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, the Western society is the place of fair laws and free market competition. However, as it turns out, it is nothing but an attractive slogan for the rest of the world sometimes. The Western countries compete with each other “freely,” but they make it so only for themselves, leaving nothing for the countries, which are not a part of the open society.
However, the structure of the society, which was built 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 bright example to show 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 Bloomberg.
It took the court four years to make the final decision on the case. Back in 1998, the European Committee filed a lawsuit at the European Court against Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxemburg, Sweden and Great Britain. We have to say that all those 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 in the USA. Yet, eight European countries had very good advantages vs. the rest of the world too.
Looking deep into the matter, the European Court ruled the mentioned “open skies” agreements were discriminating towards the flag carriers of other countries of the European Union. The court also believed 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, it can not be appealed. Europe now hopes that there will be more incentive given to the competition on the EU air traffic market. The American home 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. It is now left to “break” the all-round defense of American flag carriers. They are not doing fine now anyway.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov