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No 34.  Weekly. 17 January 2003

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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 

Commission proposes harmonised rules to make European Road Tunnels safer

Galileo goes ahead: the Commission proceeds despite financing difficulties within the ESA

Transport infrastructure: High-Level Group chaired by Karel Van Miert to identify the priority projects for the trans-European network in the enlarged Union

Loyola de Palacio meets the Greek Minister for Development Akis Tsohatzopoulos to discuss on the eventuality of a crisis in Iraq

Parliament welcomes further liberalisation of the European railways

Safety in road tunnels in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Memo: Safety in European Road Tunnels
                     

Commission proposes harmonised rules to make European Road Tunnels safer

The Commission proposed on 16 January 2003 a new Directive to achieve a uniform, constant and high level of protection for all European citizens driving through tunnels on the Trans-European Road Network. In recent years the risks have increased with the ageing of tunnels: they are used more and more intensively and serious accidents have shown that non-national users are at a greater risk of becoming a victim due to the lack of harmonisation of safety information, communication and equipment. The Commission puts forward harmonised minimum safety requirements on infrastructure, operation, traffic rules and signing which will considerably improve the protection of road users in most tunnels and will harmonise the safety equipment which can be found in tunnels. « Too many lives that could have been saved were lost in the last years tunnels' accidents», said Vice-President in charge of Energy and Transport, Loyola de Palacio, « The European Union has the responsibility to ensure a high level of safety so that they can play their decisive role in the functioning and development of the entire European economy. »

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Galileo in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Galileo: slides presentation (PDF) 
                     

Galileo goes ahead: the Commission proceeds despite financing difficulties within the ESA

The future of a programme such as Galileo, the strategic importance of which has been stressed on many occasions by the European Council, must not be delayed by the problems now being encountered by the European Space Agency. As stressed by Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President: "Fortunately, since the decision taken in March by the EU Council, the Commission has endeavoured to do its utmost to ensure the rapid start-up of activities, which will enable us to meet the deadlines, in particular concerning the commercial launching of Galileo services in 2008".

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

Revision of the Trans-European Transport Networks "TEN-T" 
Community Guidelines 
 

                     

Transport infrastructure: High-Level Group chaired by Karel Van Miert to identify the priority projects for the trans-European network in the enlarged Union

The Commission Vice-President responsible for transport and energy, Loyola de Palacio, has set up a High-Level Group to assist the Commission with preparation, by the end of 2003, of a proposal for far-reaching revision of the guidelines for the trans-European transport network. This Group, chaired by former Commission Vice-President Karel Van Miert and made up of representatives from the Member States and the candidate countries, held its first meeting on 10 January 2003 with the candidate countries. "Construction of suitable transport infrastructure is one of the keys to the success of the internal market and to the competitiveness of the enlarged Union of the future. To mobilise investors, the Union must clearly define and vigorously assert which major projects it considers priorities for carrying traffic between Member States and ensure balanced, sustainable development thereof. The recommendations made by the Van Miert Group will play a decisive role in this process," Loyola de Palacio said.

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Oil issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

The web site of the Greek presidency 
                     

Loyola de Palacio meets the Greek Minister for Development Akis Tsohatzopoulos to discuss on the eventuality of a crisis in Iraq

The smooth functioning of the energy market in case of a crisis was the main issue discussed between the competent Commissioner for Energy and Transport Loyola de Palacio and Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos in their meeting in Athens on 11 January 2003.  Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stated that the discussion was devoted among others to the ‘specific proposals of the Greek Presidency, which may ensure greater latitude in crisis management as regards energy reserves. This is of great importance due to the possible war in Iraq, so that Europe can take a common stand on the issue’.

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Rail Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

MEP Jarzenbowski report on the development of the Community’s railways
                     

MEP Dirk Sterckx report on safety on the Community's railways
                     

MEP Sylviane H. Ainardi report on the inter-
operability of the trans-European rail system

                     

MEP Gilles Savary report on the European Railway Agency
                     

 

Parliament welcomes further liberalisation of the European railways

A large majority of MEPs is in favour of a far-going liberalisation of the European railway network. In adopting the report by Georg JARZEMBOWSKI (EPP-ED, D) on 14 January 2003 with 405 votes in favour, 113 against and 9 abstentions Parliament voted for a complete liberalisation of the international railway network - goods and passengers - by 1 January 2006. It was also recommended that the national rail passenger services be opened up by 1 January 2008. Although Commissioner Loyola DE PALACIO had announced that the Commission would soon come forward with proposals regarding the liberalisation of passenger rail transport, a majority of MEPs took the view that the opening of the cross-border passenger sector should preferably be introduced as soon as possible with 1 January 2006 as the possible date of entry into force. Dirk STERCKX (ELDR, B) saw his report on guidelines for railway safety rules adopted with a large majority. Parliament took on board a great number of mainly technical amendments. A majority of MEPs was in favour of the introduction of a European driving licence for train drivers on transfrontier services. The Commission was asked to propose rules to harmonise driving time and a rest periods for train drivers and any railway staff performing vital tasks. A single working language for operational communications in the European railway industry should also be introduced. This working language should not necessarily be English or French but could depend on the local circumstances.

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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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