European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for transport met today with top-level representatives of the European transport and logistics sector. The occasion was the launch meeting of the High Level Group on Logistics (HLGL), set up to provide strategic advice on the future transport policy measures with impact on logistics.
In the framework of the EU-Moldova Cooperation Council, the Republic of Moldova and the European Union have today signed a comprehensive air services agreement which will make Moldova a full partner of the EU in aviation by gradually integrating into the European common market.
Gradual opening of domestic road transport markets should be considered as a key step towards completing the Single European Transport Area says a report handed over to Vice-President Kallas today. In June 2011, a High Level Group of academics was mandated to draft a report on the situation of the EU road haulage market. The High Level Group considers that allowing a step-by-step opening of the market will increase the flexibility of operations and competition in national markets, whilst ensuring fair competition and maintaining adequate social norms. The Commission will take into consideration these conclusions in its own report on the situation of the EU road haulage market, to be published in 2013.
Vice-President Kallas, EU Commissioner responsible for Transport, has today provided the European Parliament and Council with an interpretation of the Directive on weights and dimensions of road vehicles and the conditions to be met when adjacent Member States wish to authorise longer trucks to cross the border between them.
Many disabled and reduced mobility air travellers still face problems of unjustified refusals, and other unfair demands when attempting to travel. As thousands of disabled Paralympians and spectators prepare to travel to London for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Commission has published[99 KB] to clarify their rights when travelling by air.
A new rail link connecting the Brussels Airport with the high-speed rail network to Paris/Amsterdam/London/Köln will be inaugurated tomorrow. The new link will allow high-speed trains to stop at the airport on their way to Brussels or Antwerp, giving passengers more flexibility in their travel choices and improving connections between rail and air transport. The project – called Diabolo – has so far received almost €9.7 million in trans-European transport network (TEN-T) co-financing.
Vice-President Siim Kallas has welcomed the efforts of the Danish Presidency and the outcome of today's Transport Council in Luxembourg. Ministers reached a partial general approach on the initiative known as the "Connecting Europe Facility". "The establishment of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of the key initiatives of the Commission in the context of the proposed package for delivering sustainable growth and jobs", Mr Kallas said. There was also an agreement on some of the Commission proposals for better airports. There was already an agreement in the Council for groundhandling (on 22 March); today agreement has been reached on noise. Vice-President Kallas: "Transport ministers have been able to reach a general approach on this politically sensitive issue, which is an important step. Decisions on noise restrictions will remain clearly up to Member States, but I am also conscious of the impact of restrictions on the aviation network. So we have to ensure a process which is fair and which respects international rules."
The European Commission published yesterday a report on implementing the legislation known as "blind spot mirrors directive". Directive 2007/38 required the retrofitting of all existing lorries with mirrors aimed at reducing or eliminating blind spots. Blind spots are areas outside the driver's field of vision which are particularly important for the safety of motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. The report shows that the number of fatalities resulting from accidents involving heavy good vehicles and motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians has been effectively reduced following the retrofitting of blind spot mirrors.
The European Commission and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have agreed to recognise each other's air cargo security regimes from 1 June 2012 on. This recognition will eliminate duplication of security controls and the need to implement different regimes depending on the destination of air cargo. It will substantially cut cargo operators' costs and save time.
“ We are getting rid of duplication of security controls, while preserving high levels of security. This is a big step forwards and it will have a major business impact. Air freight is by definition naturally urgent. Cutting out the duplication of security procedures will mean huge savings for cargo operators in terms of time and money ." said Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport.