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No 66.  Weekly. 10 October 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 

Results of the Council meeting of Transport ministers held in Luxembourg on 9 October 2003

European Commission welcomes Council agreement against unfair competition from subsidised third country airlines

Security of energy supply tops the agenda for the next European Union Energy Council

Austria must suspend until 30 April 2004 the sectoral ban imposed by the regulation of the First Minister of the Tyrol limiting use of the A 12 motorway in the Inn valley

MEPs Call for EU to catch up with US spending in space policy

MEPs approve Commission's directive on safety for Europe's road tunnels

Safety of third countries aircraft: the parliament says yes

The EP approves without amendments the speed limitation devices directive

MEPs still worried about exchange of airline passenger data

MEP'S call for more compensation for road accident victims

Air transport  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Maritime safety  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web page of the Italian Presidency 
                     

 Results of the Council meeting of Transport ministers held in Luxembourg on 9 October 2003 (FR)

The Council of Transport Ministers, that has been held in Luxemburg on 9 October has lead to many agreements in first reading on the issue of safety (safety on tunnels, insurances…) and security (maritime transport). Besides, various measures of outmost importance have been agreed for the sector of air transport in order to assure a balanced concurrence with third countries and allow the negotiation of bilateral agreements. All the agreements are still to be accepted by the Parliament and the Council. Finally, the ministers gave an overall support to the proposals on the Trans-European transport networks.

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Air transport sector  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web page of the Italian Presidency 
                     

European Commission welcomes Council agreement against unfair competition from subsidised third country airlines

The Transport Council agreed on 9 October to fill the legal vacuum to react against unfair competition from subsidised third country competitors in the airline sector. This Regulation will address subsidies and also unfair pricing practices by third country competitors resulting from non-commercial advantages granted by their authorities. Loyola de Palacio, European Commission vice-president in charge of Transport and Energy welcomed strongly this unanimous agreement. “This is a very important agreement for our airlines which will be put on an equal footing with their competitors in the future: the new instrument gives possibilities to react against very unfair practices.” she said. “In the European Union, our airlines have to 'play it by the book' while it can happen that third country competitors on international routes. These new rules, when adopted, will fill the legal gap”. The text will have to be seen by the European Parliament and the Council in second reading and might enter into force by 2004. Next transport, energy and telecommunications council will take place on 20th November.

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The web page of the Italian Presidency
                     

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

Security of energy supply tops the agenda for the next European Union Energy Council

Italian Minister of Productive Activities and President of the European Union Energy Council, Antonio Marzano, and European Commission Vice-President, Loyola de Palacio, will put security of energy systems, in particular electrical power, at the top of the agenda for the next Energy Council meeting. The Italian Presidency, agreeing with plans being prepared by the Commission, believes urgent measures are needed at EU level to guarantee the security of energy supply throughout the EU.

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The Court of Justice web site
                      

Austria must suspend until 30 April 2004 the sectoral ban imposed by the regulation of the First Minister of the Tyrol limiting use of the A 12 motorway in the Inn valley

The parties are invited to engage in consultation with one another with a view to finding measures capable of reconciling their conflicting interests and, failing that, to submit relevant information to the Court by 6 February 2004 at the latest. The measure decided today may be extended, revoked or amended on that basis.  

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The web site of the European Parliament
                   

MEP Bodrato report on Space policy
                   

Galileo in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                       

MEPs Call for EU to catch up with US spending in space policy

Parliament adopted on 09 October an own-initiative resolution on European Space Policy; the resolution comes in response to the Commission’s Green Paper published earlier this year. The emphasis in the Green Paper on the importance of European space policy is mainly due to the fact that two contrasting trends have become more marked. First, Community activities, most significantly Galileo, have assumed a more concrete form. On the other hand, the space sector – especially the European space industry – has been hit by a crisis, with difficulties on the telecommunications market and keen competition as regards launchers, to the point of endangering the very survival of an industry that had secured a substantial international presence.

