Working paper
Transatlantic Relations as a Catalyst to European Integration: The Activism of the European Commission in the Case of International Aviation
Washington, D.C
AICGS / DAAD Working Paper Series
On November 5, 2002, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a series of judgments against eight European Union (EU) Member States concerning the bilateral air service agreements between the Member States and the United States (U.S.). Brought to the ECJ by the European Commission in 1998, the ruling concerned the competence division between the EU Member States and the European Commission in the area of international air transport. While the Member States traditionally have exclusive authority over international air service negotiations, the European Union had gained considerable competence over internal aviation matters during the integration of the European aviation market in the 1990's. While the ruling maintained that the Member States had exclusive competence over external air transport negotiations, it did find several items negotiated in those agreements in conflict with the provisions of the European Communities (EC) Treaty. The so-called “nationality clause” negotiated in the air service agreements, it argued, is, in principle, a community competence, as are articles relating to computer reservation systems and intra-EU tariffs in “open skies” agreements. [First paragraph]