20th Mar 2018

EU issues single skies warning

The European Commission has threatened to take legal action against countries that respond to a US initiative to "fix" the troubled "open skies" aviation deal, reports the Financial Times.

Following a legal judgement, the Commission has already declared that current agreements with the US are "null and void", creating legal uncertainty for Europe's fragmented aviation sector.

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According to the FT, the Commission is trying to gain more powers to negotiate for the EU as a whole. A letter sent this week to member states by Francois Lamoureux, head of the Commission's transport department, threatens proceedings in the European Court of Justice "should any member state decide to make unilateral amendments of their agreements with the US."

The court ruled last year that the current agreements broke EU law because in effect they discriminated between EU companies by allocating rights according to nationality. The only countries without such agreements are the UK, Ireland, Spain and Greece.

The US wants to renegotiate the current deals to extend privileges to airlines from other EU countries and to eliminate references that the court ruled were the responsibility of the EU as a whole. However, the Commission believes that this approach is too minimalist and that it fails to recognise the fundamental rights in the European Treaties.

US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Washington would still like to block a planned gas pipeline between Russia and Germany but is not yet considering hitting companies involved in the project.

EU mulls coercion to get refugee kids' fingerprints

EU policy and law makers are ironing out final details of a legislative reform on collecting the fingerprints of asylum seekers and refugees, known as Eurodac. The latest plan includes possibly using coercion against minors, which one MEP calls "violence".

EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm

MEPs are to investigate whether UK firm Cambridge Analytica and Facebook misused private data to sway votes amid increasingly lurid revelations.

US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Washington would still like to block a planned gas pipeline between Russia and Germany but is not yet considering hitting companies involved in the project.

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