No 9.  Weekly. 06 June 2002

                                                                                                               


Green Paper on Energy

White Paper 
on Transport 

Commission approves German financial contributions reducing social charges for maritime shipping companies

The Commission authorises the United Kingdom to grant EUR 14 million to its coal industry

Compensation following the attacks of 11 September: the European Commission expresses doubts about the planned extension of France's aid scheme

Commission authorises aid to Renault for investment in Spain

Commission approves major part of restructuring aid in favour of mixed shipyard KSG in the Netherlands

Commission approves part of Greek aid to Hellenic Shipyards but investigates other measures more in detail

Commission approves extension of delivery limit for cruise ship being built at Meyer Shipyard (Germany). State aid may therefore still be paid

Pressure equipment: New EU Directive will improve Safety Standards and Market Access

Background note on the Energy Council of 7 June

Court of Justice delivers three judgments concerning "Golden Shares" in the context of the privatisation of undertakings. The French and Portuguese provisions are declared unlawful; the Belgian rules are held to be valid

EP: Transport Committee welcomes new rules on allocation of airport slots

EP: Minor amendmens for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency

EP: Research and Training on nuclear energy: Commission proposal balanced, says MEP

EP: Amendments to the sixth Framework Programme and Euratom

Maritime Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission approves German financial contributions reducing social charges for maritime shipping companies

The Commission, on 5 June 2002, has authorised Germany to support maritime shipping companies in paying for non-wage labour costs. The objective is to safeguard employment of seafarers on board of German merchant ships and to preserve maritime know-how. The financial contributions are subsidies towards shipping companies in order to reduce social charges of German seafarers and seafarers from Member States of the European Union

 

State Aid legislation
                     

Coal in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

Commission authorises the United Kingdom to grant EUR 14 million to its coal industry

The United Kingdom has been authorised, on 5 June 2002, to grant a total of EUR 14 million by way of operating aid to six coal production units. This aid is intended to cover operating losses in 2001 and the period from 1 January 2002 to 23 July 2002.  

 

Air transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

Air security in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Compensation following the attacks of 11 September: the European Commission expresses doubts about the planned extension of France's aid scheme

The European Commission expressed on 5 June 2002 doubts about whether the French Government's intention to extend the aid granted to its aviation sector following the attacks of 11 September 2001 after the resumption of flights to the United States is in conformity with the European rules. Despite giving the go-ahead to the original scheme to compensate for the costs arising in the four-day period during which planes were grounded, the Commission has decided to initiate a formal examination procedure concerning the extension of the aid, in line with its communication of 10 October on the repercussions of the terrorist attacks in the United States on the air transport industry.

 

State Aid legislation
                     

Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

Commission authorises aid to Renault for investment in Spain

The European Commission has authorised on 5 June 2002 regional investment aid of EUR 22 million for the production of the diesel and gasoline engines at the Renault plant in Valladolid (Spain). After conducting the formal investigation procedure opened in November 2001, the Commission is satisfied that the rules of the Community framework for State aid to the motor vehicle industry have been respected.

 

Maritime Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission approves major part of restructuring aid in favour of mixed shipyard KSG in the Netherlands

The European Commission approved on 5 June 2002 EUR 51.1 million out of a total aid of EUR 55.1 million granted by the Dutch authorities in support of the restructuring of Koninklijke Schelde Groep (KSG) linked to the sale of the company to Damen Shipyards Group (Damen). The aid consists in capital injections of EUR 47.7 million and interest subsidies worth EUR 7.4 million. The Commission found that Damen's restructuring plan for KSG provides a firm basis for viability and that the aid is limited to the minimum. However, since the aid is not accompanied by a capacity reduction for the civil shipbuilding activities, as required by the EC Shipbuilding Regulation, the Commission found EUR 4.0 million of the total aid incompatible with the common market. The Dutch authorities are ordered to recover this part of the aid from the beneficiary.

 

Maritime Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission approves part of Greek aid to Hellenic Shipyards but investigates other measures more in detail

The European Commission has decided on 5 June 2002 to approve State aid of EUR 29.5 million to the Greek company Hellenic Shipyards, to cover costs for early retirement of around 200 employees working in civil shipbuilding. The Commission has also decided to initiate a detailed investigation concerning other aid earmarked for the same company. At this stage the Commission has not been able to establish that all aid to be given to the company meets the criteria of the Shipbuilding Regulation.

