Hearing of Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC designate in charge of Transport: extracts from the press briefing and the statement by Antonio Tajani

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-057941   Duration: 10:16:04  Lieu:
End production: 16/06/2008   First transmission: 16/06/2008
The departure of Franco Frattini who was recalled to Silvio Berlusconi's Italian government after the elections meant a reshuffle at the Commission. All nominees for Commissioners posts appear before the EP's Committees and the plenary votes on the results. The aim of the question and answer session with Members of the EP is to test the candidates' knowledge of the area where they will work. Following his initial nomination to the Commission on 9 May 2008, former Member of the EP Antonio Tajani faced a confirmation hearing before the Transport Committee, and a delegation from the Budget Committee, on 16 June. If the Members of the EP subsequently vote in his favour, Antonio Tajani will be confirmed as Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, a post previously held by Jacques Barrot. If confirmed by the EP, Antonio Tajani will face a charged June plenary agenda, which includes several transport reports on road safety and the establishment of the European Railway Agency. Antonio Tajani served as a Member of the EP from 1994 until May 2008. Prior to this he worked as a leading print and radio journalist. He also worked as a civil and military air traffic controller. In the EP, he was a member of the EPP-ED political group and led his party's (Forza Italia) delegation within the group. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Security and Defence Sub-Committee.

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10:11:46 Title 00:00:04
10:11:51 Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (by night) 00:00:05
10:11:56 Arrival of Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC designate in charge of Transport (3 shots) 00:00:14
10:12:10 Antonio Tajani (in FRENCH) saying that the fact that a Member of the EP becomes a Member of the EC just confirms the more and more important role played by the European Parliament; given that, he fully accepts the institutional requirements and the obligations which income upon him as Commissioner; he will act independently under no influence whether national, local, political or economic; saying that transport policy is becoming more than ever fundamental because it gives the means to go forward; Commission and Parliament have tremendous responsibility in this area and he wishes to take his share of responsibility because he is convinced that without a strong transport policy, there is no united Europe; saying that they have to get rid of the last obstacles to the proper functioning of the internal market and certain sectors; so his first initiative will be on 25 June on European Single Skies; this initiative is a priority which will stop fragmenting air traffic control; saying that transport safety and fair competition depend on working conditions, on the profession respecting equal opportunities, also on training and making sure that they remove the final obstacles to the internal market (12 shots) 00:01:29
10:13:39 Antonio Tajani (in ITALIAN) saying that without a real transport policy in Europe, he does not think that we are going to be able to have a united Europe; now there are problems, there are strikes, but they have got to give replies to the citizens who are suffering because of the oil price rises, because of these blockades and this is going to affect all the European families; on Alitalia; saying that he has behaved as a European Commissioner; he did not look at his own passport or ID even though he was born in Rome, and Rome is a European city, he has worked as a European Commissioner with respect to the Treaty; he did not act in any way to try to protect Alitalia; on transport; saying that it is a key area; if they are going to answer the citizens' concerns, they can't neglect transports; if they want to meet the challenge of the internal market or for the future, to stop the blockade of economies in the various countries of the EU, they have to come forward with answers for transport operators whether this be the fishermen, farmers or citizens who are looking to them to do more; obviously the EU needs a port policy which is intelligent and the Commission has a number of initiatives that will promote including the question of State aids to port; obviously they can't have State aids used excessively; they need to consider this very carefully listening to Parliament (17 shots) 00:02:00
10:15:39 Cutaways of the hearing (5 shots) 00:00:25
10:16:04 Post hearing statement by Paolo Costa, Member of the EP, Chairman of the Transport Committee, (in ITALIAN) saying that it seems to him that Antonio Tajani has demonstrated to the EP that he was well prepared, committed, for which they will soon have the opportunity to check; and despite it is the end of the current legislature, a change of Commissioner could have been counter productive, in this case it seems that the remaining time will be used efficiently and will be productive as far as results is concerned; from that evening on, he can say on behalf of the Committee that a period of intensive work is starting, which will continue to put transport in the centre of the European construction 00:00:49
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