The European Common Aviation Area and the Western Balkans: Domestic Reforms and Regional Integration in Air Transport

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2007
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In June 2006 the EU and the countries of South East Europe signed an agreement on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) by 2010. The ECAA will amount to a full extension of the EU-internal air transport market to the Western Balkans. It entails the complete liberalization of cross-border traffic among signatories, an adoption of the aviation-related acquis and comprehensive sector restructuring at the national level. It is expected to trigger rapid traffic growth, encourage foreign investment in the sector and act as an important catalyst for broader regional integration. To reap those benefits, however, the countries of the Western Balkans will have to implement an ambitious reform agenda in a short time-span. This note reviews the status of sector development across the region, the provisions of the ECAA and the reform implications for governments and donors. The annexes contain country-specific information on air transport and a summary of the aviation acquis.

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