President Juncker stressed in his 2016 State of the Union Speech the need for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends. Taking greater responsibility for their security means that Europeans must invest in the development of key defence capabilities to be able to deter, respond and protect themselves against external threats. The European Union must demonstrate that it can act as a provider of hard as well as soft security, addressing calls for greater solidarity in security and defence. The Bratislava roadmap, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have also recently underlined this priority.
The European Commission adopted on 20 February 2014 the new guidelines on how Member States can support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The guidelines are aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market. They are part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) strategy, which aims at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the Commission’s scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition.
By 2050, various different aircraft categories are expected to be operating in European civil aviation, diverse in size, performance and type, with some still having a pilot on board, but many remotely piloted or fully automated. The European Commission has adopted this Communication in order to provide guidelines for opening the European market for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) – in other words the civilian use of drones.
The Communication has the primary objective of establishing a single RPAS market able to reap the societal benefits of this innovative technology, and to dealing appropriately with citizens' related concerns.