European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas today published the first ever mid term review of 92 priority Trans-European Networks infrastructure projects, co-financed by the Commission under the TEN-T programme for 2007-2013. The review provides a detailed "snap shot" of the state of play of each major infrastructure project in terms of financing and completion. The aim is to introduce more accountability into the funding process and to make sure that EU money is being well spent. Over half (52.2%) of these 92 major pan-European infrastructure projects are still on track for completion by December 2013, despite the tough financial environment. For the rest, the mid term review applies a strict "use it or lose it" principle. A two year extension is granted to credible projects which are facing difficulties in the economic crisis, to support their completion. But for projects which, at this mid term stage, are no longer credible, EU funding will be cut and re-allocated.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, today commended Brussels Airport for its commitment to reducing future carbon emissions. At a ceremony held in the departure hall of the airport, Vice-President Kallas presented Mr Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, with a certificate marking its progress under an industry-led carbon accreditation scheme. Twenty-three airports across 12 countries in Europe are now accredited under the scheme.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for of transport, today met top-level representatives of the European aviation sector to discuss future challenges for aviation in Europe at the first-ever meeting of the Aviation Platform. The Aviation Platform has been set up to give strategic advice to the Vice President in order to establish the basis for a sustainable future for air transport and a competitive future for the European aviation industry.
On Friday 15th October 2010, the office of European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport corrected a misquote in remarks attributed to the Vice President in the Rheinische Post.
EU Ministers have today voted in favour of new EU rules to allow Member States to charge heavy lorries, not only for the costs of the infrastructure which is currently the case, but also to levy an additional charge to cover the cost of air and noise pollution. The proposal to revise the current "Eurovignette Directive" will enable Member States to better manage problems of congestion, with a new flexibility to differentiate the charges applied to heavy lorries at different periods of the day.
Passengers travelling by sea and by inland waterways will be able to enjoy the same rights wherever they travel in the European Union according to a new regulation approved by the Council of the European Union on 11 October. Among these rights is the right to information or compensation in the case of delay or cancellation of a journey. In addition the new rules also offer people with a disability or reduced mobility protection when travelling over water. The new regulation will complement existing rights for air and rail passengers.
At the end of difficult negotiations during the 37th session of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the 190 contracting states of the International Aviation Body were able to strike the first global governmental deal to commit the aviation sector to reduce greenhouse emissions from international aviation from 2020. Europe played an instrumental role in securing this agreement and has taken the lead by including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which will start in 2012. European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport and EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard responsible for Climate Action, welcomed the breakthrough, which came after almost a decade of deadlock at ICAO on how to address emissions from international aviation. They underlined that aviation is the first sector to commit itself to such emissions reductions and that the agreement will cover over 90% of worldwide air traffic.
During his first visit to Washington as Commissioner in charge of transport, Vice-President Siim Kallas met top US officials on 22-24 September to discuss general transport policy issues of mutual interest and to prepare for the general assembly of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. A central issue in the discussions was the mutual interest to find a solution within ICAO on a global framework to reduce aviation emissions.