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No 79.  Weekly. 23 January 2004

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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 

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Last Friday the mail-mass server, the computer that delivers the newsletter every week, suffered some technical problems that resulted in a mail-lock. Some of our correspondents received last week’s Digest with some delay. We would like to apologize for the inconveniences.

 

New face for the Energy and Transport in Europe Digest

Shipbuilding: Commission proposes extension of EU support until 31 March 2005

Bus transport: Commission approves German regional aid on the "promotion of pollution control and climate protection"

Coal industry: Commission authorises France to grant closing aid to its last two mines

Commission awards 2003 Prizes to the best European projects in Renewable Energy

A strong European technology partnership to move towards the hydrogen economy 

Loyola de Palacio welcomes Greece-Turkey gas agreement

No powers over terrorism for European Maritime Safety Agency, says the EP

From Galileo to manned space flights?

The Digest  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

New face for the Energy and Transport in Europe Digest

Some changes to the Digest for the new year. After 79 issues, our weekly newsletter needed a facelift. As of the next issue, on 13 February, your newsletter will arrive in your mailbox with a new look that also includes improved features such as an agenda, related news from previous issues, or a selection of just released publications from DG Transport and Energy. If you would like to see how your Digest is going to look, please take a glance at this address.

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Maritime Policy in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The Shipbuilding Sector
 in the web site of Trade DG 

                     

The web site of Competition DG                      

Shipbuilding: Commission proposes extension of EU support until 31 March 2005

The existing mechanism allowing for the grant of temporary state aids in the shipbuilding sector (so-called temporary defensive mechanism- TDM) should be extended until 31 March 2005 according to a decision adopted on 21 January by the Commission which will now be sent to the Council and to the European Parliament. Announcing this decision today, the EU Commissioner for competition, Mario Monti stated: "While State aid is certainly not the way forward to make EU shipbuilding more competitive globally, today's decision does show that the Commission recognises the exceptional circumstances in cases where Community interests are at stake. The extension until March 2005 is justified because no solution has been found so far bilaterally or at WTO level

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Road Transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Bus transport: Commission approves German regional aid on the "promotion of pollution control and climate protection"

The Commission authorised on 21 January the last part of the support measures aiming at promoting pollution control and climate protection in the energy and transport sector in Saxony (Germany). The Commission gave today the go-ahead for transport companies in Saxony to benefit from financial support for the acquisition of low noise and low emissions busses, of diesel cars and locomotives and for the drawing up of plans to ensure the environmentally efficient use of the subsidised vehicles. The objectives of the German regional scheme are the control of the air pollution and the protection of the climate.
 

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Coal issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State aid to hard coal sector in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

State Aids for French coal (1997-2003) 
                     

Coal industry: Commission authorises France to grant closing aid to its last two mines

The Commission decided on 21 January not to raise any objections to the nearly € 1 billion aid which France is proposing to grant to its coal industry for the year 2003. The aid is meant to cover the costs of closure of the two last operating mines and in particular the social and regional implications of the closures. The aid is compatible with the proper functioning of the common market. The Commission authorised France today to grant closing aid to its two last operational coal mines. The proposed aid measures fulfil EU rules on state aid to the coal industry(1). The Commission concluded that the aid is compatible with the proper functioning of the common market.

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New and renewable energies  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The Campaign for Take-Off Partnerships Awards
                     

VP De Palacio speech on renewable energy at the Conference "Intelligent Policy Options" Berlin, 21/01/ 2004
                     

Commission awards 2003 Prizes to the best European projects in Renewable Energy

On the occasion of the European Conference for Renewable Energy, on 20 January were handed over in Berlin the 2003 EU Awards of the Renewable Energy Campaign for Take-Off. For the 4th consecutive year, the Commission rewarded the efforts made in promoting renewable energy and showcasing successful projects and initiatives all over Europe. The Award Ceremony marked the official closure of the campaign. "I would like to congratulate the winners again this year for their commitment to renewable energies. In view of the greater challenges facing us now that enlargement will become a reality in May, I would also like to encourage them and all our partners to continue these efforts" said Loyola de Palacio. In the future, support to initiatives promoting renewable energies in the Member States will be granted under the new programme 'Intelligent Energy Europe' adopted in June 2003 with a four year budget of 250 million € for the enlarged Europe.

