As one of the key stakeholders in the Single European Sky (SES) process and representative of more than 25,000 Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) staff in Europe, the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) welcomes the general approach adopted by the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting today. At the same time, ETF encourages the Council to defend its position throughout the whole legislative process.
The ETF has been supportive to the overall idea of a Single European Sky from the very beginning of the process. However, ETF has been opposing the use of SES as an instrument of unnecessary further liberalisation of ATM services with negative social consequences for workers. Along these lines, ETF welcomes that the EU Transport Ministers have taken on board its key concerns in terms of unbundling of the so-called 'support services', structural separation of supervisory authorities and air navigation service providers and role of social dialogue in consultations.
At the same time, the ETF stresses that the legislative process has not finished yet. Riccardo Rubini, ETF ATM Committee President commented: “We call on the Council to remain firm and defend its position in the upcoming trialogue with the European Commission and Parliament. Unfortunately, some of the other stakeholders continue to use misleading arguments to push for more liberalisation, such as biased comparison of ATM costs between Europe and the United States.”
The ETF reiterates the statements made by the Commission President Mr Juncker and Transport Commissioner Ms Bulc highlighting the importance of social dialogue. François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation states: “It is paramount that the liberalisation of the support services is optional. Otherwise, there is a high risk that the ATM workers will lose confidence in the whole SES process. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the social partners continue to be involved in the implementation of the Single European Sky.”
The ETF remains committed to a safe, effective and socially responsible Single European Sky. To achieve this, it is ready to cooperate with the EU legislators and other stakeholders.