Insight: “Legal Implications of the Ryanair incident in Belarus” by Trajan Shipley
In 1983, Jürgen Erdmenger, a senior member of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport, referred to the Common Transport Policy as the ‘saddest chapter in the history of European integration’. He was probably acknowledging the lack of common EU rules governing transport at that time that would remove barriers between Member States, in contrast to other already achieved improvements in other areas. It is unlikely that in his mind he was thinking of the possibility of third States grounding intra-EU flights at their own will in order to arrest political dissidents traveling onboard.
Yet the latter is what took place on Ryanair flight FR4978, travelling from Athens to Vilnius, carrying Belarusian opposition journal