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No 36.  Weekly. 31 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 

Nuclear energy: the Commission proposes a Community approach to the safety of facilities and waste

Towards a strengthened energy dialogue between Norway and the European Union

Loyola de Palacio promotes big international offensive in maritime safety

Maritime Safety: Loyola de Palacio welcomes the appointement of the Executive Director of the new European Maritime Safety Agency

Commissioners de Palacio and Busquin visit underground research facility for radioactive waste disposal

Commission survey shows users are satisfied with most essential services but want better transport

High-Level European Advisory Group on shipbuilding to be set up to drive "LeaderSHIP 2015"

Space research: Joint workshop to promote EU-Russia co-operation 

Parliament and Council agree on early introduction of sulphur-free fuels for all vehicles

Nuclear issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Nuclear energy: the Commission proposes a Community approach to the safety of facilities and waste

The Commission adopted on 30 January two proposals for Directives designed to pave the way for a Community approach to the safety of nuclear power plants and the processing of radioactive waste. These proposals for Directives, announced in the Commission Communication of 6 November 2002, were endorsed by the Nuclear Experts Committee chaired by Professor J. R. McAulay, which, in accordance with the Euratom Treaty, must examine any legislative proposal in this area. "While we can be proud of having an excellent level of nuclear safety in the EU, the shortcomings in nuclear legislation, in the run-up to enlargement, need to be overcome", stated Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President in charge of energy and transport. These proposals for Directives are being adopted at a time when the Court of Justice recently confirmed the Community's legislative powers with regard to the safety of nuclear facilities.

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International relations in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Oil issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Towards a strengthened energy dialogue between Norway and the European Union

Commission and Norway agreed on the common wish to further develop energy relations and co-operation. In a meeting held on 29 of January in Brussels, Vice President of the Commission, Loyola de Palacio and Minister Einar Steensnæs, of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, stressed their common political desire to strengthen their dialogue. Norway is a major exporter of oil and gas to the European Union and, through the EEA Agreement, an integral part of the internal energy market.

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The web site of Loyola de Palacio                      

Maritime Safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Loyola de Palacio promotes big international offensive in maritime safety

Loyola de Palacio, European Commission vice-president in charge of transport and energy, made public on 29 January that she called on EU international partners to deepen co-operation and take stronger commitments in the crucial matter of maritime safety. In a letter sent to EU neighbours and other partners, but also to international fora like United Nations, Loyola de Palacio asks for a strong action to improve the international legal regime for ship source pollution. She stresses the need for a radical change in the way the international maritime law represents the balance of interests and calls for support to the European Commission's and Member States' efforts to actively promote within the United Nations, the IMO and other relevant fora the adaptation of international rules to the new requirements of maritime safety in the 21st century.

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The web site of Loyola de Palacio                      

Maritime Safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Loyola de Palacio promotes big international offensive in maritime safety

Loyola de Palacio, European Commission vice-president in charge of transport and energy, made public on 29 January that she called on EU international partners to deepen co-operation and take stronger commitments in the crucial matter of maritime safety. In a letter sent to EU neighbours and other partners, but also to international fora like United Nations, Loyola de Palacio asks for a strong action to improve the international legal regime for ship source pollution. She stresses the need for a radical change in the way the international maritime law represents the balance of interests and calls for support to the European Commission's and Member States' efforts to actively promote within the United Nations, the IMO and other relevant fora the adaptation of international rules to the new requirements of maritime safety in the 21st century.

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The web site of Loyola de Palacio                      

Maritime Safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Maritime Safety: Loyola de Palacio welcomes the appointement of the Executive Director of the new European Maritime Safety Agency

Following its inaugural meeting held on 4 December 2002, the Administrative Board of the European Maritime Safety Agency met again 29 January in Brussels and nominated Willem de Ruiter as Executive Director of the Agency. The Board also appointed its Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for a period of 3 years. Following the "Prestige" accident, the Commission has committed itself to speed up the establishment of this Agency, which will play an essential role in the Community maritime safety and pollution prevention framework. "I am particularly pleased with the progress made today" said Loyola de Palacio, who was present at meeting. She added "The European Maritime Safety Agency has already solid foundations in the person of its new Director and its new Chairman of the Board. I congratulate them both and ensure them of my entire support in their task. The European citizens have placed a lot of hopes on this new Agency. We should not disappoint them".

