Canada-European Union air transport agreement within reach
May 29, 2008, Ottawa- Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities today concluded his participation at the first meeting of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.
May 29, 2008, Ottawa – The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities today concluded his participation at the first meeting of the International Transport Forum, which took place in Leipzig, Germany from May 28-30, 2008. Minister Cannon took the opportunity to reflect on the considerable progress that has been made in the negotiations towards establishing an Open Skies-type air transport agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU).
"Canada remains strongly committed to concluding a comprehensive Open Skies agreement with the European Union, consistent with current Canadian policy and legislation," said Minister Cannon. "The basis for an agreement appears to be within reach."
Successful negotiations would bring the legal certainty that the EU has sought to allow EU carriers to fly from any point in the EU to any point in Canada. An agreement would also ensure that a level-playing field exists for market access to Canada for all EU Member State airlines.
"Canada is pleased that negotiations have progressed well," affirmed Minister Cannon. "Significant work has already been completed, which has involved compromise on both sides. We look forward to an early conclusion and the significant benefits the agreement would provide to Canada, the EU, and individual EU Member States, including increased air services by EU Member State carriers to Canada."
Three rounds of negotiations have taken place since the last Canada-EU Summit, in June 2007. It was there that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the German Chancellor and then EU President Angela Merkel, as well as the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, agreed to launch formal negotiations toward a comprehensive air services agreement between Canada and the European Community and its Member States.