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Cablegate: Netherlands: Latest Dutch Views On the U.S.-Eu

VZCZCXRO2696
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHTC #0088 0431540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121540Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3768
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0001
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0048
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0719
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 000088

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EUN KTIA IC NO NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: LATEST DUTCH VIEWS ON THE U.S.-EU
SECOND STAGE AIR TRANSPORT NEGOTIATIONS

REF: STATE 9584

1. (U) On February 11, Econoffs delivered reftel points on
the second stage of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Negotiations to
Hans de Jong, Special Advisor and Chief Negotiator for
aviation issues, and Janneke Kolk, Policy Advisor, at the
Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management.
De Jong, who has served as a senior aviation negotiator for
the Netherlands for many years, believes that the time has
come for European transport ministers to take a political
decision on whether the EU wants to move forward in the
negotiations, particularly given that the U.S. cannot commit
to changing our laws on ownership and control of U.S.
carriers before the end of 2010. De Jong would view the
upcoming negotiations in Madrid as successful if the U.S.
could express at least a political commitment to make
progress on the outstanding issues (the priorities in
paragraph 2 of Article 21 of the first stage agreement, which
includes the issue of U.S. ownership and control). De Jong
supported the U.S. emphasis on pragmatism; he suggested the
U.S. could display such pragmatism by providing reciprocity
on the issue of wet leasing, or short-term contracts for use
of aircraft, personnel, and maintenance services. (The EU
allows U.S. carriers to engage in wet leasing in the EU, but
the U.S. does not reciprocate.)

2. (SBU) De Jong believes the top priority for the EU going
into Madrid remains U.S. foreign ownership and control laws,
although this is not as significant an issue for the Dutch
specifically. De Jong noted that EU negotiators need to
demonstrate progress on this issue to European transport
ministers. He recognized, however, that the U.S.
Administration will be unable to persuade Congress to pass
legislation to relax U.S. ownership/control rules,
particularly given the fierce opposition of Rep. James
Oberstar (D-MN) on the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee. De Jong added that this is now an
even more difficult issue for the Administration after the
loss of the Democrats' super majority in the Senate. He
suggested the EU-Canada arrangement of a phased-in approach
could serve as a model in striking a compromise.

3. (SBU) De Jong believes the two sides are within reach of
compromise on the problematic EU decision-making process on
noise restrictions at EU airports - if they can find the
right wording to use in the Air Transport Agreement.
According to de Jong, however, the Dutch will never accept
EU-wide measures governing aviation noise, because local
circumstances - including environmental, community
development, and political considerations - must always be
taken into account in this area.
NOLAN

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