Ban on Nepali airlines in the EU skies remains in place
KATHMANDU, Oct 3: The European Union (EU) has said that it is planning to develop a technical assistance project for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to support their efforts to enhance aviation safety oversight in Nepal.
During the 12th Joint Commission meeting held on Saturday, EU officials also acknowledged the efforts the Nepal government has made to improve air safety, notably regarding the proposed new aviation legislation. The legislation is currently under consideration in the federal parliament.
According to a joint press statement, the EU officials reiterated that further progress needed to be made in the implementation of the legislation. The EU has banned all air carriers certified by CAAN from operating within the 28 EU countries. Although the EU has acknowledged the positive steps taken by Nepal to improve aviation safety, officials said the EU has maintained that the ban will continue to be in place until major changes are brought to the aviation safety standards set by CAAN.
The meeting, held virtually mainly focused on the current COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic impacts in both the EU and Nepal according to the joint press statement issued by the EU and Nepal.
In April, the EU had prepared a €75 million support package for Nepal with the aim to stimulate the economy and labour demand.
On its part, Nepal welcomed the EU’s strong support for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DDSI) as well as for the extension of the Initiative for another year at the upcoming G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors/ IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings in October.
During the meeting, both shared their experiences and updated on efforts being made by the government to contain and fight the global pandemic and its impacts on the economy.
The EU and Nepal also recalled the recent signature of the Financing Agreements on Nepal’s Multi-sector Nutrition Action Plan (€22 million) and on Provincial and Local Government Support Programme (€33 million); as well as the adoption of the European Commission’s Financing Decision in favour of Supporting Nepal’s School Sector (€20 million) to be implemented through budget support and complementary technical assistance.
The EU and Nepal also reiterated their commitment to work jointly at international fora like the United Nations, World Trade Organization and many more. The Joint Commission meeting which has taken place annually since 2019 is scheduled to take place in Kathmandu in 2021.
The Joint Commission was co-chaired by Officiating Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal and Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Affairs Service (EEAS), Paola Pampaloni.