Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Common Rules for the Internal EU Market

On November 1, 2008, Council Regulation 1008/2008 on Common Rules for the Operation of Air Services in the [European] Community entered into force.  The regulation, which has been touted by the European Commission as simply a revision to 1993's "third package" of air transport liberalization, includes new, more stringent, requirements for carrier licensing, new rules mandating price transparency and non-discrimination, along with clarifications on procedures Member States must follow for Public Service Obligations and distributing traffic between airports.  Though the regulation sweeps away the last vestiges of restrictive bilateralism between Member States, it fails to include the Commission's proposed rule that it be given standing competence concerning third country aereopolitical relations.

A detailed analysis of the new regulation, along with critical commentary on the gulf between the Commission's proposal and the final rules approved by the Council, may be found in Gabriel S. Sanchez's forthcoming article, "The Total Package?  On the New Common Rules for Air Transport in the European Union," due to be published next month in volume 8 of Issues in Aviation Law and Policy.

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