Road crashes are still the biggest cause of death and disability for young people, in both the world and Europe. 19% of road fatalities in the EU in 2010 affected young people aged between 18-25 years old (although this age group comprise only 10% of the total population). This means that those aged between 18-25 face almost twice as high a risk of dying in traffic accidents. The European Commission is therefore dedicating its 4th European Road Safety Day to young people. The day is marked by a conference, jointly organised with the Cyprus Presidency, which will takes place on 25 July in Nicosia. The conference brings together youth groups, road safety organisations and road safety officials from all EU Member States, as well as from neighbouring countries for a day of discussions, presentations and workshops.
Air traffic: Commission approves national performance plans to reduce costs and increase capacity in the provision of air traffic management services
The European Commission has written to Member States concerning the performance plans to improve air traffic management under the period 2012-2014 of the Single European Sky Performance Scheme. The scheme is expected to save billions of Euros to the benefit of airspace users and passengers in these three years. The Commission today announced that the plans are accepted as broadly in line with legally established European Union-wide targets, but has also adopted recommendations to Member States for further improvements.
Aviation: Assessment of the situation in respect of the screening of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) at EU airports
The European Commission today adopted its assessment on the screening of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) at EU airports. The assessment is based on results of trials carried out at a number of EU airports and on extensive consultations with a wide group of stakeholders, it takes stock of the present situation and recommends a way forward in respect of LAGs screening at European airports. The risk posed by liquid explosives to civil aviation is still significant and Liquid Explosive Detection Systems manufacturers have made considerable progress in recent years to develop instruments which can adequately address this risk. The Commission's assessment indicates that the removal of the LAGs restrictions on April 2013, as currently envisaged in EU law, could present a considerable operational risk mainly due to the scale of the change. Faced with security and operational risks and the need to safeguard passenger interests, a phased approach will be necessary to introduce the screening of LAGs. Starting in January 2014, the Commission recommends that passengers should be able to carry on board all duty free LAGs provided that they are screened. In the light of the experience gained and in close cooperation with its European and international partners, the Commission will then bring forward proposals for subsequent phases to achieve the final objective of screening all LAGs at the earliest possible date. To implement these recommendations, the Commission will bring forward proposals to amend the existing legislation on LAGs in Autumn 2012, with the agreement of the Member States and the European Parliament.
On 16 and 17 July 2012, the transport and telecommunications ministers will meet in an informal council in Nicosia to discuss how to optimise the use of information and communications technologies for transport. Ministers will review means to lift existing barriers to the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in the EU. The focus is on access to transport-related "open data", on tools for planning and integrated ticketing for journeys across Europe using various transport modes, and on the deployment of intelligent systems and services on the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network and in European cities.
Vice-President Siim Kallas said: "We need to develop European multimodal journey planners and other ITS applications in Europe. To make the best use of all existing transport modes and infrastructure, we need to ensure the availability, accessibility and exchange of all relevant information, such as schedules, capacity, and paths. The Commission will put forward ideas to support the private sector in developing multimodal transport planning and information services across Europe. This will allow new services like route planners or smart reservation and payment to spread for both passengers and freight, going beyond national borders and offering alternative transport modes."
Vehicle checks are fundamental to road safety. More than 5 people die on Europe's roads every day in accidents linked to technical failure. So today the European Commission has adopted new rules to toughen up the testing regime and widen its scope.
Regulators and Stakeholders intensify co-operation to remove restrictions on carry-on liquids at EU/US airports
As a further sign of good transatlantic cooperation on aviation security and shared interest with business and stakeholders, the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport and the United States' Transportation Security Administration (TSA), together with the main European and American aviation stakeholders (airlines, airports, retail associations and liquids equipment manufacturers), signed today a joint statement. This confirms their intention cooperate towards the screening of liquids aerosols and gels (LAGs) at EU/US airports. Based on a roadmap, the sides intend to find a comprehensive risk-based security solution which will facilitate the lifting of the restrictions to LAGs as soon as practical, maintaining security and facilitating passengers and trade in international civil aviation.
One of the greatest challenges facing the EU is how best to design and adapt cities into smart intelligent and sustainable environments. Almost three quarters of Europeans live in cities, consuming 70% of the EU's energy. Congestion costs Europe about 1% of its GDP every year; most of it is located in urban areas. Smart urban technologies can make a major contribution to tackling many urban challenges.
Passengers stranded at airports or awaiting missing luggage may now use a smartphone application to check their rights immediately and on the spot. Just in time for the summer holidays, the European Commission has launched an application for smartphones which covers air and rail transport and works on four mobile platforms: Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7. The app is available in 22 EU languages. It currently covers air and rail transport and will be extended to bus / coach and marine travel in 2013 when these rights come into force.
Transport: Vice President Kallas welcomes European Parliament final agreement on new rules to open competition in the rail market
New EU rules to allow more competition on the rail market look set to come into force by the end of this year, following a final vote of approval in the European Parliament today. The new rules (Rail Recast Directive) tackle 3 major problems on the market: (1) strengthening the power of national regulators; e; (2) improving the framework for investment in rail (3) ensuring fair access to rail infrastructure and rail related services. They are a direct response to many complaints from operators in recent years.
The European Commission’s Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign was launched today and represents a three-year initiative aiming to support sustainable urban mobility campaigners in 31 countries. Activities began today with the opening of a registration system to support outstanding actions for fostering positive change in attitudes and behaviour.