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Social Dimension

The European project is not only about encouraging economic progress, but also about stimulating social progress within the Member States. Ever since its earliest incarnation , the European Union has strived to continuously improve the lives and the living conditions of its citizens. The implementation of the single market has also had its impact on the aviation sector, which has transformed radically in recent years.

Following the adoption of the Regulation EC 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community , the European Commission has conducted a survey analysing employment and working conditions within the internal market for aviation over the period 1997-2007.

Such a survey, which has also been based on information provided by stakeholders and Member States, provides for the first time an extensive analysis of employment in the air sector over a ten-year period (1997 - 2007), and establishes a sound basis for a constructive debate with all the social partners and institutions. The Commission also intends to update this Social Paper on a regular basis.

Since 2007, there have been continuous changes to the structure of the EU air transport sector, including steady growth in the market share of the low-cost sector, continued consolidation amongst network carriers, the bankruptcy of a number of air carriers and the fall in employment due to the crisis. To obtain an updated and more complete picture of employment and working conditions in the sector, the Commission commissioned in 2012 a new independent study on the effects of the implementation of the EU aviation common market on employment and working conditions in the air transport over the period 1997-2010

This study aimed at collecting information on direct and indirect employment in the EU air transport sector (EU 27 + Switzerland) over the period 1997-2010 and to deliver qualitative assessment of employment. It also provided forecasts for how employment could develop over the period up to 2020.