The European Commission and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have common goals to pursue and will keep up and strengthen a cooperation that has already proved to be fruitful in the past. This emerged from the meeting today in London between Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, and IMO's Secretary General Koji Sekimizu. Among the issues discussed were the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in shipping; sustainable development proposals, anti-piracy measures; passenger ship safety initiatives; and container vessel safety. Vice-President Kallas said that by working together both organisations would be able to make significant progress in their respective policy goals, therefore contact and exchanges of views between IMO and the different Commission services should be further encouraged.
Global aviation is changing dramatically and Europe has been harder hit by the recession than many other regions. The European Commission has today set out an ambitious package of proposals to boost the international competitiveness of the EU's aviation industry by opening negotiations with key partners to access new business opportunities in the fast growing markets, developing new tools to fight unfair competition and creating the right regulatory conditions to stimulate investment.
Speech by Vice President Siim Kallas at the Conference on the fourth railway package
Decision makers, business leaders, representatives of railway passengers and workers will meet in Brussels on Monday 24 September to discuss the forthcoming railway package, before the Commission adopts its proposals at the end of the year. The discussion will cover the latest thinking on measures to open domestic passenger rail markets to competition, to reduce the time-to-market of the rolling stock and to set up optimal rail infrastructure managers. At the conference Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas will be joined by members of the European Parliament, ministers and other high-level representatives as well as more than 300 participants. The conference programme includes a debate on how the railway industry contributes to growth in Europe and specific sessions devoted to the three pillars of the forthcoming measures. These three pillars are: revising the role of supervision of the European Railway Agency; setting up optimal infrastructure managers; and opening up the domestic passenger rail markets.
More information: http://www.railsconference2012.eu/
The future of mobility in our cities is being discussed today at a conference where Vice-President Siim Kallas will be joined by representatives from the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, and will meet with key stakeholders. The European Commission will announce the launch of a public consultation, giving citizens and all interested parties the opportunity to contribute to the future development of the EU's urban transport policy. The event also marks the tenth anniversary of the Civitas Initiative – the European Commission's city-led research programme.
Aviation security: the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) move to enhance co-operation
The EU and ICAO today made a pledge towards closer co-operation in aviation security, on the occasion of a high-level conference in Montreal. The conference addresses important issues concerning global civil aviation security. The two parties are seeking further cooperation within the framework of a Memorandum of Cooperation that entered into force earlier this year (see IP/11/540).
International rules and policies drawn up by ICAO translate into EU legislation and policy, particularly in the domain of aviation security. As such, it is important for the EU to engage effectively in ICAO's activities in order to contribute to defining approaches which apply to the global market place in which Europe's air transport industry operates.
The European Commission has warned that Member States will need to do more to ensure that the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) deployment is on track. The EU decided in 2004 to implement EETS in order to reduce the hassle for truckers and, later, for all road users by facilitating toll payments across the European Union by means of a single on-board unit and a single service contract. This will result in fewer cash transactions at toll stations and the elimination of cumbersome procedures for cross-border users, thereby improving traffic flow and reducing congestion. European interoperability will reduce the cost of future tolling equipment.
Commission today launched the EU’s first award to encourage the adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) by local and regional authorities. Under the inaugural theme "stakeholder and citizen participation", local and regional authorities can submit their applications for the award of EUR 10 000 on www.dotherightmix.eu.