Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report

EXTERNAL AVIATON POLICY (7214/05, 7369/05, 12044/05, 12045/05, 12276/05, 12752/05)

Letter from the Chairman to Karen Buck MP, Parliamentay under Secretary of State for Transport, Department for Transport

  Thank you for your letter of 13 December[32] in reply to my letters of 13 June (2), 19 October, 26 October and 9 November (2) which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 23 January 2006.

  Members found your response to be clear and comprehensive and we are most grateful to you for that. We are therefore lifting scrutiny from the 6 documents.

  Towards the end of your letter, you mentioned our reference to "the European Union's ability to apply regulatory or economic instruments". Amongst the instruments this might cover are those to bring aviation emission into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Is it the intention that future aviation agreements will include sections that do not impede the ability of the European Community and Member States from taking action in this area, or will the agreements positively permit it? Have any agreements been reached to date which take either of those approaches?

  Your letter also referred to document 12039/05 COM(05) 406 final Commission Communication: Strengthening aviation relations with Chile which we cleared from scrutiny on 11 October 2005.

25 January 2006

Letter from Karen Buck MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 25 January, lifting scrutiny on the above documents.

  You asked how the possible agreements with other countries might deal with the possible future incorporation of aviation emissions within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. It is of course not possible to give a definitive answer since, in none of the cases concerned here, have negotiations begun, or has the Commission even yet been given a mandate by the Council. However, from discussions to date within the Council Working Groups on a possible mandate for negotiations with China, it seems likely that any such mandate would include clear instructions for the Commission to ensure that the possibility remains open for the EU to take action in this and other areas of environmental protection.

  In addition, the air services agreement recently reached between the EU and Morocco contains a specific provision that nothing in the agreement should prevent the imposition of any measure considered necessary to prevent or mitigate environmental impacts resulting from international air services (provided there is no discrimination on the basis of nationality).

  Finally, the text of a possible EU-US aviation agreement currently under discussion also includes provisions aimed at ensuring that such an agreement would not prevent the EU from taking action in this area.

21 February 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Karen Buck MP

  Thank you for your letter of 21 February 2006 responding to my letter of 25 January 2006, which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 6 March 2006.

  We considered your reply to be comprehensive and very helpful. We would of course be grateful to hear of any developments in negotiations in future.

8 March 2006

32   Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of Session 2005-06, HL Paper 243, pp 144-145. Back

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