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The EU Air Transport Liberalization and Re-Regulation

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Over the last decades, international air transport liberalization has steadily evolved. As a consequence, many initiatives all over the world have paved the way to enhance international air transport liberalization, and numerous models have been hypothesized for a new multilateral aviation regime to supplant bilateralism, which however, remains the primary vehicle for liberalizing international air transport services for most States. Th e present study aims at investigating the EU experience in the field of liberalization and re-regulation of air transport, taking into account the other approaches developed internationally, where relevant. Th e paper is divided into four sections. Aft er having introduced, in the first section, the different forms and venues of liberalization and regulation of international air transport, the process of Community liberalizations is analyzed, taking into account, on one side, the most recent air transport agreements in this field between the EU and third countries and, on the other side, the actual and potential benefits and drawbacks stemming from the implementation of these liberalization policies, which are still ongoing. In the last part of the paper, a new legal order in international air transport - stemming from the recent liberalization and re-regulation policies in the "Old Continent" - will be identified. In order to overcome the political and legal issues brought about by the liberalization and re-regulation of air transport worldwide, the paper concludes that stronger cooperation between international and regional actors must be implemented, and a global approach within a specialized international organization should be enhanced.