Page web of Energy and Transport DGPage web of the European Commission

No 48.  Weekly. 02 May 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 

Formal investigation into Italian shipbuilding guarantee scheme

Commission authorises French aid scheme promoting combined transport

Commission accepts most of the compensation for Austrian airlines for the consequences of 11 September

Commission investigates French aid to Sernam, SNCF's road haulage subsidiary

The Commission authorises further State aid for the high speed rail link between London and the Channel tunnel

Public procurement: Commission gives green light to Thessaloniki metro contract

Commission welcomes improved access to private means of transport for people with disabilities

Inquiry into aid planned for Peugeot's Ryton (West Midlands) plant

EP: Stricter environmental liability rules needed

EP: End in sight for single-hull tankers in EU waters

EP: Reports on completion of single market in electricity and gas

EP's Industry Committee backs in first reading co-generation directive

Maritime Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Formal investigation into Italian shipbuilding guarantee scheme

The European Commission initiated on 30 April a formal investigation procedure concerning possible State aid involved in an Italian Shipbuilding Guarantee Fund. After an initial assessment of the scheme which is not yet operative - the Commission cannot exclude that the scheme involves State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty. 

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Intermodal Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission authorises French aid scheme promoting combined transport

The Commission on 30 April agreed to a French scheme promoting scheduled combined goods transport services as an alternative to road transport. The aid will be paid to the operators of combined transport services who assemble the various links in the logistical chain. The scheme will operate from 2003 to 2007with an annual budget of some €30-40 million. 

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Air Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission accepts most of the compensation for Austrian airlines for the consequences of 11 September

The European Commission accepted on 12 April most (approximately €2 million) of the compensation proposed by Austria for its airlines for the costs incurred following the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the USA. The Commission, which had already approved part of this scheme in 2002 (€1.4 million) on the other hand refused a part amounting to €50 000 which went beyond the period covered by the Commission communication. 

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Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Commission investigates French aid to Sernam, SNCF's road haulage subsidiary

The Commission decided on 30 April to open an investigation into the payments made by France to the Sernam road haulage company, having learnt that the conditions and amount of the aid which it approved in May 2001 have since been changed substantially. The Commission has also received a joint complaint concerning these changes. 

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Transeuropean networks of transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

CTRL web page
                     

 

The Commission authorises further State aid for the high speed rail link between London and the Channel tunnel

The European Commission decided on 30 April to approve an amendment to the State aid measures in favour of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) project, which was recently notified by the UK Government. The Commission concludes that the amendment is compatible with State aid rules as it promotes the execution of an important project of European interest, the high speed rail link between London and the Channel tunnel.

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Clean Urban transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Infrindgments legislation
                     

Public procurement: Commission gives green light to Thessaloniki metro contract

On the basis of the information at its disposal, the European Commission has decided on 30 April, after a thorough investigation, that there is no indication that the contract for the construction of a metro system in Thessaloniki, Greece breaches EU public procurement law. In the Commission's view, the contract does not breach the principle of equal treatment for all bidders, does not depart unacceptably from the original tender documents and is a legitimate concession contract where the holder of the concession bears part of the risk. The contract was awarded in 1999 to a consortium known as the Thessaloniki Metro Joint Venture Company. The total cost of the project is estimated at more than €700 million. The Commission's decision takes account of a January 2003 preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice on a case (C-57/01) referred by a Greek court on some aspects of the Thessaloniki metro contract. The decision relates only to public procurement law and is without prejudice to other aspects of EU law. In particular, the Greek authorities will now need to submit their financial arrangements for clearance under EC Treaty state aid rules. 

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The web site of Employement and social affairs DG 
                     

Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Quavadis Web site 
                     

The European Year for People with disabilities 
                     

Commission welcomes improved access to private means of transport for people with disabilities

Over 3 million people in the European Union currently hold a driving licence for private cars adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. This is one of the results of the European Quavadis project which the European Commission has presented on 30th April in connection with the European Year of People with Disabilities. Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President in charge of transport and energy said, "The ability of people with disabilities to lead rewarding private and professional lives depends directly on their mobility. Specially adapted vehicles must enable people with major physical disabilities to go out to work, maintain social contacts and attend to their daily needs"

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Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Inquiry into aid planned for Peugeot's Ryton (West Midlands) plant

The European Commission has decided on 30 April to initiate the formal investigation proceedings concerning aid amounting to £ 16 million for investments of a Peugeot plant in Ryton, United Kingdom. At this stage, the Commission has not been able to establish that the planned aid meets the criteria of the Community framework for state aid to the motor vehicle industry. The formal investigation proceedings allow the UK and interested parties to submit their observations.

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The web site of the European Parliament 
                     

The Prestige accident in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

EP: stricter environmental liability rules needed

Accidents like Seveso in 1976, Baia Mare in 2000 and Toulouse in 2002, as well as the Erika and Prestige tanker disasters, not only sometimes cost human lives but also cause serious and lasting environmental damage. A system of environmental protection to prevent such accidents or at least deal effectively with their consequences is thus needed. The Commission is therefore proposing a directive laying down common EU rules on liability for preventing and remedying damage to the environment. In a first-reading report by Toine MANDERS (ELDR, NL), adopted on 29 April by 18 votes to 11, Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee adopted a large number of amendments to the proposal. 

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Maritime safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament 
                     

The Prestige accident in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

EP: end in sight for single-hull tankers in EU waters

The end is in sight for dangerous single-hull tankers sailing in EU waters. On 30 April Parliament's Transport Commitee approved a range of proposals aimed at banning the transport of oil by these vessels. In the light of the recent disaster with the 26 year old single-hull tanker Prestige, MEPs were eager to speed through the proposals on the basis of negotiations held between Parliament and the Council, although they called for some categories of vessel to be completely phased out more quickly. It is likely that the new rules will enter into force on 1 August 2003. There was almost unanimous support for avoiding a second reading. 

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

The internal market for Gas in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament 
                     

EP: Reports on completion of single market in electricity and gas

The Industry Committee adopted three reports on the completion of the internal energy market by a large majority on 24 April. At first reading Parliament had asked for the Commission proposal seeking to amend both the electricity and the gas directives to be split into two. Thursday's votes in committee are an important step towards the creation of a liberalised market in electricity and natural gas. The Council's common position had been awaited for some time. While MEPs welcome liberalisation, they seek in the report by Claude TURMES (Greens/EFA, L) to lay down conditions for the completion of the single market in electricity and natural gas. 

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

The web site of the European Parliament 
                     

EP's industry committee backs in first reading co-generation directive

The Industry Committee adopted a first-reading report on 23 April on the promotion of "cogeneration" (the combined production of heat and power, or CHP), which forms part of efforts to complete the single market in electricity and gas. There was a lively debate on the report and 240 - sometimes conflicting - amendments were tabled. Rapporteur Norbert GLANTE (PES, D) then proposed four compromise amendments which enabled the committee to adopt this complex report by 32 votes to 0 with 11 abstentions. The plenary vote will take place on May. 

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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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