Speech by Vice President Siim Kallas at the European Aviation Club, Brussels
Today Vice-President Kallas and Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn kicked off a High Level Group (HLG) on Aviation and Aeronautics Research, set to work out a new vision for the aviation sector by 2050.
The European Commission will launch tomorrow an easy-to-use website to help public authorities and anyone who cares about the environment choose the cleanest and most energy-efficient vehicles available. The Clean Vehicle Portal – available on http://www.cleanvehicle.eu – will be of great help as a new directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient vehicles1 requires that from this month all purchases of vehicles for public transport services take into account energy consumption, CO2 emissions and pollutant emissions. It provides information on legislation for clean and energy-efficient vehicles on EU level and in all Member States; it provides access to technical data in the largest vehicle database in Europe; and it facilitates joint procurement.
Following the agreement just reached during the Transport Council, Vice-President Siim Kallas made a statement to the press.
The Commission welcomes today's agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council, after a successful conciliation procedure, on the rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach. A set of basic rights including non-discrimination, adequate information to passengers, in particular those with reduced mobility will apply to all passengers. Additional rights (assistance, accommodation, compensation, etc.) will be granted to passengers travelling long distances (more than 250 km).
The high-level group on air cargo security today agreed on the need for a common European response to the security threat uncovered three weeks ago.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, currently visiting Moscow, has welcomed the progress made with Russia on cooperation in the fields of aviation, shipping, rail, road safety and transport security. There was also progress in agreeing on a new framework to make EU–Russia transport dialogue more efficient. To that end, a concrete mandate will be given to existing working groups, particularly in view of their contribution to the Partnership for Modernisation.
Russia has "huge potential" in global aviation, but until now this potential has developed only in an isolated way. There is a need for investment in runways and airport facilities, and air traffic management needs modernization in order to cope with an increasing number of flights. The EU has a strong interest in growing cooperation with Russia in the area of transport, particularly aviation, and we look forward to working closely with the Russian Ministry of Transport to explore ways of moving forward.
Brussels, 9 November 2010
Work Programme 2011
Brussels, 27 October 2010
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.
Welcoming address – Opening session of the European Aviation Summit European Aviation Summit Bruges, 26th October 2010
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.
Meglena Kuneva, a special adviser on passenger rights to Vice-President Siim Kallas, began today in Berlin a "roadshow" aimed at promoting the Commission's awareness-raising campaign on passenger rights.
Mrs. Kuneva met with a representative audience of stakeholders from the German public authorities, industry and consumer groups in order to understand how well EU passenger rights (notably in the air and rail sectors) are known and enforced in Germany. By the end of 2011, Mrs. Kuneva's tour will have covered the majority of EU capitals. The ultimate purpose of her action is to ensure that the on-going campaign is sufficiently visible, effective and targeted, and draw inspiration for possible future policy actions in this area, to the benefit of both EU industry and users.
The European Commission today adopted a proposal to provide better rail services for passenger and freight users by: increasing competition on the railway market; strengthening the power of national regulators; and improving the framework for investment in rail. The proposal for a Directive establishing a Single Rail Area is an exercise in legislative simplification and consolidation with the merger of the three directives in force and their successive amendments into one coherent text. It also aims to tackle key problem areas undermining the effective functioning of the railway market.
New rules to enhance and improve the safety performance of ships were adopted today by the European Commission.
Europeans are calling on Member States to boost their efforts to improve road safety, according to a survey published by the European Commission today. Nine out of ten Europeans (94%) considered driving under the influence of alcohol to be the most significant road safety problem, while eight out of ten (78%) called speeding a major safety problem. A majority of respondents (52%) said Member States should focus on improving road infrastructure as a first or second priority, while 42% said the same for improving the enforcement of traffic laws and 36% for dealing equally forcefully with resident and foreign traffic offenders. The Eurobarometer survey was commissioned by the Commission as part of its ongoing campaign to cut road fatalities across the EU. The results are published today together with new plans to make our roads even safer.
The European Commission has today adopted challenging plans to reduce the number of road deaths on Europe's roads by half in the next 10 years. Initiatives proposed today in a set of European Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020 range from setting higher standards for vehicle safety, to improving the training of road users, and increasing the enforcement of road rules. The Commission will work closely with Member States to implement this programme.
Passengers will enjoy easier access to information about their rights when travelling by rail or air thanks to a Europe-wide publicity campaign in 23 languages launched by the European Commission today. Although the Commission has in recent years introduced legislation to ensure air and rail passengers benefit from the same standards of treatment throughout the European Union, not all passengers are yet aware of what they are entitled to.
The European Commission has issued today a communication assessing the use of security scanners at EU airports, at the request of the European Parliament and Member States.
