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Violeta Bulc: Bilateral Air Safety Agreements, Port Regulation, and Ljubliana

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Violeta Bulc describes a full week from Strasbourg Mission to Slovenia.

“This week started with some very good news – just three months after its adoption by the European Commission, the Aviation Strategy is already starting to deliver. Now that we have received the backing of the Member States, the Commission will start negotiations with China and Japan in view of concluding Bilateral Air Safety Agreements (BASA). Such agreements will enhance air safety worldwide and contribute to the global competitiveness of the European aviation industry.

They will offer European companies new business opportunities in China and Japan, two key aeronautical nations. More trade means more growth and jobs in Europe .I am delighted that all our work on the Strategy is starting to pay off so early. And yet these agreements are only one pillar of the ambitious external aviation policy. This year we will seek to negotiate comprehensive aviation agreements with several key partners – including China – in order to improve Europe’s global connectivity.

On Monday, I travelled to Strasbourg, where I was pleased to see that the European Parliament greenlighted the Ports Regulation, an important step to make European ports more competitive and increase financial transparency. The Regulation will deliver on the Commission’s agenda for investment, growth and jobs. It is good news for future sustainable transport, it will facilitate private investment in ports, encourage more efficient public investments and port services, as well as contributing to legal stability for port workers.

I believe that ports are engines for growth. A competitive port sector is critical to the well-functioning of the internal market, and our seaports are gateways from the trans-European network to the rest of the world. I look forward to working with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to reach a final agreement.

Later in the week, on Thursday, I visited Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016. I am very proud and happy to see Ljubljana taking the lead in many innovative projects, also in the area of transport and mobility. In order to ensure sustainable development it is very important that a green city is also a smart city, open for innovation.

The Commission encourages cities’ efforts for a healthier and friendlier environment for their citizens, and the Slovenian capital has been very successful in this regard. During my visit to Ljubljana, I took part in my 3rd Citizen’s Dialogue in Slovenia, this time together with my colleague Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

We spoke about circular economy and its benefits for development, environment, and people. I emphasised that transport is a resource-intensive sector, both for the construction of transport infrastructure and the manufacturing and operation of vessels and vehicles.
Therefore, infrastructure, energy and vehicles should be brought within the circular economy with the aim to make transport as resource efficient as possible. I always enjoy talking to citizens about the challenges, successes and efforts they are facing. I am delighted to see many valuable proposals and opinions, which will help us to see where and how we can contribute more to the people in Europe.”

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