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No 76.  Weekly. 19 December 2003

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NOTE: The "Energy and Transport in Europe Digest" will not appear during the Christmas Holidays. Next issue of the newsletter will be sent out on 09 January 2004.

The editorial team of Digest wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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 to extend the International Safety Management Code to all ships

Council meeting on Energy: the provisional conclusions

Intelligent Energy - Europe,  Information Day and Managenergy conferences now on Internet

Commission approves aid to encourage the movement of intermodal containers by rail in the United Kingdom

Air Transport / outermost regions: Commission authorises French State aid to Air Caraïbes to promote development of the West Indies

Air Transport / outermost regions: Commission authorises French State aid to Air Austral to open a Réunion-Paris line

Economies d'énergie : la Commission renvoie le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg devant la Cour de Justice

Commission clears the proposed acquisition of Midlands Electricity by E.ON

Commission secures withdrawal of the unlimited guarantee granted to EDF, thereby encouraging competition in the energy sector

Free movement of capital: Commission takes Italy to the Court of Justice for restrictions on investment in energy companies

Electronic toll systems: MEPs introduce important amendments

Compensation to air passengers - approved

Agreement on transit system for lorries travelling through Austria (Voting)

Parliament votes for compromise on combined heat and power

  Maritime safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The Commission proposes to extend the International Safety Management Code to all ships

The European Commission is asking Parliament and the Council to extend application of the International Safety Management Code to cover all ships. "Thanks to this new regulation, maritime safety management will be enhanced for all ships operating in Community waters, whatever flag they fly" said Loyola de Palacio, Vice President responsible for energy and transport.

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The web site of the Italian Presidency                      

The web page of the Council of the European Union
                     

 Council meeting on Energy: the provisional conclusions

The council of Energy ministers met on 15 December in Brussels. The discussions held in this last Energy Council of the year gave a push forward to some key issues such as the directive for eco-design requirements for energy-using products, the security of natural gas supply, the energy infrastructure in a wider Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Other business were also discussed including the follow up of Montecatini informal energy council, the package on Energy Infrastructure and security of supply, the international partnership for the hydrogen economy, the Energy Charter, the EU-Russia energy dialogue and the ministerial conference on the regional energy market of South East Europe. 

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

The ManageEnergy web site 
                     

Intelligent Energy - Europe, Information Day and Managenergy conferences now on Internet

The European Union has put forward challenging goals regarding the use of renewables, efficient use of energy and clean urban transport. Latest Community energy policies, Community energy programmes and other financing opportunities were discussed in this year's annual ManagEnergy conference, that took place on 26-17 November. Now the managenergy web site provide online speeches, presentations and interviews on the main participants of the conference.

Besides, The video recordings of Intelligent Energy for Europe first Information Day can also be consulted at the Managenergy web site. The site provides information on the content of the programme, priorities for the call of proposals as well as other necessary information in order to develop high-quality proposals. The new Commission energy programme EIE aims at strengthening the security of supply, fight against climate change and stimulating the competitiveness of European industry. The first EIE Call for Proposals is now open until 30 April 2004.

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State Aid legislation
                     

Intermodal transport  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Commission approves aid to encourage the movement of intermodal containers by rail in the United Kingdom

European Commission authorised on 16 December a new scheme to support the movement of intermodal containers by rail in the United Kingdom (Great Britain only). The new aid scheme promotes the transfer of traffic flows from road to rail. It is in line with the objectives of the Commission's White Paper on Transport Policy(1) which encourages the development of rail and other environmentally friendly modes of transport as competitive alternatives to road haulage.

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State Aid legislation
                     

The functioning of the air transport market in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of Air Caraïbes 
                     

Air Transport / outermost regions: Commission authorises French State aid to Air Caraïbes to promote development of the West Indies

The European Commission has authorised on 16 December State aid to the airline Air Caraïbes (formerly 'Caraïbes Air Transport'), to purchase an eight-seater Cessna Caravan to replace an older plane. This aid measure is part of a general investment development scheme for the French Overseas Departments. The aid will enable Air Caraïbes to reduce operating costs on its regional services.

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State Aid legislation
                     

The functioning of the air transport market in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of Air Austral 
                     

Air Transport / outermost regions: Commission authorises French State aid to Air Austral to open a Réunion-Paris line

The European Commission on 16 December authorised State aid to the airline Air Austral to refit two second-hand B 777-200 aircraft to provide services between Réunion and Paris. This aid measure is part of a general investment development scheme for the French Overseas Departments. The aid will enable Air Austral to reduce its operating costs when opening the new line.

