No 321 - Weekly - 06 August 2009

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The Commission's integrated energy and climate change proposal 2008

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The Energy & Transport in Europe Digest will not be appearing the coming weeks due to the holiday period. The next edition will be sent out on 3 September 2009.


• Transport


Practical Information




• 14-16 September
European Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden
• 16-22 September
European Mobility Week



EU Top 10 for Passengers





• Transport

European Consumer Centres – transport remains the number one problem sector for consumers, accounting for one third of complaints

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) handles over 62,000 contacts with EU consumers who turn to them for advice or for help with problems affecting cross-border shopping, both in person and online. The European Commission supports the network and today published the ECC-Net Annual Report for 2008, which saw a 22% increase in the number of Consumers turning to them directly for help. In 2008 most complaints tackled by ECCs concerned transport (33%, of which 80% related to air transport), recreational services (25%) and hotels and restaurants (13%). The problems concerned product and service (25%), delivery (18%), contract terms (16%), and unfair commercial practices (14%). Over half of the problems reported referred to online shopping. The report highlights many examples of how the centres have helped individual consumers, provides information on joint projects, such as on air passenger rights, and also includes summaries of activity per country.

[full text]



Air Transport


Commission clears joint venture between Sabena Technics and TNT Airways

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint venture of Sabena Technics and TNT Airways. Sabena Technics and TNT Airways are both active in aeronautical maintenance. The new joint venture will be active in maintenance of airport of Liège-Bierset and Bruxelles-National. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.






Full Report



Analysis of penalties for serious infringements against the social rules in road transport

The rules on penalties applicable to serious infringements of the social legislation vary appreciably between Member States as regards the types of penalties, the level of fines and the categorisation of infringements.

While all Member States use fines as a penalty, not all of them provide for the immobilisation of vehicles or imprisonment, for example. In some Member States, withdrawal of a driver’s driving licence or driver card is possible.

When looking at how the Member States grade the different types or levels of infringements, the situation becomes even more complex. The amounts of the fines vary significantly between Member States, in extreme cases by as much as 1:10. These differences can only be partly explained by the socio-economic differences that make the same fine proportionate and dissuasive in one country but not necessarily in another.

While for infringements against the driving times and rest periods, it is rather clear which infringements has to be considered to be more serious than another, the categorisation of infringements varies considerably between Member States for infringements against regulation 3821/85. Some infringements are seen as serious infringements in one country, but not necessarily in another.

 Moreover, the penalties applied for infringement of the rules of regulation  3821/85 do not correspond in many Member States with the Community guidelines on the categorisation of infringements as contained in Commission directive 2009/5/EC amending Annex III to directive 2006/22/EC.

 For drivers and undertakings engaged in international transport, it is therefore very difficult to receive a clear message concerning the gravity of possible infringements when they do not comply with certain provisions of regulation 561/2006 and regulation   3821/85, as the penalties they risk in the different Member States give contradictory feedback. The Commission considers this situation resulting of the decisions of the legislators to be unsatisfactory in terms of equal conditions for drivers and undertakings. The new Annex to directive 2006/22/EC, introduced by  directive 2009/5/EC, provides a basis for a common understanding of what should be considered as serious infringement and what not. Member States are encouraged to take the necessary steps to provide for more harmonised application of the social rules in road transport and thus to improve observance of the social rules in road transport.

The Commission will continue to work on this issue, in particular by supporting dialogue between Member States concerning national interpretation and application of the social rules in road transport through the Committee foreseen in regulation 561/2006, and taking into account the limits of the competence that Member States and the legislators have decided to give to the Commission.  



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


•  Public Consultations

No new public consultations were posted this week.



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



New Calls for Tenders



Study for the analysis and the conceptual development of a European port access system (JO S 143-208717)

Purchase of 2 000 K-Edge measurement cells (cuvettes) (JO S 146-213220)












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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