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The rise of a mega bloc: Is the time ripe for an ASEAN-EU open skies agreement?


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Powerpoint presented at the 2014 EU Studies Association of the Asia-Pacific (EUSAAP) Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

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The rise of a mega bloc: Is the time ripe for an ASEAN-EU open skies agreement?

  1. 1.  Traffic rights are negotiated on a bilateral basis  Air traffic rights were viewed as an instrument of national policy and geopolitics  This partly explains why even in the GATS, market access in air transport services is expressly excluded
  2. 2.  First EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit last February 2014 in Singapore › Inter-regional integration and market liberalisation › Open skies agreement
  3. 3.  It has no definite meaning.  Proper starting point would be every State has exclusive sovereignty over its airspace  “Open skies” are targeted to open access to foreign carriers  To open the skies of the regional economic blocs, there is a necessary presumption that intra-regional access has been opened first
  4. 4. Presently, there is no ASEAN “open skies” or “single aviation market” to speak of.
  5. 5.  “ASEAN way” of consensus-building and consultation  The measures to open ASEAN’s skies themselves are not liberal enough  Disjointed attempts by both member States and ASEAN itself to liberalize air transportation outside the region › Signing by Singapore and Brunei of an Air Transport Agreement (MALIAT) with other members of the APEC › Signing of an Air Transport Agreement with China in 2010 › Ongoing negotiations with other countries for the passage of similar agreements
  6. 6.  Aviation policy has developed in the EU and ASEAN in a slightly different way.  The key point is that the differing paths of development of institutions in both regions propelled the integration agenda forward in a different manner as well. › The role of supranational institutions in the EU › The role of the “ASEAN Way” of consensus- building and consultation
  7. 7.  EU and ASEAN may decide not to proceed with the negotiation of an open skies agreement until the ASEAN Single Aviation Market has been fully completed; or  Simultaneous to the talks of an open skies agreement, the EU could use the US’ strategy of encirclement by engaging in negotiations with individual ASEAN member States for the execution of open skies agreements.
  8. 8.  The progress of the negotiations also depend on the Council of Ministers’ willingness to enter into such an agreement in the first place.
  9. 9.  It will be the first bloc-to-bloc open skies agreement in history.  It will also be the largest multilateral air services agreement in the world today  Most importantly, , the EU-ASEAN Open Skies Agreement may also provide the catalyst for the abandonment of the Chicago Convention system of bilateral ASAs and completely open the global skies.
  10. 10. Thank you very much.