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No sign of ‘much needed solution’ to EU aviation deadlock

The Dutch presidency of the European Union has offered itself as “an honest broker” to help unlock a row over Gibraltar that is blocking key European aviation initiatives.

Aviation industry leaders have pressed the Dutch government to push the issue to the top of the agenda for tomorrow’s council meeting of EU transport ministers in Luxembourg.

But a spokesman for the Dutch presidency told the Chronicle that there was little hope of any solution in the short term.

“The Dutch presidency shares the concerns of many that the dispute over Gibraltar is causing delay in advancing important European air transport files,” said Maarten Froger, the spokesman for the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the EU.

“However, the presidency feels a discussion on this issue in the Transport Council will not bring the much needed solution to the benefit of the air transport industry any closer.” 

“As a sovereignty dispute, the issue can only be solved by the parties concerned.”

Spain’s Partido Popular government has for months blocked progress on aviation legislation because it wants Gibraltar excluded, arguing that the Rock’s airport is situated on a disputed isthmus.

But in taking that position, the PP administration is reneging on commitments reached by the previous PSOE government under the 2006 Cordoba agreement to include the Rock in aviation matters.

The UK is unwavering in its stance that Gibraltar must be included in the agreements.

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