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Speech: Opening address by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

Met dank overgenomen van V. (Violeta) Bulc, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 27 september 2016.

Mr. President, distinguished delegates,

I am honoured to address you here today. Over the next two weeks we will collectively shape the future of international aviation. It is in this spirit that I wish to affirm that Europe will continue to work with ALL of you, at this Assembly, and beyond. Allow me to highlight the Europe's views on the core topics.

  • 1. 
    Safety: safety as always, remains our top priority, and I am inviting you to build on the success of High Level Safety Conference in 2015.
  • 2. 
    Security: is also another essential topic. We are dedicated to continue engaging with all of you towards a more secure aviation system.
  • 3. 
    On air navigation and air traffic management, I am pleased to report that Europe is implementing the Global Air Navigation Plan. That includes a clear policy and institutional framework (Single European Sky), with an effective tool via SESAR.

I invite the Assembly to also tackle other issues with a comprehensive approach, notably for Cyber Resilience and drones.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me state that Europe will continue to work with you, in delivering on the No Country Left Behind initiative. This brings me to the important issue of climate change. There is no other way to put it: we are at an historic juncture. Let us not dwell on the mistakes of the past, but build on the momentum of COP21 and focus on the road ahead.

Nevertheless, emissions from international aviation are growing at an unsustainable rate. Let's be clear: Europe welcomes the growth of travelling. At the same time, and in support of the Paris agreement, aviation should contribute to global efforts to tackle climate change, as reminded by the United Nations Secretary-General.

I know that in the past, different regions developed at a different pace. But what matters now is that the agreement today, shows us our common future. Therefore Europe is inviting this Assembly to adopt a credible, robust and effective GMBM to achieve Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020.

Let me also re-affirm Europe's intention to join the scheme from the start. We also call on the States who can, to join the GMBM from the beginning, and announce it before the end of the Assembly.

Moreover, I wish to confirm that the EU fully supports the implementation of the scheme through concrete efforts. Allow me to inform you that yesterday I signed a joint declaration with ICAO, to support the GMBM scheme through financial assistance and capacity building projects. Since 2013, ICAO and the European Commission have cooperated on a highly successful CO2 Mitigation Project of €6.5 million. Which is why, upon the Assembly's adoption of the GMBM, the EU will upgrade its existing support and provide assistance of a similar magnitude. In addition to these projects, the EU is launching an external investment plan of €44 billion, focusing on Africa and European neighbourhood, where transport will play a key role.

Over the past three years, significant work has been done and I want to thank President Aliu and the Secretary-General Liu for all their efforts in taking the process forward.

President, distinguished delegates,

Cooperation, Collaboration, and Partnership in the global aviation community are keys to addressing common challenges. Allow me to re-affirm that Europe will continue to work with ALL of you, at this Assembly, so that indeed no country is left behind!

In the eyes of nature, there is no difference between companies and individuals, CEOs and workers, countries and continents. We are all citizens of the same world. So at the end of these negotiations, I really want all of us to be winners.

We only have one planet Earth with one ecosystem that we need to collectively care for. So, let us reach an agreement by coming together and delivering what is expected of us. Let me assure you that the support and assistance will be given to those that need it.

Thank you.



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