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: Luxembourg (town), Luxembourg - Council
End production: 10/06/2013 First transmission: 10/06/2013
The European Ministers in charge of Transport, meeting today in Luxembourg, reached political agreement on some legislative files, including the reporting of occurrences that could endanger aviation safety and a recast of the 2008 directive on the interoperability of the EU rail system, which is part of the technical pillar of the ‘fourth railway package’ published by the European Commission in January.
This was a priority identified from day one and a key pillar in the Commission’s proposals to enhance the competitiveness and secure the long-term future of European Railways. Agreement today provides a strong basis to build consensus on the remaining elements of this package and advance towards a fully-integrated rail system in Europe.
The Council also agreed on technical roadside inspections to which commercial vehicles are subject in addition to the regular roadworthiness checks; on a revision of the 1999 directive on vehicle registration documents and on a revision of the 1998 directive on the rules applicable to marine equipment to be placed on EU ships.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Leo Varadkar, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, on the outcome of the Council meeting: Today, we secured a political agreement on the interoperability element of the fourth railway package. This was a very challenging, technical and complex proposal. What we have agreed today is very important in terms advancing competitiveness and securing a long-term future for the European railway, and helping putting in place one of the important building blocks for a single European railway area. We also were successful in agreeing a Council position on two elements of the roadway package, namely technical roadside inspections and registration documents for vehicles. A Council position on marine equipment was also agreed. This directive will enhance safety at sea, improve market surveillance and ensure the free movement of maritime equipment throughout the EU, with the highest safety standards. We also agreed a general approach on occurrences reporting in aviation. Air traffic forecast show that the number of flights over the next 15 years is expected to double. As a result of that, we need to have in place an aviation safety system that is flexible, adaptable, efficient and ready to deal with the growth.
||Cutaways of photographer and press (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport: The commitment to have a European certificate for railway equipment has been kept. This is a big achievement. Member States committed themselves to the same objective. How to achieve this will be object to further discussions. The European Commission proposed a transitional period of two years. Member States today adopted a five year transition. This is in our view maybe a little too long.
||Cutaways (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Siim Kallas: We want also to have a strong deadline to achieve technical specifications of interoperability; otherwise it will take longer than ten years. But the main basic idea is to have a European common market for European railway equipment which is certified at European level. This is key.