EU, India may sign horizontal aviation agreement by September

Raichak: Visiting European Commission officials have expressed the hope that a proposed horizontal aviation agreement between India and the European Union will be signed in September at a EU-India summit to be held in Marseilles, France.

"I am hoping that both EU and India will sign the agreement during the summit," said Daniele Smadja, ambassador and head of the delegation of European Commission to India, Nepal and Bhutan in an interaction with reporters on the sidelines of a seminar held at this riverside retreat on the banks of the river Hooghly, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

A horizontal agreement results in reduced competition in a given sector and may include common pricing policies.

Smadja said that the agreement would provide a legal cover for all the existing bi-lateral agreements which exist between India and the various EU member states.

According to a ruling given by the Court of Justice at Luxembourg last year, existing bi-lateral agreements needed to be ratified at the EU level and not remain as agreements between member states.

The modalities of the agreement are being worked out with the Indian authorities at the moment, the EU official said.

The EU already has similar horizontal agreements with China and the US. Currently, some 26 bilateral air services agreements exist between EU members and India.