Officials from the EU and Brazil will meet on 30 and 31 January 2014 in Brazil to resume talks on an ambitious air transport agreement that would open up the EU–Brazil air transport market. The two sides will seek to finalise the agreement in time for the next EU–Brazil summit, to be held on 27 February 2014 in Brussels.
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President, responsible for mobility and transport, said: “Brazil is a strategically important and fast-growing market and I am very pleased that there is now a clear prospect and a common will to finalise this important agreement. This will generate significant benefits for the travelling public as well as new opportunities for industry.”
The agreement will aim at opening market access for airlines, achieving a high level of regulatory convergence in areas such as security, safety, environment, consumer protection and fair competition, and resolving “doing business” issues for airlines. It will also be an important cornerstone in the EU’s external aviation policy adopted in 2012. An agreement with Brazil could generate up to €460 million consumer benefits a year. The potential for traffic growth is estimated at 335,000 additional passengers in the first year. Finalising an agreement is all the more important when considering that Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Following a mandate granted to the European Commission in October 2010 by the European Union transport ministers, the EU and Brazil negotiated an ambitious air transport agreement aimed at opening up the markets. Negotiations were finalised in March 2011 and the draft agreement was initialled by the two sides subject to final authorisation to sign the agreement. The agreement should have been signed later in 2011, but the Brazilian side requested a review of certain provisions that had been agreed during the negotiations. The Brazilian demands were later clarified. At the EU–Brazil summit in January 2013, the leaders of both sides confirmed their mutual interest in concluding the negotiations as soon as possible, in view of the significant economic benefits that an agreement will generate for both the EU and Brazil. The European Commission obtained an extension of the negotiating mandate by the EU Transport Council in December 2013.
The EU has already comprehensive air transport agreements in place with the United States, Canada, Morocco, the Western Balkan countries, Jordan, Georgia, Moldova and Israel and an agreement is expected to be signed in March 2014 with Ukraine. Negotiations are ongoing with Azerbaijan, Tunisia and Lebanon.
In the course of 2014, the Commission will be making further proposals for implementing the new road-map for the EU’s external aviation policy.