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No 23.  Weekly. 18 October 2002

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Direct link to Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply
Green Paper on Energy

Direct link to the White Paper on European Transport Policy

White Paper 
on Transport 

European energy and transport infrastructures: Energy and Transport DG holds Second Annual Conference in Barcelona on 11-13 November

Loyola de Palacio welcomes agreement on the energy performance of buildings

Commission taking infringement proceedings against Greece for non-compliance with EU legislation on oil stocks

Commission seeks full implementation from Germany of the European Union's Gas liberalisation Directive

Access to the airport services market: Commission decides to take Germany to Court

Commission raises no objections to the financing of the harbourmasters' offices within the Belgian port authorities

State aid to transport in Asturias: Commission authorises employment schemes

Costs suffered by airlines following the attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001: The Commission authorises EUR 1.4 million proposed by Austria by way of compensation 

Free movement of capital: Commission opens infringement proceedings against Spain and Italy concerning public holdings in energy companies

State aids: Commission seeks end to some advantages enjoyed by EdF

Commission approves UK energy efficiency aid

Commission authorises Greece to compensate PPC for liberalisation in the electricity sector (stranded costs)

TAV: EIB lends EUR 300 million to complete Milan-Bologna railway line

Cyprus: EUR 220 million loan from the EIB for energy, education and transport

EP: Amendments for the directive on occurence reporting in civil aviation
ns

EP:Flight delays and cancellations: bid for better compensation

II Annual Conference in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Preliminary programme of the Conference (PDF)
                     

Practical information 
                     

On-line registration form 
                     

European energy and transport infrastructures : Energy and Transport DG holds Second Annual Conference in Barcelona on 11-13 November

The Energy and Transport DG organises on 11-13 November its Second Annual Conference in Barcelona. Bringing together decision-makers from enterprises, associations and unions involved in the fields of transport and energy, the 2002 Conference should provide the forum for a decisive debate on Europe's future infrastructure networks and infrastructure needs, their regulation, interoperability and financing in particular His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias will open the plenary session in the morning of Tuesday 12 November, which will be animated by the interventions of keynote speakers including Loyola de Palacio, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Energy and Transport. Four discussion panels will follow around the themes of European energy and transport infrastructure needs, their regulation, interoperability and financing. Conclusions will be presented in the afternoon of 13 November.

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Energy Efficency in Buildings in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Slides presentation of the Commission's proposal for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PDF) 
                     

Vidal-Quadras report on the draft directive
                     

Loyola de Palacio welcomes agreement on the energy performance of buildings

Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport and energy, has welcomed on 10 October the European Parliament's plenary vote on the proposed directive concerning the energy performance of buildings. "This directive is a key part of our strategy to improve security of supply: we need to work on both fronts and tackle supply and demand at the same time. The building sector accounts for over 40% of energy consumption, mainly for heating, hot water supply, cooling and lighting. Thanks to this directive, proper saving and efficiency will enable us to cut consumption by about 22%," she said. "It is now up to the Council to adopt a formal position on this text as quickly as possible, though the preliminary agreement between the two institutions should facilitate its rapid adoption," she added.

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Energy internal market in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

The Green Paper on Energy on the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Commission taking infringement proceedings against Greece for non-compliance with EU legislation on oil stocks

The Commission has decided on 16 October to ask Greece in all due form to bring its oil stocks into line with EU legislation requiring Member States to maintain at all times stocks equivalent to at least 90 days' consumption for three categories of oil products. The request is made in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage in infringement proceedings. Failing a satisfactory response and action by Greece, the Commission could refer the matter to the Court of Justice. According to Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President in charge of energy and transport, "It is more important than ever to be ready to meet any threat to our external oil supplies. The security stocks are a crucial part of this". In this spirit, the Commission recently tabled proposals to strengthen Europe's security stocks system.

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Gas Issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Court of Justice
                     

Commission seeks full implementation from Germany of the European Union's Gas liberalisation Directive

The Commission has decided on 16 October to refer Germany to the Court of Justice in order to achieve the full implementation of the EU Gas Directive. The EU Gas Directive is intended to open up the European internal market for gas to competition.

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Air transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Court of Justice
                     

Access to the airport services market: Commission decides to take Germany to Court

The Commission decided on 16 October to ask the European Court of Justice to give a judgement on Germany's erroneous implementation of the legislation gradually introducing free access to the groundhandling services market at European airports.

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Ports in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission raises no objections to the financing of the harbourmasters' offices within the Belgian port authorities

The Commission decided on 16 October not to object to public subsidies from the Flemish Region to finance the harbourmasters' offices of Belgian seaports. It took the view that possible public subsidies from the Flemish Region for port authorities do not constitute aid. The harbourmasters' offices carry out public-authority tasks and do not receive direct instructions from the port authorities concerning the performance of these tasks.

