No 307 - Weekly - 1 May 2009

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The Commission's integrated energy and climate change proposal 2008

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Research Connection 2009: Prague, May 7-8,


State aid

Regional airport infrastructure: Commission approves Polish aid to Rzeszów airport

The European Commission today approved the use of public funding for the development of Rzeszów Jasionka regional airport. The aid totalling 650 million Polish zloty will be used to modernise the airport.

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Sustainable transport

Commission authorises Czech financing of infrastructure to develop clean public transport in Severovýchod

The European Commission has decided today not to raise any objections to a Czech State aid scheme that aims at promoting green transport in the region of Severovýchod. The supported projects will consist of constructing and upgrading refuelling stations for public transport operators.

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Parking areas

Commission conference discusses better and safer parking areas for trucks

Policy makers and business leaders operating in transport gathered in Brussels today to look at the best way forward to improve security, quality and availability of parking areas for heavy goods vehicles along the European road network. The conference was organised under the auspices of the European Commission.

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Energy efficiency

Energy Commissioner Piebalgs received the Energy Efficiency Visionary Award

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs attended today the Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Paris, where he accepted the Energy Efficiency Visionary Award. This award is bestowed upon three recipients from different regions of the world (the Americas, Asia-Pacific/Africa, and Europe) in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency.

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European strategies

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomes the agreement of the three Baltic States on the route of the electricity interconnection project between them and Sweden

Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, welcomed the agreement signed today between the Prime Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to start without delay, the implementation of a Baltic-Swedish electricity link.

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International relations

The EU-Russia Energy PPC underlines mutual interdependence in EU-Russia energy relations

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Czech Presidency, Martin Riman and Maud Olofsson, Minister for Enterprise and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, met the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and the Russian Minister of Energy Sergey Shmatko in Moscow today, in the framework of the fourth EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Energy. They discussed in particular latest developments in the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, bilateral cooperation on energy in the framework of other international organizations and exchanged views on future energy relations between Russia and the EU.

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Covenant of Mayors


Covenant of Mayors – local authorities join the fight against climate change

The European Commission has set up the Covenant of Mayors to encourage local authorities to commit to going beyond the objectives of EU energy policy by reducing CO2 emissions through enhanced energy efficiency and cleaner energy production and use. The initiative was only launched recently but has already proved to be a major success, with 500 urban areas signing up from all over the Union and beyond.

 Local authorities have a key role in mitigating climate change. Over half of greenhouse gas emissions are created in and by cities. 80% of the population lives and works in cities, where up to 80% of energy is consumed. Local authorities, being the closest administration to the citizens are ideally positioned to understand their concerns. Moreover, they can address the challenges in a comprehensive way, facilitating the conciliation between the public and private interest and the integration of sustainable energy into overall local development goals, be it development of alternative energy more efficient energy use or changes in behaviour.

Local governments must therefore become leading actors for implementing sustainable energy policies, and must be recognised and supported in their effort. The Covenant of Mayors is an ambitious initiative of the European Commission that gives the lead to Europe’s pioneering cities to mitigate climate change through the implementation of intelligent local sustainable energy policies that create stable local jobs and increase citizens’ quality of life and address crucial social issues.

The formal commitment of signatories is translated into concrete measures and projects. Signatory cities accept to report and being monitored on their implementation of the Action Plans. They also accept termination of their involvement in the Covenant in case of non-compliance.

Cities also commit to allocating sufficient human resources to the tasks, mobilising society in their geographical areas to take part in implementation of the action plan, including organisation of local energy days, and networking with other cities.

The local governments signing up to the Covenant of Mayors commit to submit their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) within the year following adhesion. The Sustainable Energy Action Plan is a key document that shows how the local government will reach its CO2 reduction target by 2020. Since the Covenant's commitments concern the whole geographical area of the city/town, the SEAP should include actions concerning both the public and private sectors.

 In principle, it is anticipated that most SEAPs will include actions in the following sectors:

  • Built environment, including new buildings and major refurbishment

  • Municipal infrastructure (district heating, public lighting, smart grids, etc)

  • Land use and urban planning

  • Decentralised renewable energy sources

  • Public and private transport policies and urban mobility

  • Citizen and, in general, civil society participation

  • Intelligent energy behaviour by citizens, consumers and businesses.

Reductions of greenhouse gas emissions due to industry delocalisation are explicitly excluded.

Energy efficiency measures, renewable energy projects and other energy-related actions can be introduced in various activity areas of local and regional governments. The Covenant of Mayors concerns the action at local level within the competence of the local governments. Local governments will be expected to take action in several or all of their possible roles:

  • Consumer and service provider

  • Planner, developer and regulator

  • Advisor, motivator and a model

  • Producer and supplier.

Sustainable Energy Action Plans should be presented and debated by the civil society. SEAPs with a high degree of citizen participation are the most likely to get continuity in the long-term and to succeed in attaining their objectives.

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For a complete list of current public consultations please go to Consultations on Energy issues and Consultations on Transport issues

Public Consultations

In this section you will find the latest calls for submissions to public consultations in fields of energy and transport.

Topic of Consultation  


Proposal for new requirements on natural radiation sources in Basic Safety Standards Directive

Green Paper "TEN-T : A policy review – Towards a better integrated trans-European transport network at the service of the common transport policy"














For a complete list of current calls for tenders please log on Tenders Electronic Daily


New Calls for Tenders

No new calls for tenders have been published this week. For a complete and up-to-date list of calls for tender, please check the website.






Please note that the announcement of technical reports and documents recently produced in specific energy and transport sectors can be found on the "What's New" pages of the corresponding chapters of Energy and Transport on the EUROPA website.

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