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No 29.  Weekly. 29 November 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 

Energy Council 25 November. Loyola de Palacio: European energy market revolutionised

Commission approves, subject to tough conditions, rescue aid for British Energy

Transport sector: Commission approves UK scheme to facilitate environmental protection

People with reduced mobility : Commission approves aid for the acquisition of adapted road transport vehicles in the Madrid area

Prestige Oil Tanker Disaster: The European Parliament calls for Commission inquiry and legislation

Sale of parts of Erste Donau-Dampfschiffahrt-Gesellschaft m.b.H (DDSG) to the City of Vienna: Commission states that no state aid is involved

Road transport: the Commission refers to the initiatives taken by the EU and triggers the rapid intervention mechanism

The conclusions of the Council (FR)
                     

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

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

Intelligent Energy for Europe in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The Danish Presidency web site
                     

Energy Council. Loyola de Palacio: European energy market revolutionised

The Energy Ministers reached agreement on 25 November on completely open gas and electricity markets for non-household customers by 2004 and for household customers by 2007. "This is a radical change, with European countries moving from national monopolies to full liberalisation within a few years," said Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport and energy. "The creation of the European energy market is a revolutionary step; it will boost the competitiveness of European businesses and benefit all our citizens". The agreement reached by the Member States also seeks to strengthen public service obligations, in particular universal service and consumer protection. The markets will be opened by establishing independent regulators and separating transmission and distribution functions from generation and the provision of services. The Council also agreed the regulation on cross-border tarification and the development of trans-European energy infrastructure. According to the Commissioner, "the single energy market is an additional guarantee of a safe, sustainable energy supply".

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Nuclear issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission approves, subject to tough conditions, rescue aid for British Energy

The Commission approved on 27 November the rescue aid granted by the United Kingdom Government to British Energy plc with a view to enabling it to keep the electricity group afloat in the short-term until a longer-term solution to its difficulties is found. The nuclear electricity generator group is facing difficulties following the fall in electricity prices in the UK. The aid was warranted on the grounds that there is a risk of disruption in the supply of electricity in the United Kingdom and to ensure nuclear safety. The aid will be strictly limited to the amount necessary to keep the company afloat. It is in any event capped to a maximum amount of GBP899 million. In addition to this sum, a sum of GBP276 million for identified contingencies may be used specifically for their dedicated purposes. 

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State Aid legislation
                     

Transport sector: Commission approves UK scheme to facilitate environmental protection

The European Commission authorised on 27 November the "UK Logistics Transaction Programme" which is intended to facilitate environmental protection and the reduction of COČ emissions in particular, through the promotion of best practices in the transport sector. 

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State Aid legislation
                     

People with reduced mobility : Commission approves aid for the acquisition of adapted road transport vehicles in the Madrid area

The European Commission has approved on 27 November a programme from the Community of Madrid which seeks to bring into service taxis and interurban commercial bus services adapted to persons with reduced mobility. The Community of Madrid intends to help taxis and occasional or regular interurban bus service undertakings to acquire new vehicles equipped with devices designed for people with reduced mobility and/or wheelchair users. The scheme will be in force from 2002 to 2004. The 2002 allocated budget is just over EUR 360,000. Similar amounts are planned for subsequent years. The Commission considers the aid compatible with competition rules.

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Maritime Safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

MEMO: "The prestige accident" (PDF)
                     

Erika 1 package (PDF)
                     

Erika 2 package (PDF)
                     

The European Parliament web site
                     

Prestige Oil Tanker Disaster: The European Parliament calls for Commission inquiry and legislation

European Parliament adopted on 21 November a resolution on the oil tanker 'Prestige' carrying 77 000 tonnes of fuel oil which broke up and sank off the coast of Galicia. The House calls on the EU to take immediate measures to limit the impact of the pollution and recover the fuel oil and to restore and safeguard the coastlines affected and calls on the European Commission to conduct an inquiry to determine who was responsible for and the circumstances surrounding the disaster and the respective identities and roles of all of the individuals involved. Parliament asks the Council and the Member States to speed up the implementation of the measures adopted as part of the Erika I (introduction of double hulls, standards for vessels which visit Community ports, rules governing classification societies) and Erika II (monitoring, control and information system; maritime safety agency) packages proposed by the Commission. MEPs also call for the Commission proposal establishing an additional European compensation fund of EUR 1 billion for oil pollution damage to be implemented immediately.In the debate, Loyola de PALACIO said she felt the disaster could have been avoided and promised a full-scale inquiry. She would be looking at the question of liability.  

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State Aid legislation
                     

Sale of parts of Erste Donau-Dampfschiffahrt-Gesellschaft m.b.H (DDSG) to the City of Vienna: Commission states that no state aid is involved

The European Commission approved on 27 Novembre the sale of substantial parts of Erste Donau-Dampfschiffahrt-Gesellschaft m.b.H, wholly owned by the Republic of Austria, to the City of Vienna. The Commission confirmed that no state aid is involved into the transaction.

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Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Road transport: the Commission refers to the initiatives taken by the EU and triggers the rapid intervention mechanism

Although social unrest was expected in France, the European Commission stresses the importance of harmonising legislation in a unified European area. The opening up of the European market has brought significant benefits for road transport. It is however necessary to ensure that there is fair competition. To this end, the Commission has over a number of years made many proposals aimed at achieving a road transport industry which is competitive and offers good working conditions. "The unrest among road hauliers today in France reminds us of the urgency and importance of applying the common rules already adopted effectively in order to rationalise competition and improve working conditions for all professional drivers. Moreover, the proposals presented by the Commission have to be dealt with urgently by the Council of Ministers" stated on 22 November Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President in charge of Transport and Energy.

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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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