U.S./EU Joint Committee Meets

March 7, 2009 - The Joint Committee set up by the U.S. and the European Union met on February 26 to review the implementation of their air services agreement, which went into effect on March 31, 2008. The two sides noted that while a number of new services had been implemented as a result of the agreement, the global-economic downturn and accompanying fall-off of traffic on the transatlantic made it difficult to evaluate the true effect of the agreement.

The two sides discussed a number of safety and security cooperation projects that are under way. The EU expressed its concern about a number of legislative initiatives in the U.S., including the proposal for a study by the General Accountability Office of DOT’s policies with respect to granting antitrust immunity to airline alliances, the proposal to more clearly define the statutory requirement of actual U.S. citizen control over the operations of U.S. air airlines, and the proposal to subject foreign repair stations to increased FAA oversight.

The parties also agreed to further explore the effects of the agreement on airline workers by holding a forum the week of June 22. The two sides also tentatively agreed to hold another round of negotiations over amending the agreement (the so-called “Stage 2” negotiations) and another Joint Committee meeting that same week.