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C 115 E/158 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 16.5.


They will chiefly be concerned with:

 control of access to sensitive areas of airports and aircraft;

 control of passengers and their hand luggage;

 control and monitoring of hold luggage;

 control of cargo and mail;

 training of ground staff;

 definition of specifications for the equipment for the above controls;

 classification of weapons and other items which it is prohibited to bring on to aircraft or into the
sensitive areas of airports.

The issue is currently a matter for national aviation security authorities. The Commission has been
informed that national authorities have acted to prohibit the sale of such objects beyond the security
control check points.

(1) COM(2001) 575 final.

(2002/C 115 E/164) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2790/01

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(9 October 2001)

Subject: Air transport problems and Olympic Airways

Following the terrorist attack in the USA and the Bush Administration’s decision to grant the country’s
airlines $15 billion in aid, a growing number of governments worldwide are deciding to assist their air
carriers to overcome the immediate problems of soaring insurance premiums and the projected slump in

1. What measures will the Commission take to bolster small European air carriers to enable them to
survive in the new international environment which calls for additional outlay on insurance? Is it
considering the possibility of using state aid to cover the extra expenditure incurred?

2. Has the situation of the smaller airlines, such as Olympic Airways, been taken into consideration,
given the danger of their being snapped up at bargain prices by non-viable buyers? Will the Commission
recommend the postponement of all privatisation processes until the turbulent situation in the air
transport industry has calmed down?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2001)

Following the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001, the Commission adopted a
Communication (1) on 10 October 2001 on the repercussions of these events on the air transport industry
in Europe. In view of the magnitude of the crisis, the Commission considered the adoption of certain
emergency measures for a temporary period to deal with the exceptional circumstances in which the
industry finds itself since the 11 September 2001.

In particular, the Commission announced that measures taken by Member States in the current context
constituted state aid and that they would have therefore to be duly notified to the Commission. It further
announced that it would give favourable consideration to measures to compensate airlines for losses
resulting directly from the four-day closure of American airspace; that it would examine the assumption by
Member States of the additional costs of insurance for a maximum period of one month and the
16.5.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 115 E/159

temporary continuation of intervention by Member States until the end of 2001, should the need for such
cover persist and on condition that this does not place the airlines in a more favourable position than
prior to the withdrawal of their insurance cover. With regard to security, the Commission considered that
the reinforcement of certain security measures should be borne by the Member State.

Also, in application of the anti-trust rules of the EC Treaty, the Commission announced that it would give
favourable consideration to certain agreements between airlines, such as capacity coordination agreements
intended exclusively to maintain a regular service on ‘thinner’ routes or at off-peak times of the day. In
addition, the Commission announced that it would monitor the developments and that it would reexamine
the measures announced in its Communication if there was such a need.

In the context of the Communication, the Commission took into consideration the situation of smaller
airlines and their continued moves to restructure. The Commission leaves the choice of privatisation or not
to the Member State. It cannot recommend either privatisation or impose a stop on privatisation.

The Communication of the Commission was presented to the Council of Ministers for Transport at their
meeting in Luxembourg on 16 October 2001 where it received their acknowledgement and support for
the proposed measures.

(1) COM(2001) 574 final.

(2002/C 115 E/165) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2793/01

by Manuel Medina Ortega (PSE) to the Commission
(9 October 2001)

Subject: Subsidies for sea transport in the Canaries

Can the Commission say what criteria and conditions are applicable for the granting of subsidies to
shipping within in the Canaries and between the islands and continental Europe? Is any distinction made
between publicly and privately owned companies operating such services?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(16 November 2001)

The criteria and conditions governing subsidies to shipping to which the Honourable Member refers are
laid down in the Community guidelines on State aid to shipping (1), which apply both to links between the
Canaries and the rest of the peninsula and to links within the Canaries archipelago.

These guidelines define the conditions under which public, national and regional aid to shipping
companies is considered to be compatible with the common market. The Commission does not make any
distinction between publicly and privately owned companies. Any discrimination would be contrary to the
principle of neutrality as regards property ownership in Article 295 (formerly Article 222) of the EC Treaty.

(1) OJ C 205, 5.7.1997.

(2002/C 115 E/166) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2798/01

by Theresa Zabell (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(9 October 2001)

Subject: Air security

Following the recent events in the USA, numerous security measures have been adopted at airports, to the
point that one cannot travel with any pointed object and that hand luggage is subject to frequent checks.