France and Germany are insisting the EU executive should not be given the right to determine whether a group of member states can press ahead with ‘enhanced cooperation’ in the foreign policy arena, although it will be able to do so in other areas of policy-making in its role as guardian of the Union treaty.French diplomats have suggested that enhanced cooperation could be used, for example, to allow some states to form a special high-level task force to deal with the conflict in the Great Lakes region in Africa even if others did not wish to take part. But Paris argues that the Commission should not be given in a say in whether this happens.France has traditionally been the strongest advocate of giving the EU a more united position on external relations issues, but through greater coordination of individual member states’ stances rather than by boosting the Commission’s role.However, Patten argues that trying to improve the effectiveness of the Union’s foreign policy while marginalising the Commission is self-defeating because the executive can provide considerable aid and controls essential policy tools for dealing with crisis situations.He emphasised the importance of his institution’s role in a speech in June, saying: “While the Commission has nothing to say – nor do we seek a role – in defence, it is impossible to separate purely military matters from related issues in which we are competent, and have a real contribution to make. Military and the non-military actions cannot be placed neatly into separate boxes. Nor should they be, because they need to be closely coordinated in the service of a single strategy.”The debate comes as EU leaders prepare to boost Solana’s role by giving him control of the Union’s new permanent political and security committee (PSC), which will run crisis management operations from next year. The paper on ‘effective conflict prevention’ will emphasise the executive’s importance in dealing with humanita-rian emergencies such as the situations in Bosnia and Kosovo, although it will not be involved in the military side of crisis management operations.It will also argue against any attempt to marginalise the Commission, while acknowledging that the Union’s usual decision-making procedures will have to be telescoped if it is to take rapid action to deal with crisis situations.The move comes as most EU governments are fighting French-led attempts to limit the Commission’s role in deciding whether some Union countries can go ahead with new foreign policy initiatives without all 15 member states being involved.
At the recently completed Farnborough Air Show within which the prestigious world aviation awards were awarded – The World Airline Awards, Croatia Airlines was named one of the best airlines in Eastern Europe.Despite extremely strong competition, Croatia Airlines took a high fourth place, leaving behind the best airlines from this part of Europe, as well as companies from Serbia and Slovenia, ie from the republics of the former Commonwealth (for example, Air Serbia is ranked seventh, and Adria Airways as the eighth).The World Airline Awards the most prestigious is global recognition in the aviation industry, better known as airline Oscar. Airlines are awarded prizes based on the experiences of passengers, and this year alone, more than 19 million of them took part in the survey. About 40 key performance indicators and more than 280 airlines around the world were included. “We are extremely pleased to have further strengthened our market position among the best airlines in Europe with this global recognition. We can proudly say that this is the result of our systematic investment in improving our service and passenger satisfaction, which, among other things, is reflected in the expansion of the flight network and the opening of new airlines connecting Croatia with several attractive European destinations.”Said Krešimir Kučko, President of the Management Board of Croatia Airlines.Let us remind you that this prestigious recognition is the result of a positive trend in Croatia Airlines’ business, after this year the flight network was expanded by opening as many as four new airlines from Croatia to some of the most attractive European destinations. Thus, this global measure of aviation excellence according to the choice of passengers arrived as an additional confirmation of the systematic work and investment that Croatia Airlines is carrying out after the successful completion of the restructuring program.
Catherine Guillouard has been appointed to RATP by ministerial decree and, subject to government approval, was expected to succeed Elisabeth Borne as President by the end of July.