Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Transport) :
Extracts from the Press conference by leo VARADKAR, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and Siim KALLAS, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 11/03/2013 First transmission: 11/03/2013
The TTE (Transport) Council held a debate on a proposal for a recast of the 2008 directive on the interoperability of the EU rail system, thereby starting its work on the "fourth railway package" recently published by the Commission. The recast, which is part of the technical pillar of the package, aims to accelerate the integration of the whole European rail network by removing existing administrative and technical barriers. The objective is also to guarantee a high level of safety while realising the full potential of the single market. Furthermore, the Council took note of progress made on a proposed revision of the 2003 directive on the reporting of occurrences that could endanger aviation safety. The revision intends to improve the reporting system and to ensure efficient use of the data collected with a view to preventing future accidents. Finally, the Council heared a presentation by the Commission of its recent "Clean power for transport" initiative and held an exchange of views. The goal of the initiative is to break the oil dependence of transport and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by accelerating the market uptake of alternative fuels and vehicles adapted to their use. The initiative consists of a communication setting out a European alternative fuels strategy and a proposal for a directive on the deployment of a minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels throughout the EU. Over lunch, ministers discussed the issue of road safety.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Leo Varadkar, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and President in office of the Council (In English) saying that: The overall purpose of inter-mobility is to accelerate the removal of technical and administrative barriers in the railway sector thereby achieving cost reduction while also eliminating certain market access barriers. I suppose that what we are trying to do in the railways in many ways is what was done in aviation decades ago where we now have a very open and liberalized aviation market; overtime, it intends to something similar in the railways but obviously it is a lot more complicated and it's going to take a lot more time.
||SOUNDBITE by Leo Varadkar (In English) saying that: There was consensus at the Council that progress should first be made on the technical aspects of this ambitious package before we move to other components because before we can integrate our railways have open market access in our railways, we need to integrate them and be sure they work better and railways can be very different from country to country. There is broad support for measures to increase the efficiency of the vehicles authorisation process although there were concerns around the impact on safety and liabilities that may arise from the transfer on competences from national authorities to the European Rail Agency.
||SOUNDBITE by Leo Varadkar (In English) saying that:The Commission gave us a presentation and it is a really visionary proposal to require member states to develop and provide infrastructure for electric vehicles across the EU and also CNG and LNG refuelling points on our motorways for heavy goods vehicles and also in our ports. There were some concerns from member states about the deadline being proposed and the number of charging point being proposed and the cars that providing these but the vision is very much shared by the Council and we are going to work closely with the Commission to advance this proposal.
||SOUNDBITE by Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport (In English) saying that: It was a substantial discussion concerning the first part of the railway package which is a huge one which includes a lot of details everybody supports in general but when it comes to the details the support is not so unanimous anymore. But we managed to discuss it, it was a very important discussion we had during this first Transport Council under the Irish Presidency because otherwise the cycle to adopt a legislative proposal could be delayed.
||Speakers leaving the press room