For discrimination and violation of free competition
The developed countries of the West are proud of their so-called open society. The West is proud of that by right, as Western society is a place of fair laws and free market competition. However, as it turns out, this is nothing but an attractive slogan for the rest of the world. Western countries compete with each other “freely,” but they so only among themselves, leaving nothing for the countries that are not part of this “open society.”
However, the structure of the society in the Western world is rather strong. The latest decision of the European Court, the supreme court body of the European Union, is a very good example of this.
The European Court ruled yesterday that the bilateral “open skies” air traffic agreement that was signed by the USA and eight European countries was illegal. This was said by Mr. Bloomberg.
It took the court four years to make its final decision on the case. Back in 1998, the European Committee filed a lawsuit in the European Court against Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxemburg, Sweden, and Great Britain. We have to say that all these agreements were more advantageous to the USA than to Europe. For instance, American airlines could fly to the European Union from any part of the United States. However, a European airline could fly to the USA only from its own territory, not from any other European country.
Furthermore, European flag carriers were not entitled to carry passengers to the USA. Yet, the eight European countries had very good advantages vs. the rest of the world as well.
Looking deep into the matter, the European Court ruled that the mentioned “open skies” agreements were discriminating towards the flag carriers of other countries of the European Union. The court also ruled that the document violated European free commerce rights.
The European Union itself was very happy to know about the binding outcome of the case. The court’s decision is final, and it can not be appealed. Europe now hopes that there will be more incentive given for competition on the EU air traffic market. The American domestic market has become more accessible for European airlines as well. Until recently, there was no foreign company allowed to operate there. British Airways, for example, will now fly to New York from Amsterdam easily. Lufthansa will be able to fly to Washington from Brussels. Now, they must “break” the all-round defense of American flag carriers. They are not doing all that great now anyway.
Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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