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Nuclear issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of Research and Development DG 
                     

Commissioners de Palacio and Busquin visit underground research facility for radioactive waste disposal

In a few years time, all high-level radioactive waste in Europe should be buried deep underground. To check progress towards sustainable long-term nuclear waste management, on 4 February 2003 European Commission Vice-president and Energy and Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio and Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will visit the European Underground Research Infrastructure for Disposal of nuclear waste In Clay Environment (EURIDICE) in Mol (Belgium). At present, spent nuclear fuel and high level waste are safely stored in facilities close to power plants or in national storage centres.

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The White Paper on Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Surveys on the web site of Health and Consumer Protection DG 
                     

Commission survey shows users are satisfied with most essential services but want better transport

Most European consumers are satisfied with the quality of essential services such as post, telecommunications, gas, electricity and water, though levels of satisfaction vary according to the service and 40 % feel prices are still too high. Postal services and electricity achieved the highest ratings for consumer satisfaction, transport services the lowest. Levels of satisfaction have remained relatively stable since 2000. These are the results of a Eurobarometer survey organised by the European Commission as part of its annual evaluation report on network industries providing services of general economic interest and presented on 28 January 2003. The report also shows that the price of telecommunications is continuing its long-term fall, that gas prices started to fall in 2002, after rising since 1996, and that electricity prices were stable. Providers of essential services are continuing to meet or exceed their universal service obligations and access to services at affordable prices for the less well off is improving. Prices of road and rail transport rose faster than inflation. Former monopoly operators retain a large market share in all essential services in nearly all Member States.

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Maritime Policy in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Maritime industries web site of Enterprise DG 
                     

 

High-Level European Advisory Group on shipbuilding to be set up to drive "LeaderSHIP 2015"

Erkki Liikanen, as member of the Commission responsible for Enterprise and Information Society, has invited the main stakeholders in EU shipbuilding to participate in the High-Level Advisory Group for the "LeaderSHIP 2015" initiative, which has been initiated by the EU shipbuilding industry. The Group, which met on 28 January 2003 for the first time, include Commissioners, industry CEOs, Members of the European Parliament and a trade union representative. The EU shipbuilding industry has launched "LeaderSHIP 2015" to develop jointly with the key policy makers a robust strategy, aimed at providing answers to the key challenges for this industry and developing a vision that will ensure EU shipbuilders long-term competitiveness and technological leadership in world shipbuilding. President Prodi has welcomed this initiative and offered the Commission's full support.

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Galileo in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

European Space Policy in the web site of the Commission 
                     

The web site of the European Space Agency (ESA)
                     

Space research: Joint workshop to promote EU-Russia co-operation

A two-day workshop jointly organised by the European Commission, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency Rosaviakosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) started on 24 January in Moscow at the premises of Rosaviakosmos. The event brings together 250 Russian and European VIP participants with the objective of identifying concrete opportunities for the participation of Russian organisations in EU research projects in the fields of satellite navigation (GNSS/GALILEO), global monitoring of the environment and security (GMES), satellite communications, space related life and physical sciences, as well as human and robotic exploration.

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Auto oil II programme in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

MEP Heidi A. Hautala report on the sulphur free fuels
                     

Parliament and Council agree on early introduction of sulphur-free fuels for all vehicles

Heidi Anneli HAUTALA (Greens/EFA, FIN) will be seeking approval of a conciliation agreement on new fuel-quality legislation that will make sulphur-free petrol and diesel fuel mandatory from 2009, two years ahead of the deadline originally proposed by the Commission. The new fuels directive will also cover off-road machinery (such as bulldozers) and farm and forestry tractors, in addition to road vehicles, from 2009 (subject to review). This is something Parliament's Finnish Green reporter, fought for from the beginning, pointing out that although these vehicles only account for 8.5 per cent of diesel consumption in the EU they have a major impact on health and the environment. The debate took place on 29 January

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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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