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The world is subject to rapid geopolitical change. The dominant position of the Western world is being challenged both economically and politically. While defence budgets across the European Union are being cut, defence spending in China, India, Brazil, Russia and others is going up. Therefore the EESC calls on the Council and the Commission to make an overall evaluation of determining aspects of the EU's position and role in the world, to result in a convincing update of European foreign, security and defence policies.
The strategic and geopolitical environment is rapidly and constantly evolving. The world’s balance of power is shifting as new centres of gravity are emerging and the US is rebalancing its strategic focus towards Asia. In this situation, Europe has to assume greater responsibilities for its security at home and abroad. To punch its weight, the EU needs to develop a credible CSDP. This evolution must be fully compatible with NATO and its principles.
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.
In the framework of this opinion a hearing (European Aviation Relief Programme) was organized in brussels, on 26 October 2009.
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