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Europe challenged by Corporatism

Some minority French air traffic control unions have decided to disrupt the European holiday period in contempt of common sense and above all of general interest.

The cloud of volcanic ash highlighted how late we were in finalising the Single Sky in Europe. Our skies are now far too small to be managed nationally. At the time of the cloud over 140,000 flights were wrongly cancelled in the name of caution between Member States - but the economy paid a high price.

The implementation of a joint system to manage air traffic, which incidentally is due to increase by over 50% in the next fifteen years, is evident and is acknowledged by everyone including the unions responsible for the strike. It will enhance the security and fluidity of flight paths. It will generate major savings and help to reduce atmospheric pollution. It will establish an effective system across the entire continent.

This, the third strike since the beginning of the year shows just how selfish corporatism can impede the building of an effective Europe. The strike, which is possible because of the public status of the 4,000 French air traffic controllers, who should not be allowed to prevent the public receiving a guaranteed service, now involves the whole of Europe and is affecting both our economic and social interests. It is contrary to general interest and should be the focus of sanctions.