Transport Council on 7 June in Luxembourg

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op maandag 6 juni 2016.

Main agenda items:

  • Aviation Strategy for Europe: new mandates for external aviation agreements.
  • Aviation Strategy for Europe: aviation safety.
  • Professional qualifications of workers for inland navigation.

As part of the "Any Other Business" point of the Agenda ministers will receive information from the Commission on the Passenger Ships Safety package and on road safety. Furthermore, the incoming Slovak Presidency will present its work programme. Following recent incidents, including the one involving EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo on 19 May, the latest developments in aviation security will be addressed.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market and Industry, will represent the Commission during a discussion on latest developments related to NOx emissions. .

1. Aviation Strategy for Europe: new mandates for external aviation agreements

What is expected at this Council? The Council is expected to authorise the Commission to open negotiations on comprehensive aviation agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Turkey.Furthermore, there will be an exchange of views on the preparation of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) held in Montreal this autumn.

Background: In December 2015, the European Commission adopted a new Aviation Strategy for Europe, to strengthen the competitiveness of the European aviation sector and reinforce its global positioning. One of the main elements of the Strategy was the request to negotiate new comprehensive aviation agreements with several regions and countries in the world. These agreements create new economic opportunities and ensure fair and transparent market conditions based on a clear regulatory framework for all actors. They ensure market access, promote investment opportunities, facilitate air travel and provide a wider choice to consumers. They also aim to ensure high standards of safety, security, air traffic management, infrastructure, consumer, social, and environmental protection.

For more information:

Aviation Strategy external aviation agreements' fact sheet

Infographics, press material and all supporting documents can be found on the Aviation Strategy web page

2. Aviation strategy for Europe: aviation safety

What is expected at this Council? Transport ministers are expected to endorse a report on the progress achieved under the Dutch Presidency on the Commission's proposal for an update of the Aviation Safety regulation as part of the Aviation strategy. Ministers are expected to invite the competent Council preparatory bodies to continue work on the proposal. Furthermore, the Presidency will inform about the conclusions of the European Aviation Summit (Amsterdam, 20-21 January 2016). Finally, the Commission will inform the Council about the works of the EASA Task Force on Conflict Zones.

Background: Maintaining the highest level of aviation safety is an absolute priority of the Commission. As part of the Aviation Strategy, the Commission proposed an update of the EU's basic safety regulation in order to maintain high standards alongside growing air traffic. This also includes the creation of the first EU-wide legal framework for drones to ensure their safe use and integration in the airspace.

Furthermore the Commission has been working since 2014 on ways to mitigate risks of flying over conflict zones. On 17 March 2016, a European high-level Task Force handed its final report to Commissioner Bulc. It contains a number of recommendations such as the development of a common European risk assessment of conflict zones and a quick alert mechanism to notify the aviation community.

For more information:

Infographics, press material and all supporting documents can be found on the Aviation Strategy web page

3. Professional qualifications of workers for inland navigation

What is expected at this Council? The Council is expected to adopt a General Approach on the Directive regarding Professional Qualification of Workers in Inland Navigation, which is part of the so-called "NAIADES II package".

Background: In February 2016, the Commission proposed to enhance the mobility of inland navigation crew members and provide new career prospects. In particular, the proposal aims to increase the talent pool available to the inland waterways transportation sector. This contributes to the creation of a deeper and fairer internal market, which is a priority of the Commission.

MEMO/16/1959

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email