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The Hydrogen Platform at the web site of Reserarch DG                      

New and renewable energies  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

A strong European technology partnership to move towards the hydrogen economy 

European Commission President, Romano Prodi, ha launched on 20 January the "European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology" Platform, whose Advisory Council includes key players of the European hydrogen sector, at its first assembly in Brussels. The Platform has the task of drafting a blueprint to smooth the EU's transition from a fossil fuel-based to a hydrogen-based economy. The creation of this platform follows the presentation of a report by an EU high-level expert group on June 16, 2003, and the inclusion of a hydrogen and fuel cell initiative in the "QuickStart" list of transport and research projects. This list was presented by the Commission on November 11, 2003, in the framework of the "European Growth Initiative". World-wide energy demand will double in the next 50 years, and Europe still has very limited home-grown resources. The EU currently imports 50% of its demand for oil, and, if nothing is done, this figure will rise to 70% in 20-30 years time. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies could form an integral part of future sustainable energy systems. This will contribute to improving Europe's energy security and air quality, whilst lessening climate change. Developing the new hydrogen society while gaining worldwide leadership will require a coherent EU strategy, which this European Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Platform will help devise.

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Enlargement and international relations in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Gas issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Loyola de Palacio welcomes Greece-Turkey gas agreement

Vice-President of the European Commission Loyola de Palacio welcomed on 20 January the conclusion of the negotiations in late December 2003 between Greece's Development Minister and Turkey's Energy Minister on the construction of an interconnection between their countries' gas networks to carry natural gas supplies from the Caspian Basin to Turkey, Greece (and, at a later stage, the Balkans) as soon as 2006.

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Maritime safety in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Maritime security  in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

No powers over terrorism for European Maritime Safety Agency, says the EP

The Transport Committee on 21 Janvier adopted a report by Emmanouil MASTORAKIS (PES, GR) on new tasks for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which was originally set up to deal with marine pollution and safety following the Erika disaster of December 1999. MEPs today backed the Commission's proposal that EMSA should have the resources to enable it to operate specialised pollution response ships as well as equipment for collecting oil and other harmful substances from the sea. Under the proposed legislation, EMSA would also play a decisive role with regard to seafarer's qualifications. However, while broadly welcoming the Commission's proposals to modify and update the agency's tasks, which are being made in the aftermath of the Prestige disaster of November 2002, MEPs were doubtful about the idea of widening the agency's remit to include security issues.

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Galileo in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Galileo: slides presentation (PDF) 
                     

Video on Galileo
                     

The web site of the European Parliament                      

From Galileo to manned space flights?

MEPs today highlighted on 20 January the benefits of space exploration when the Industry Committee adopted a resolution on the Commission's action plan for implementing European Space Policy. The resolution, drafted by Guido BODRATO (EPP-ED, I) and based on an oral question to the Commission, will be put to the vote at the full Parliament on 29 January during the Brussels plenary session. MEPs underline that European space policy plays a key role in contributing to several European Union policies including: research, safety and security, telecommunications, transport, environmental protection, agriculture, the management of water resources, early-warning systems in the event of floods and forest fires and earthquake risk reduction. According to the Commission's White Paper, implementation of a European Space Policy is set to come in two phases. The first (2004-2007) will consist of implementing the activities covered by the recently agreed Framework Agreement between the European Community and European Space Agency (ESA). The second (2007 onwards) is due to start after the entry into force of the EU Constitutional Treaty, which is expected to establish space exploration as a shared policy between the EU and its Member States.
 

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