The European Commission has launched on 29 June 2011 three Calls for Proposals under the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) multi-annual programme, making €180 million available to finance European transport infrastructure projects in the fields of European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS), Motorways of the Sea (MoS) and River Information Services (RIS). This will help to make travel and transport by rail and water more safe and secure as well as more attractive compared to other transport modes.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas and Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard are meeting today with the shipping industry, Member States and the European Parliament to discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping in the short, medium and long term. In particular, they will look at how international negotiations can be moved forward.
Siim Kallas, Vice-president of the European Commission, has called for stronger collaboration on technology in order to unlock the full benefits of having a Single European Sky. The Commissioner in charge of transport made his appeal during a visit to the 49th edition of the Paris Air Show on 21 June 2011. Vice-President Kallas said that the technologies and procedures needed to achieve the Single European Sky should be implemented in the same way across Europe as soon as possible. This is why by October 2011, the Commission will submit a proposal to the Council for making the transition to the SESAR deployment phase go smoothly, with special attention given to funding and governance.
Siim Kallas welcomed the agreement today by transport ministers on new EU rules setting out how competition on the rail market must work in practice by: ensuring fair access to rail infrastructure and rail-related services; strengthening the power of national regulators; and improving the framework for investment in rail.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "These new rules aim to shut loopholes in the current laws that allow discrimination against newcomers and block operators from providing new and innovative services. They will ensure that opportunities to compete exist not just in theory but in practice – to the benefit of passengers and companies who will get more choice and better quality services. The proposals are a direct response to problems where we have a lot of complaints from companies over the last ten years. With strong political will from ministers and the European Parliament I hope we can get a final agreement early next year."
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas welcomed the vote by European Parliament today, giving its final approval to proposals for new EU rules to allow Member States to charge heavy lorries, not only for the costs of infrastructure which is currently the case, but also to levy an additional charge to cover the cost or air and noise pollution The revision of the current "Eurovignette Directive" will also enable Member States to better manage problems of congestion, with a new flexibility to vary the charge for heavy lorries (by up to 175%) at different times of the day. Importantly the vote also provides for "earmarking" so new charging revenues ar set aside for investment to improve transport infrastructure (TEN-T) projects.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas is challenging industry to come up with a truly European journey planner that includes all countries and transport modes. Although more than 100 journey planners already exist, there is not one yet that allows users to find information or book a ticket for a journey within Europe regardless of the number of countries or transport modes involved. Vice-President Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, launched the challenge at a conference on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on 6 June 2011. The public will be invited to vote for their favourite option once the competition has ended.