Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-158"

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"Mr President, I believe the essence of this debate can be summed up with the question: how do you measure market dominance? This directive is the Commission’s attempt to bring a large number of Community airports under regulation, and it has seen fit to do this because it believes there could be an imbalance in the relationship between airports and their users, the airlines. In some cases they are right; the more sizeable airports in the EU, like London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, should be regulated so they are not in a position to abuse their market dominance. But I believe the smaller regional airports of the EU should only be regulated when they are found to be operating anti-competitively. So, back to the question: how do you measure market dominance? A system that captures every Community airport with passenger numbers of five million per annum and above is arbitrary but certainly better than one million. And, where an airport accounts annually for more than 15% of the passenger movements in the Member State, that is better too – but still arbitrary. Newcastle Airport in the UK, for example, with 5.2 million passengers, still has to compete with other airports all over the north of England to attract business. Why add burdensome and costly red tape to the smaller regional airports that do actually compete with each other and need to grow? That is why I want the possibility for national regulators to opt out their airports from this regulation. The secondary aims of this directive are, however, very good. Common rules on provision of mutual information, transparency and the collection of charges is something which I applaud. But surely, in this case, the Commission should not regulate further than that for regulation’s sake."@en1

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