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Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

State aid to transport in Asturias: Commission authorises employment schemes

Commission authorised on 16 October  an aid for a series of employment schemes put in place by the authorities in Asturias (Spain) for 2001 and 2002 in the transport sector. To create and preserve jobs in the Principality, the Asturian authorities introduced three aid schemes for 2001 and 2002 in favour of transport undertakings which take on jobseekers, particularly from amongst the most disadvantaged categories of unemployed.

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Air Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Costs suffered by airlines following the attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001: The Commission authorises EUR 1.4 million proposed by Austria by way of compensation

The Commission authorised on 16 October part of the scheme for compensating the losses of Austrian airlines as a result of the closure of certain parts of air space from 11 to 14 September 2001, involving an amount of EUR 1.419 million. However, it expressed doubts about the measures concerning compensation for the flights on 15 September and for all flights in areas not closed to traffic.

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Internal market for gas in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Internal market for electricity in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Free movement of capital: Commission opens infringement proceedings against Spain and Italy concerning public holdings in energy companies

The European Commission on 16 October has decided to formally request Spain and Italy to provide information concerning their legislation that limits the voting rights of investments by state companies in the energy sector. The Commission is concerned that certain provisions of the Spanish and Italian laws in question may unduly restrict free movement of capital as enshrined in EU Treaty rules (Article 56). The requests will take the form of letters of formal notice (the first stage of infringement proceedings provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty). In the absence of satisfactory replies to the letters of formal notice within two months, the Commission may decide to issue formal requests to the Member States concerned (in the form of so-called 'reasoned opinions', the second stage of infringement proceedings) to revise the legislation in question.

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State Aid legislation
                     

Internal market for electricity in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Court of EdF
                     

 

State aids: Commission seeks end to some advantages enjoyed by EdF

The European Commission has decided on 16 October to propose to the French Government to remove the unlimited State guarantee that EdF enjoys under the so-called EPIC status and to charge a premium for not yet redeemed bonds issued by EdF with an explicit State guarantee. The Commission has also decided to initiate a formal investigation under the European state aid rules into the tax-relief from which EdF has benefited as a result of the accounting adjustments in 1997. Most of the measures under examination are considered existing aid and, therefore, would not imply recovery by the French State but rather an elimination of the advantages for the future. The Commission has taken into account the fact that EdF operates in competitive markets. 

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Energy demand management  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of EEBPP
                     

 

Commission approves UK energy efficiency aid

The European Commission has approved on 16 October the continued support granted in the United Kingdom to non-domestic energy users through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (EEBPP). The EEBPP programme was first approved by the Commission in 1995 and the UK authorities have now received approval for a prolongation until the end of 2006. Since the scheme came into operation, 200-300 organisations have received grants towards R&D projects and thousands of organisations have benefited from the information and advice on energy use and efficiency.

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State Aid legislation
                     

Internal market for electricity in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Commission authorises Greece to compensate PPC for liberalisation in the electricity sector (stranded costs)

The European Commission has decided on 16 October not to raise any objection to Greek measures designed to compensate the Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC) for the impact of the liberalisation of the electricity market.

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The EIB Web site 
                     

Trans-European Transport Networks in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

Rail issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

TAV: EIB lends EUR 300 million to complete Milan-Bologna railway line

Fresh European Investment Bank (EIB) backing for Italy's high-speed train network: With the signing of a EUR 300 million loan contract on 14 October, the European Union's financing institution is completing its EUR 1 billion financing package approved in June 2000 for investment in the Milan-Bologna high-speed rail line. In addition, it recently approved a further EUR 1 billion loan to bolster investment in the Milan-Naples high-speed line. Disbursement is scheduled for 2003/2004.

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The EIB Web site 
                     

Cyprus: EUR 220 million loan from the EIB for energy, education and transport

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, is providing a total of EUR 220 million for energy, education and transport in the Republic of Cyprus. The financing contracts have been signed in Nicosia on 11 October by EIB President Mr Philippe Maystad.

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Air safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Gerard Collins' report on the directive on occurence reporting in civil aviation
                     

EP: Amendments for the directive on occurence reporting in civil aviation

On behalf of the Transport committee, Gerard COLLINS (UEN, Munster) will be tabling two amendments to the Council common position. The aim of the proposed Regulation is to create the necessary legal framework to collect and disseminate information on aviation incidents in order to produce a safer system. Whereas the Council had deleted Article 9 of the Commission proposal on confidential reporting, the committee is of the opinion that this article should be reinstated due to the importance of confidential reports for a better understanding of human factors which may be involved in air accidents. The Parliament will debate the proposal on 23 October 2002.

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Air passenger rights in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

Giorgio Lisi's report on the directive on compensation and assistance to air passengers
                     

EP: Flight delays and cancellations, bid for better compensation

Thousands of air travellers in the EU know what it means to be bumped off their flights or told their flight has been delayed or cancelled. Against this background the Transport Committee of the European Parliament is recommending approval of a Commission proposal setting up a scheme to compensate and assist such travellers. Several amendments designed to tighten up the proposal have been tabled. The Parliament will debate the proposal on 23 October 20002.

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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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