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Cablegate: Finland Says Rebalance Needed to Launch U.S.-Eu

VZCZCXRO1750
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #1221 3451425
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111425Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2814
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 001221

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/10/2016
TAGS: EAIR ECON EUN KTIA EI FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND SAYS REBALANCE NEEDED TO LAUNCH U.S.-EU
AIR TRANSPORT AGREEMENT

REF: SECSTATE 195012

Classified By: Econoff Glenn Lewis for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (SBU) Econoff delivered reftel demarche on the U.S.-EU Air
Transport Agreement to Petri Hakkarainen, North America Unit
of the GOF Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Anne Torkkeli in
the Transport Services Unit of the GOF Ministry of Transport
and Communications. Both contacts expressed disappointment
that the agreement would not be concluded during the Finnish
EU Presidency as they had hoped. Following the U.S.-EU
Summit in Austria, Finland saw the signing of this agreement
as almost a guaranteed deliverable during its Presidency.

2. (C) Following the withdrawal of the DOT rulemaking
process, Yrjo Makela, Counselor at the GOF PermRep in
Brussels, said the agreement would likely need to be
"rebalanced" since the EU considers the question of foreign
ownership of U.S. air carriers an essential part of the
overall package. Makela said some member states would likely
be willing to sign the current agreement "as is"; however, he
was very careful to not reveal the position of individual EU
countries. Makela said Finland was supportive of the overall
Air Transport Agreement; however, as one of the "flexible
countries" it would likely wait until other countries voiced
their position on the foreign control issue before
determining its final position on the need to "rebalance".
According to Makela, "rebalancing" will touch certain
elements of the agreement, but it would not require a
complete renegotiation of the November 2005 agreement
language. Makela indicated that solidarity with other EU
countries on this issue was more important to the Finns than
questions over foreign control of U.S. air carriers. Makela
was optimistic that this issue could be concluded early in
the German Presidency.

WARE

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