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No 41.  Weekly. 07 March 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 

The Commission proposes criminal sanctions for polluting ships

Inland waterways: European Commission signs cooperation agreement with Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine

Commission authorises the United Kingdom to grant aid to the coal industry

Commission authorises French aid scheme to promote more environmentally friendly means of transport

EP: Port pilotage services to be excluded from liberalisation directive

EP: Adult safety belts for children over 1.5 metres tall

Maritime safety in the web site of the Energy and Transport DG 
                     

 

The Commission proposes criminal sanctions for polluting ships

European Commission adopted on 5 March 2003 a proposal which will lead to the imposition of criminal sanctions on those responsible for pollution by ships. "A measure of this type is particularly important in shipping", said Loyola de Palacio, the Commission's Vice-President responsible for transport and energy policy "as the existing civil liability regimes for pollution by ships do not provide sufficient financial disincentives for shipowners and others involved in the transport of dangerous cargoes by sea to behave in the most responsible way". The proposed Directive establishes that marine pollution by ships is a criminal offence. Sanctions will be applicable to any person - including the master, the owner, the operator and the charterer of a ship and to the classification society - who has been found to have caused or contributed to illegal pollution intentionally or by means of gross negligence. The penalties may, in the most serious cases, include jail sentences.

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Inland waterways in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                      

Inland waterways: European Commission signs cooperation agreement with Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine

On 3 March 2003 the European Commission and the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine (CCNR) signed an agreement designed to renew and strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between the two organisations. They are thereby contributing towards the establishment of a framework for promoting and developing inland waterway transport in Europe. Fran├žois Lamoureux, the Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy and Transport and Jean-Marie Woehrling, the Secretary-General of the CCNR, signed on behalf of their respective organisations.

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Coal Issues  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

 

Commission authorises the United Kingdom to grant aid to the coal industry

European Commission has decided on 5 March 2003 not to raise any objections to the operating aid amounting to GBP 2,784,810 (EUR 4,087,182.00) which the United Kingdom is proposing to grant to six coal mines. The aid should help to make the mines viable, enabling them to continue their activities beyond 2002 without the need for further public subsidy. The aid is compatible with the proper functioning of the internal market.

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Biofuels proposal. Slides presentation 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission authorises French aid scheme to promote more environmentally friendly means of transport

The Commission gave on 5 March 2003 the go-ahead to the French authorities for the establishment of an aid scheme aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions connected with the transport sector and transport activities. This multiannual scheme, which will be run by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), is in line with sustainable development objectives in accordance with the commitments entered into by the EU under the Kyoto Protocol. The Environment and Energy Management Agency will be able to grant aid totalling over EUR 20 million per annum until the end of 2007 in order to promote a series of measures designed to: review transport organisation, encourage the development of clean and economical vehicles, and promote energy savings in the inland waterway transport sector.

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Ports and maritime infrastructure in the web site of Energy and Transport DG 
                     

Report of MEP G. Jarzembowski                      

The web site of the European Parliament                      

EP: Port pilotage services to be excluded from liberalisation directive

MEP Georg JARZEMBOWSKI (EPP-ED, D) will be presenting on 10 March 2003 a draft legislative resolution for the Transport Committee accepting many of the Council's proposals on market access to port services. However, given their importance for maritime safety, port pilotage services should be completely excluded from the directive on market access to commercial port services, says the Transport Committee. It thus disagrees with the Council of Transport Ministers, which has proposed in its common position that Member States be allowed to liberalise their pilotage services, albeit under strict conditions. Most members of the committee believe the regulations on pilotage should be left in the hands of individual Member States, as this will provide the best guarantees for safety and environmental protection in vulnerable regions.

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Road safety in the web site of the Energy and Transport DG 
                     

Report of MEP E. Hedkvist Petersen                      

The web site of the European Parliament                      

EP: Adult safety belts for children over 1.5 metres tall

MEP Eva HEDKVIST PETERSEN (PES, S) reporting to the Transport Committee, will recommend on 10 March 2003 that the Council common position on the compulsory use of car seat belts be adopted without amendment. MEPs in the committee note that their demand at first reading for children over 1.5 metres tall to be allowed to wear adult car seat belts in vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tonnes had been accepted by the Transport Council. In its original proposal the Commission had suggested that children under 12 should be required to wear some form of "restraint system" and that if a child was under 12 it should only be allowed to wear an adult seat belt if it had a body mass of over 36 kg. MEPs argue that some children under 12 were too tall to be carried in a child restraint system - irrespective of their body mass - and hence that height should also be a criterion.The reporter states that while the common position left much to be desired, she is glad that in the vast majority of vehicles children and adults would now have to use a safety belt if one was available.

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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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