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No 71.  Weekly. 14 November 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 

European Growth Initiative: Commission tables final proposal to EU leaders

Maritime safety: Commission sends reasoned opinions to eight Member States

Discriminatory charges on vessels: Commission presses ahead with proceedings against Finland

Italy: Commission approves regional aid to restructure road haulage and to develop combined transport

Commission creates European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas

European Energy Conference live on Internet

EP No agreement yet on ecopoints system for Austria

Difficult agreement reached on port services to be put to the vote

MEPs welcome Commission's proposals on criminal sanctions for ships that pollute the oceans

The Map of the Quick Start projects (PDF) 
                     

  Revision of the TEN-T guidelines in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

  Final report of the Commission on the growth initiative (PDF)
                     

 

European Growth Initiative: Commission tables final proposal to EU leaders

A comprehensive action plan spelling out what needs to be done to kick-start investment in networks and knowledge across the European Union has been set out on 11 November by the European Commission. The European Growth Initiative final report has been prepared in close co-operation with the European Investment Bank and is addressed to the December meeting of the European Council. It confirms the Commission's initial proposals aiming to speed up investment in the 29 priority Trans-European transport networks with their subsections proposed by the Commission last October. It equally aims to put the EU at the cutting edge of innovation and technology through the launch of pan-European projects in these areas as spelled out in the Commission's interim report. In this way, it reinforces the Union's wider structural reform agenda launched at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000. The Commission proposal includes a Quick-start programme of 56 projects, which are ready to start immediately, have a strong cross-border impact and will yield positive results in terms of growth, jobs and protection of the environment. The Quick-start programme indicates the projects that satisfy the criteria and on which work should be underway within the next three years at the latest. The overall level of investment cost from now up to 2010 amounts to some €38 billion in key cross-border sections of the TENs-transport network, €10 billion in key TEN-energy projects and around €14 billion for projects linked to highspeed communications networks and to research, development and innovation. This indicates a very down-to-earth annual investment of around €10 billion per annum to be covered by public and private sources.

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Maritime safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

 Maritime safety: Commission sends reasoned opinions to eight Member States

The European Commission sent on 11 November reasoned opinions the last step before a formal complaint to the Court of Justice - to Italy, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg, Greece, Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands for failure to respect EU legislation on classification societies and/or on Port State control. This legislation, adopted following the Erika accident, strengthens the cornerstones of EU maritime safety legislation.

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Maritime Policy in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Regulation (EEC) No 4055/86 of 22 December 1986  freedom of services to maritime transport
                     

Discriminatory charges on vessels: Commission presses ahead with proceedings against Finland

The Commission has decided on 11 November to issue a reasoned opinion to Finland on the grounds that its legislation on fairway dues fails to comply with the European rules on the freedom to provide maritime transport services. The Commission is pressing ahead with the infringement proceedings against the discriminatory charges levied on vessels in Finland. The Finnish scheme breaches the European rules on the freedom to provide maritime transport services. In particular, it makes international operations in Finnish waters more difficult and more costly than purely national services. If no satisfactory response is received from the Finnish authorities within two months, the Commission may decide to refer this matter to the Court of Justice.

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Intermodal transport  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Italy: Commission approves regional aid to restructure road haulage and to develop combined transport

The European Commission on 11 November authorised part of the package of aid measures for the restructuring of road haulage and the development of combined transport notified by the Italian Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The objective of the scheme is to provide and modernise regional infrastructure and services, to improve the efficiency of goods transport activities and to develop combined transport. It also aims to reduce environmental pollution and to increase traffic safety. The scheme will be in force for three years with a budget of approximately € 1,5 million. The Commission has however decided to initiate an investigation(1) with respect to the notified start-up aid for the development of new rail and maritime services departing from or heading to Friuli-Venizia Giulia..

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

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

 Commission creates European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas

A European Regulators Group for electricity and gas was set up by the Commission today. This advisory Group of independent national regulatory authorities will play a crucial role in assisting the Commission in developing further the Internal Market for gas and electricity. Vice-President Loyola de Palacio said "The Union has recently decided to complete the internal market for electricity and gas: by 1 July 2004 all commercial customers, and by 1 July 2007 all consumers will be able to freely choose their energy supplier. The new European Regulators Group for electricity and gas will contribute to effective market opening in practice by promoting consistent approaches to market regulation throughout the Union”.

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Intelligent Energy for Europe in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The ManageEnergy web site 
                     

 European Energy Conference live on Internet

The European Union has put forward challenging goals regarding the use of renewables, efficient use of energy and clean urban transport. The policy is outlined in the White Paper on European Transport Policy and the Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply as well as in various directives. Programmes like Intelligent Energy - Europe (EIE) and the 6th Framework programme are designed to support this policy to ensure a more sustainable future for Europe.
Local and regional initiatives are of utmost importance in achieving this goal. This year's Annual ManagEnergy Conference on Local Energy Action will focus on the latest policy issues and new energy programmes, directives and other action initiated by the Commission and local and regional level actors, with a look toward the future. The European Commission will stream the whole conference live on the Internet in five languages. The streaming will also include the possibility of interactive Internet participation, virtual interviews and full video recordings online after the event. Further details are available on the ManagEnergy website.
 

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The Ecopoints system  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

EP: No agreement yet on ecopoints system for Austria

No agreement was reached at 11 November night's Conciliation Committee meeting on the "ecopoints" system (the proposal for a regulation establishing a transitional transit system applicable for 2004 to heavy goods vehicles travelling through Austria). The Parliament and Council delegations did not even meet formally, as the Council failed to attend. Commissioner Loyola de PALACIO told MEPs that the members of the Council delegation had been unable to reach agreement among themselves on the proposal.
 

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Sea Ports  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Ports service directive. Where are we?
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

 EP: Difficult agreement reached on port services to be put to the vote

Georg JARZEMBOWSKI (EPP-ED, D) will be recommending the approval of a conciliation agreement on market access to port services. At the end of September, negotiations between the EP and Council delegations to the Conciliation Committee produced an agreement that may pave the way for the directive on market access to port services to be adopted in plenary. Within the EP delegation, however, with 8 votes for and 7 against, there was only a narrow majority in favour of the compromise proposal. The agreement now has to be ratified by the full Parliament. Representatives of the PES, Green/EFA, EUL/NGL and EDD groups took the view that the agreement was not in line with Parliament's opinion at second reading but EPP-ED and ELDR members welcomed the result, arguing that a fair compromise had been reached. The debate will take place on 18 November.

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Maritime safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

MEP'S Pex rapport on criminal sanctions to pollutin ships
                     

MEP'S Miguelez rapport on maritime security
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

 MEPs welcome Commission's proposals on criminal sanctions for ships that pollute the oceans

The Transport Committee of the European Parliament welcomes the Commission proposals designed to lead to criminal sanctions for ships that cause pollution at sea. In a first-reading draft legislative resolution by Peter PEX (EPP-ED, NL), the committee stresses that illegal pollution by ships must be made a punishable offence and that penalties should be imposed on whoever is deemed responsible: whether the master, owner, operator or charterer of a ship or even a classification society (ship inspection body). Parliament will also consider a second draft legislative resolution by Rosa MIGUÉLEZ RAMOS (PES, E) on enhancing the security of shipping and port facilities. The aim is to improve security in European maritime transport as part of the fight against terrorism. The debate will take place on 18 November.

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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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