The Transport Council authorised on 13 June 2008 Commission to open negotiations with Australia on a comprehensive air transport agreement.
The negotiations with Australia were opened in Brussels on 27-28 November 2008. The agreement will aim at a reciprocal opening of market access within a framework that ensures fair competition and high standards of safety, security and environmental protection. Australia, which has already signed a “horizontal agreement” with the EU, is among the most advanced nations with regard to the regulatory framework for aviation and market liberalisation. Australia is a key driver of aviation liberalisation in its region and shares the EU’s market-driven and consumer-oriented approach to aviation policy. This should allow for swift negotiations with positive results for both sides. More importantly, negotiations with Australia could set benchmarks for air transport agreements worldwide, including close cooperation to address the environmental effects of air transport.
The agreement with Australia will bring economic benefits to air carriers, airports, passengers, the tourism industry and the wider economy both within the EU and in Australia.
Due to the geographical distance between Europe and Australia, aviation is a key enabler for the EU's overall relations with Australia and the proposed agreement will help enhance this.
A Joint Statement by Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese and Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajani, Brussels [13 KB]