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Slides presentation: safety in European Tunnels (PDF)                    

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

MEP Rack report on tunnel's safety                    

 MEPs approve Commission's directive on safety for Europe's road tunnels

New minimum safety rules for tunnels on major roads across Europe are welcomed by Parliament in a legislative resolution adopted on 9th October on first reading. The rules would govern tunnels over 500 metres long in the Trans-European Network. Although MEPs backed the proposals for standard minimum safety requirements on infrastructure, operation, traffic rules and signing, a range of mainly technical amendments were adopted to improve protection of road users and harmonise safety equipment in tunnels. The House is eager to make the directive less bureaucratic, without compromising important safety rules. Members feel the proposed four-tier administrative structure was too cumbersome and instead suggested a basic two-level set-up consisting of a Tunnel Supervisory Body and an Administrative Authority, with other bodies such as the Safety Coordinator having an auxiliary status.

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Air Safety  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG                    

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

MEP Maes report on third countries aircraft safety                    

Safety of third countries aircraft: the parliament says yes

Parliament, on 9 October took on board this common position, albeit with some technical amendments. In one amendment, a majority of MEPs took the view that prompt introduction of this directive was of great importance to air-safety and fair competition. Therefore, Member States should bring into force the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive two years after entry into force and not three years, as proposed in the common position. In another amendment, Parliament demanded that the European Commission publish yearly an aggregated information report on incidents with third-countries aircraft, not only available to the public, but also to the industry stakeholders. That analysis should be simple and easy to understand. MEPs felt that it should become absolutely clear which particular aircraft types, operators or countries of registration or seat were associated with an increased safety risk to air-travellers.
 

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Road Safety  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG                    

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

MEP Costa report on road safety                    

 The EP approves without amendments the speed limitation devices directive

Parliament approved on first reading on 09 October this Commission proposal without amendments. Directive 92/24 relates to speed limitation devices or similar speed limitation on-board systems of lorries and buses. The objective of this proposal is to amend the scope of this directive to lighter commercial vehicles like small buses and good transport vehicles above 3,5 tonnes maximum mass. Therefore, the scope of the directive should be extended to categories M2 and M3 (buses) and N2 and N3 (goods vehicles). The Transport Committee had already unanimously welcomed the proposal arguing that existing speed limitation devices had already shown a positive influence on road safety and reducing the severity in cases of accidents as well as a reduction of air pollution and fuel consumption.

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Air Security  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG                    

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

MEPs still worried about exchange of airline passenger data

Parliament adopted on 9 October a resolution on the transfer of personal data by airlines to the US authorities in the case of transatlantic flights. Negotiations between the United States and the European Commission have reached deadlock. The US authorities want European airlines to deliver 39 "information fields" from the "passenger name records" (PNR) database - "information fields" being data such as a passenger's telephone number or meal preferences. The US is demanding this information from air carriers so that it can identify terrorists trying to enter the country. In the non-binding resolution, the House calls on the Commission to determine what data might legitimately be transferred to third parties.

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Road Safety  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG                    

The web site of the European Parliament
                     

MEP'S call for more compensation for road accident victims

The Legal Affairs Committee adopted on 7 October a first-reading report by Willy ROTHLEY (PES, D) on civil liability insurance for drivers of motor vehicles. The draft legislation being proposed by the European Commission is designed to amend the existing directives on motor insurance which are 20 years old. The key point of the report is the level of insurance cover required. The Commission is proposing a figure of €1 million per victim in the case of personal injury and €500,000 per claim in the case of damage to property. The Legal Affairs Committee is seeking to increase these figures to €10 million and €5 million respectively but in both cases these amounts would be per accident. MEPs argue that €1 million per victim in the case of personal injury is not enough if people have been very seriously injured. At the same time, to multiply this by a number of victims could jeopardise the finances of insurance companies. The figure of €10 million is therefore seen as a satisfactory compromise for all sides. According to the rapporteur, there are in practice very few accidents where several people are sufficiently seriously injured for there to be any question of a claim of several million euros on grounds of personal injury.

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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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