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Rational use of energy in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The directive 2002/40/CE
                     

Economies d'énergie : la Commission renvoie le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg devant la Cour de Justice

La Commission européenne a décidé on 16 Decembre de poursuivre le Grand-Duché du Luxembourg devant la Cour de Justice pour non notification des mesures de transposition des règles européennes d'étiquetage énergétique des fours électriques. A ce jour, le Luxembourg est le seul Etat membre à n'avoir pas communiqué à la Commission ses mesures de transposition de la directive (2002/40/CE, adoptée le 8 mai 2002) sur l'étiquetage des fours électriques. Cette dernière vise à orienter les consommateurs vers l'achat d'appareils domestiques moins gourmands en énergie, ce qui est dans l'intérêt tant de leur portefeuille que de l'environnement. La directive aurait dû être transposée dans les législations nationales au plus tard le 31 décembre 2002.

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The web site of Competition DG                      

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

Commission clears the proposed acquisition of Midlands Electricity by E.ON

The European Commission has authorised the acquisition of the UK undertaking Midlands Electricity plc, by E.ON's subsidiary Powergen UK plc. The operation does not give rise to any significant competition concerns.

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The web site of Competition DG                      

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

The web site of EDF
                     

Commission secures withdrawal of the unlimited guarantee granted to EDF, thereby encouraging competition in the energy sector

Following the formal investigation procedure initiated by the Commission on 2 April 2003, the French Government has agreed to put an end to EDF's unlimited state guarantee by 31 December 2004 at the latest. Among the possibilities open to it for solving the problem of the guarantee, France has opted to turn EDF, which currently has public enterprise status, into a limited company governed by the ordinary rules. The fact that France has decided to change EDF's status is of no concern to the Commission, since the Treaty does not empower it to call into question the public or private ownership of enterprises or the arrangements chosen by the Member States for their state-owned enterprises. These may therefore have public enterprise or limited company status, provided that they do not receive state aid which is incompatible with the Treaty. The French Government has also submitted a draft reform of the pension scheme which the Commission has found compatible with the rules on state aid. Lastly, the Commission is requiring EDF to repay the French State €889 million (plus interest) in aid in the form of unpaid taxes on part of the reserves created for the high-voltage electricity grid

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The web site of Competition DG                      

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

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

Free movement of capital: Commission takes Italy to the Court of Justice for restrictions on investment in energy companies

The European Commission has decided on 16 December to take Italy to the European Court of Justice with respect to certain provisions of Italian legislation that limits the voting rights of investments by state companies in the energy sector. The Commission considers that these provisions constitute unjustified restrictions on the free movement of capital in violation of EC Treaty rules (Article 56).

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The web site of the European Parliament                      

  Transport infrastructure charging policy in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

Electronic toll systems: MEPs introduce important amendments

Parliament considerably amended Commission proposals on the introduction of electronic road systems in the Community that was voted in first reading on 17 December. MEPs felt that these proposals were going too far and too soon and took the view that quality should come before rapidity. As the functioning of the system was the most important condition for the introduction of a European toll service, it should not start before 1 January 2007, 2 years later than the Commission had proposed.

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The web site of the European Parliament                      

Air passenger rights  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Compensation to air passengers - approved

Parliament approved on 18 December a conciliation agreement on compensation to air passengers with 467 votes in favour, 4 against with 13 abstentions. The tens of thousands of air travellers who each year face delayed or cancelled flights or are denied boarding as a result of overbooking will be pleased to hear that agreement was reached on financial compensation and assistance to passengers who fall victim to such situations..

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The web site of the European Parliament                      

Joint texts approved by the Conciliation Committee 
                     

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

Agreement on transit system for lorries travelling through Austria (Voting)

Parliament approved on 17 December a conciliation agreement with 348 votes in favour 102 against and 32 amendments on transit system through Austria. The European Parliament and Council Delegations to the Conciliation Committee have reached agreement on the ecopoints system (the transit system for lorries travelling through Austria). Key points of the deal are a ban on the most polluting lorries, unrestricted transit for cleaner lorries, the application of the agreement to the entire territory of Austria and the number of transit points to be allocated to the accession countries. It is also agreed that the ecopoints system will expire on 31 December 2006 at the latest. The agreement is vehemently contested by the Austrian MEPs in the delegation, as well as by the Austrian government representatives.

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The web site of the European Parliament                      

Energy Demand Management in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Parliament votes for compromise on combined heat and power

Parliament approved on 18 December a deal hammered out with the Council on a directive designed to promote the use of combined heat and power (CHP). At a second-reading vote on a report by Norbert GLANTE (PES, D), MEPs approved 20 compromise amendments agreed following intensive talks with the Council and designed to avoid Conciliation. The deal covers the definition of CHP, micro-cogeneration, timetables, calculation methods of cogenerated energy and targets. The compromise amendments replace the amendments adopted by the Industry Committee on 2 December.

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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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