 

Maritime Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission approves extension of delivery limit for cruise ship being built at Meyer Shipyard (Germany). State aid may therefore still be paid

The European Commission has decided on 5 June 2002 to grant a derogation to the state aid rules on shipbuilding allowing an extension of the delivery limit for a cruise ship built at Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The general rule, according to the Shipbuilding Regulation, is that shipbuilding contracts signed before the abolition of operating aid in 2000 have to be executed at the latest by the end of 2003 in order to benefit from such aid, i.e. up to 9 % of the contract value. A derogation can be allowed under strict conditions. Because of exceptional events and circumstances delaying the delivery of this particular cruise ship the Commission decided that the conditions are met and approved an extension of the delivery limit by a few months until 28 May 2004.

 

The web site of the Enterprise DG
                     

 

Pressure equipment: New EU directive will improve safety standards and market access

Thousands of pressure equipment products, from pressure cookers to divers' air bottles to non-nuclear power stations, will be subject to strict new safety standards from 30 May 2002, when a new Directive is fully implemented across the EU. Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC will replace product-specific national rules with European safety rules focusing on hazards, managed in terms of permitted pressure. Conformity with the directive's essential safety requirements will be assessed within a range of hazard categories. Products that meet these requirements will be CE-marked and may thus be sold throughout the Union, the European Economic Area and those EU candidate countries which have already transposed the directive into their national laws. This allows easier access to the single market for manufacturers of pressure equipment across the EU. At the same time, some 50 new European pressure equipment product and material standards, including EN13445, the single most comprehensive standard ever devised by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), will make it easier for manufacturers to comply with the directive's essential requirements.

 

The Electricity Market in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

The Gas Market in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

The web site of the Council
                     

 

Background note on the Energy Council in Luxembourg on 7 June (FR)

The meeting of the Council of Industry and Energy Ministers will take place in Luxembourg from 6-7 June 2002, chaired by Mrs Ana Maria Birules, Spanish Minister of Science and Technology. Among the Energy aspects, which will be dealt with on 7 June, the Council will discuss the current position of the EU on state aids to coal industry, the internal market for electricity and gas and the conditions of access to cross-border electricity exchange networks. The Council will also discuss the Trans-European energy exchange network and next consider the promotion of bio fuels in transport. The Commission will present the programme "Intelligent Energy for Europe, 2003-2006". Find here a background note prepared by Gilles Gantelet, spokesperson for Energy and Transport in the European Commission (only in French).

 

The web site of the Court of Justice
                     

The full 
text of the judgments

                     

 

Court of Justice: three judgments concerning "Golden Shares" in the context of the privatisation of undertakings. The French and Portuguese provisions are declared unlawful; the Belgian rules are held to be valid

According to the judgement, released on 4 June 2002, "the national rules in question constitute, per se, exceptions to the principle of free movement of capital and, consequently, to the principle of freedom of establishment, and can be justified, according to the Court, only if the objective pursued falls within the ambit of a general or strategic interest and the measures prescribed are based on precise criteria which are known in advance, are open to review by the courts and cannot be attained by less restrictive measures".

 

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Air transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

EP: Transport Committee welcomes new rules on allocation of airport slots

Reporting for the Transport Committee, Ulrich STOCKMANN (PES, D) has recommended approval vote of a Commission proposal laying down new rules designed to introduce the fair allocation of slots at EU airports. The proposal is going to be debated in the European Parliament on 26 June 2002.

 

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Maritime transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

EP: Minor amendmens for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency

In a draft legislative resolution, Emmanouil MASTORAKIS (PES, GR) makes some minor amendments to the draft regulation establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency. Over two years have passed since the Erika tanker disaster, and the reporter is concerned that the draft regulation be adopted without delay. Proposed amendments aim to guarantee that the Safety Agency's work programme does not suffer any internal delay due to the Administrative Board not agreeing.The proposal is going to be debated in the European Parliament on 12 June 2002.

 

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Nuclear issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

EP: Research and Training on nuclear energy: Commission proposal balanced, says MEP

Konstantinos ALYSSANDRAKIS (EUL/NGL, GR) will be presenting a non-binding draft motion for a resolution on a programme for research and training with regard to nuclear energy.The reporter thinks that the Commission proposal is well balanced. Amendments relate to fusion technology and a European site for ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor); JET (Joint European Torus). Facilities should be phased out progressively according to the schedule for ITER; waste characterisation and waste packages and the future needs of old reactors.The proposal is going to be debated in the European Parliament on 11 June 2002.

 

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Nuclear issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

EP: Amendments to the sixth Framework Programme and Euratom

Finally in the joint debate on research and training programmes Konrad SCHWAIGER (EPP-ED, D) will be presenting a report on the 6th Framework Programme for Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community). The reporter is suggesting a number of amendments in order to specify the role of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The proposal is going to be debated in the European Parliament on 11 June 2002.

 


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The contents of this digest are prepared by officials of the Energy and Transport DG and represent their personal views on the subject matters. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission or the Energy and Transport DG.

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