1.3 The new Canadian government has expressed its readiness to enter into negotiations with the European Union to liberalize air transport relations, which are currently based on bilateral air services agreements between member states and Canada. 5.4 In this context, the European Commission recommends that the Council allow the Commission to enter into negotiations with Canada for a comprehensive agreement on air services. [Image] EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES COMMITTEE Brussels, 9.1.2007COM (2006) 871 FINAL COMMUNICATION OF THE COMMISSION Development of a Community civil aviation policy towards Canada1. INTRODUCTION1.1 Traditionally, international air transport is governed by bilateral agreements between member states. However, the judgments of the European Court of Justice of 5 November 2002 , known as “open skies”, mark the beginning of an external aviation policy at the Community level. As the European Commission`s communication entitled “Developing the Community`s Aviation External Policy Agenda” indicates, the targeted agreements between the European Community and certain third countries will bring the added value essential to creating new economic opportunities by opening markets and promoting investment opportunities. In addition, such agreements will be the best way to ensure fair competition and high standards of safety and environmental protection, by promoting cooperation and convergence of legislation. That is why the European Commission has proposed to open targeted negotiations to reach comprehensive air services agreements in key regions of the world, with a view to strengthening prospects for promoting European industry and ensuring fair competition, while striving to reform international civil aviation.1.2 With its market-oriented economic and transport policy and high regulatory standards , Canada is a strong candidate for a next-generation air transport agreement with the European Community. Air transport between the EU and Canada doubled between 2000 and 2005 and Canada is a leading EU partner in air transport. In 2005, 8.5 million passengers travelled between the EU and Canada.  The new Canadian government has said it is ready to enter into negotiations with the European Union to liberalise air transport relations, which are currently based on bilateral air services agreements between member states, and Canada.An air liberalisation agreement with Canada, both within the European Union and in Canada, would bring economic benefits to airlines , airports, passengers, shippers, the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. According to an economic study published by the Commission, more than nine million additional passengers are expected to travel after the markets open.