The European Commission and the Canadian Government will meet in Toronto during September to continue the negotiation of an ambitious Trans-Atlantic Air Transport Agreement. The EU's objective is clear: full liberalisation of the bilateral aviation market!
That is the removal of all market access and ownership and control restrictions. With 8.7 million passengers travelling between the EU and Canada in 2007[i] this 'new generation of Air Transport Agreement' could create a worldwide precedent and influence the ongoing second stage negotiations between the European Community and the United States.
ECA has always supported the principle of liberalisation. Nevertheless we want to make sure that political ambitions do not prevail over flight safety and social protection.
If the EU's ambition becomes reality, European pilots would be able to operate for their own European company within Canada. Which social law would apply? Would the collective labour agreement be recognised by the Canadian authorities? The threat of social dumping is enormous. In order to support this project, the ECA needs concrete measures to safeguard labour rights and to maintain or improve working conditions. Liberalisation should benefit all actors and not only reflect the companies' and passengers' eagerness to maximise their economic interests at the expense of a coherent society.
[i] Source: European Commission