Commission to negotiate all aspects of ASAs. This position
was modified in a second Communication published on 26 February
2003 when the Commission sought to distinguish between the need
to address the "infringements" that flowed from the
ECJ judgments and the pursuit of a wider mandate aimed at renegotiating
full ASAs with the United States on a bloc-to-bloc basis.
75. Sub-Committee B examined these issues, and the
US responses, and we made the following recommendations:
- Member States should give the European Commission
a limited mandate to negotiate with the USA;
- EU Member States bilateral ASAs with the United
States should be brought into conformity with Community law as
specified in the ECJ judgments of 5 November 2002;
- Member States should give the Commission a wider
mandate to re-negotiate ASAs with the United States initially,
and subsequently with major aviation powers such as Russia and
Japan in order to achieve full aviation liberalisation;
- It would not be in the European Union's interest
or in the United Kingdom's national interest to negotiate for
anything short of a fully liberalised aviation market between
the EU and the US.
76. At the 5/6 June Transport Council in Luxembourg
the Council agreed to give the Commission two mandates:
1) to negotiate an air service agreement
with the United States on behalf of the Community;
2) to negotiate on specific Community issues
with other third countries while allowing flexibility for Member
States to negotiate and implement air service agreements bilaterally.
77. In a supplementary Report, Sub-Committee B examined
the detail provided (the text of the two mandates was confidential)
and concluded that the Council's mandates appeared to be acceptable
to UK national interest provided safeguards were introduced into
the negotiations for an Open Aviation Area to prevent a phased
negotiation from breaking down and leaving the UK in a worst position
than it enjoyed under the existing bilateral ASA with the US.
Entrepreneurship in Europe: Commission's
78. The Commission's Green Paper is the most recent
of a series of Reports from the European Commission designed to
encourage entrepreneurship. Both the European Union and the United
Kingdom devote considerable funds each year to spread over an
extensive range of programmes in support of enterprise - in the
region of 13 billion euros at Community level and just under 8
billion pounds in the United Kingdom (counting receipts from the
Common Agricultural Policy).
79. In our Report, Sub-Committee B focussed on:
- the importance of setting clear objectives and
monitoring and establishing effective evaluation for such schemes
for enterprise support, whether at UK or EU level; and
- the relationship between schemes at European
Community level and those at Member State level.
80. We concluded that:
- any action plan based on the Green Paper had
to be preceded by a thorough analysis of the evaluations currently
being carried out by the European Commission;
- all policies proposed should have clear objectives
specified in measurable form before policy was launched; and
- all schemes should have both monitoring and evaluation
information collection defined and built into the programme design.
Packaging and packaging waste
81. Sub-Committee B considered and followed-up the
Government Response on its Report "Packaging and Packaging
Waste: Revised Recovery and Recycling Targets".
16 33rd Report, Session 2001-02, HL Paper 166. Back