Speaking in Zaragoza at the opening of a three-day conference on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), Vice-President Siim Kallas presented the Commission's proposed new methodology for TEN-T planning, and mentioned some findings from the latest progress report.
Speaking today at the International Transport Forum meeting in Leipzig, Vice-President Siim Kallas urged leaders in the transport and ICT industries to push ahead with innovative research into solutions to get people, and goods, moving more easily. He concluded by issuing a creative challenge to transport stakeholders: come up with an integrated, multimodal European travel planner. It would smooth the journeys made every day by millions of people and tonnes of cargo.
Guidelines issued today will help to minimise airspace closures in the event of volcanic ash reaching Europe without compromising safety standards.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, will present on Tuesday 4 May, to an extraordinary transport ministers meeting in Brussels, a range of possible short-term actions and structural measures to respond to the repercussions of the volcanic ash crisis.
New measures to streamline and simplify the EU framework for aviation security, first put in place in 2002 after the September 11 attacks, came into force today. The revision is about better regulation – simplifying and improving procedures to make it easier for industry on a daily basis to implement safety controls, without any reduction in security.
on the economic impact of the volcanic ash cloud crisis on the air transport industry
Following the extraordinary meeting of transport ministers on 19 April 2010, Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas made the following statement:
Volcanic ash cloud: Press statement by Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport
Over the last two days, the European Commission, with the assistance of Eurocontrol, has been co-ordinating a series of intensive meetings with national aviation authorities, air traffic control services, the airlines, airports and scientists.
Volcanic ash cloud: President Barroso launches European Commission action to address economic consequences
European Commission President Barroso today decided to set up an ad-hoc group to assess the impact of the situation created by the volcanic ash cloud on the air travel industry and the economy in general. The President wishes to ensure that the EU has the right analysis to be able to respond appropriately, if needed, and that any measures taken across the EU to respond to economic consequences of this situation are properly coordinated.
The European Commission has adopted today the thirteenth update of the Community’s list of airlines banned in the European Union to include all air carriers of two additional countries: Sudan and the Philippines, on the basis of safety assessments by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). With this update, restrictions placed on Air Koryo from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and TAAG from Angola are partially lifted under certain conditions, while the operations of Iran Air will be restricted.
Siim Kallas , European Commission Vice-President responsible for Transport, welcomed as "a major step forwards", the preliminary agreement reached today by EU and US negotiators on a 'second-stage' Open Skies aviation agreement.
The European Commission today adopted a recommendation addressed to the Member States to ensure the effective application of measures for self-protection and for preventing acts of piracy and armed attacks against ships. These measures – known as 'Best Management Practices' (BMP) – have been adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Speaking this afternoon following the meeting of EU transport ministers in Brussels, Vice-President Siim Kallas noted significant progress on two fronts. Firstly, there was strong political support for Commission proposals to strengthen air accident investigations, with a Council decision to agree a "general approach". Secondly, the ministers signalled their willingness for the Commission to move forward with a new round of negotiations on the Open Skies agreement with the United States, starting March 25 in Brussels.
"The train accident in Buizingen on Monday 15 February 2010 was a shocking tragedy. I understand that, in the aftermath of this serious accident, several technical and political questions concerning rail safety can be asked" said Vice-President Kallas today to the plenary session of the European Parliament.
Informal Meeting of Transport Ministers in La Coruña - Urban Mobility - Airport Security - Maritime Safety
"I have a vivid memory of the dramatic pictures from Galicia in 2002, seen all over Europe. I was Prime Minister of Estonia at this time and I remember well the strong compassionate reaction from Estonia, contributing to the cleaning efforts" said Vice-President Siim Kallas today after listening to the presentation of the ecological catastrophe in "La Torre de Capitania Maritima" in La Coruña.
The European Commission launches today a one-stop helpdesk on funding possibilities for "motorways of the sea" projects under the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) programme and the Marco Polo programme. It will also point to other relevant national and European Union funding schemes. The "motorways of the sea" initiative is a TEN-T priority project that aims to promote green, viable, attractive and efficient sea-based transport links integrated through the entire transport chain.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, EU Commissioner for transport, today addressed the European Parliament on the use of body scanning technology in airport security, as part of a broader debate on the operation of intelligence services in the context of counter-terrorism strategies. In setting out the timetable for the debate on the regulation of body scanning technology, the Vice-President underlined that "to fight terrorism targeting civil aviation we need a variety of combined and coordinated measures – intelligence, profiling, different search methods and international cooperation. He stressed that "body scanning technology is not a panacea," and said that questions relating to the value-added of this technology to airport security, as well as health and privacy issues, needed to be looked at very seriously.