Sunday

3rd Mar 2024

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.

EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit

The European Commission will release €50m out of €82m in funds for the UN aid agency (UNRWA) operating in Gaza. The remaining €32m will come pending an audit. The commission has received no evidence to support Israeli allegations against UNRWA.

'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child

During a plenary session in Strasbourg, an MEP was denied access to the chamber because he was carrying his young child, due to unforeseen circumstances. The episode shows parliament's rules need to be updated, several MEPs told EUobserver.

Commission plays down row over Rwanda minerals pact

The European Commission has played down a diplomatic row over its recent minerals agreement with Rwanda, after Congolese president Felix Tshishekedi, who accuses Rwanda of plundering his country's natural resources, described the deal as a "provocation in very bad taste".

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Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?

Europeans deserve a digital euro that transcends the narrow interests of the banking lobby and embodies the promise of a fairer and more competitive monetary and financial landscape.

'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child

During a plenary session in Strasbourg, an MEP was denied access to the chamber because he was carrying his young child, due to unforeseen circumstances. The episode shows parliament's rules need to be updated, several MEPs told EUobserver.

Opinion

Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?

Europeans deserve a digital euro that transcends the narrow interests of the banking lobby and embodies the promise of a fairer and more competitive monetary and financial landscape.

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