No 328 - Weekly - 15 October 2009

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The Commission's integrated energy and climate change proposal 2008

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Sustainable Energy Europe

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• Transport

• Energy


Practical Information




• 21-22 October
TEN-T Days, Italy



State Aid





• Transport

Commission authorises state aid for the voluntary redundancy scheme of Olympic Catering

The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to the plans of the Greek authorities to cover part of the costs of the voluntary redundancy scheme that Olympic Catering SA plans to implement in respect of certain of its staff. The Commission considers that the proposed measure, which pays part of the abnormal costs of the scheme, does not prejudice the common interest and can be considered compatible with the common market. The abnormal costs in question result from certain Olympic Catering staff taking part in an early retirement voluntary redundancy scheme. These staff members enjoy a permanent status and salaries which were negotiated when the company was a state-owned undertaking and are therefore not comparable to normal market conditions.

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Marco Polo


Marco Polo: Fresh air for European freight transport

The European Commission has adopted new rules to broaden the scope of its successful Marco Polo programme, which has been supporting sustainable transport projects since 2003. The programme gives financial support to the transport industry in order to reduce road freight on our congested roads or to shift it to other more sustainable transport modes, like shipping, rail or inland waterways. The conditions for participation have been improved to further increase its appeal to the industry, will apply to the next call for proposals due for the beginning of next year.

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Carbon Capture and Storage


• Energy

The Commission and 22 world leaders explore ways for the viability of Carbon Capture and Storage

The European Commission, along with leaders from 22 world countries, explored the best ways to accelerate the commercialisation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) in London. Carbon capture and storage is a technology that allows reduction of fossil fuel emissions by capturing CO2 from large emitters (such as coal or gas power plants and the steel industry) and store it underground. Bringing down the costs of the new technologies will enable CCS to exploit its full emission abatement potential and contribute to sustainable, secure and competitive energy.

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Commission builds on the success of Marco Polo programme

The European Commission has adopted new rules to broaden the scope of its successful Marco Polo programme, which has been supporting sustainable transport projects since 2003.

Reducing congestion

Europe’s road network suffers from ever-increasing congestion, increasing the time lost by road users and worsening environmental pollution. Long-distance freight, particularly international freight traffic, is a major contributor to this congestion. Europe’s road system has borne the brunt of increasing freight traffic mainly because of the failure of alternative modes – rail and shipping – to keep pace with rising demand and to contribute to an integrated transport solution. What Europe really needs – and is working towards – is a sustainable transport system that shifts freight off the roads onto more environmentally friendly transport modes. The second Marco Polo programme is an initiative of the European Union which is running from 2007 to 2013. It aims to shift or avoid a substantial part of the expected increase in international freight traffic, estimated at 20 billion tonne-kilometres per year, from Europe’s roads onto short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterway transport.

Shifting freight off roads

Lorries are considered as the best means of transporting freight for first and final legs of deliveries, but they are also costly – both in economic and environmental terms – over long distances. Within the context of the Commission’s 2001 White Paper on transport and its 2006 mid-term review, the second Marco Polo programme seeks to reduce road congestion by shifting or avoiding the yearly increases in international freight traffic from roads onto short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterway transport. Launched in December 2006, with a budget of €450 million for the period 2007/2013 (participation of third countries led to an increase of the budget), Marco Polo contributes to an efficient and sustainable transport system by backing commercial undertakings which set up intermodal – rail, sea and road – freight transport services. Support will enable firms to offer more environmentally sustainable services in international freight transport markets. The emphasis is on services, as Marco Polo does not support research projects or the development of core infrastructure.

Who can participate?

Marco Polo support is open to commercial undertakings only. Participants may come from any EU Member State, or from ‘close third countries’. These are EEA and EFTA members, candidate countries for EU accession, and Mediterranean partner states. Projects must demonstrate a European dimension to be eligible for support. They should cover an international route, involving EU territory and that of ‘close third countries’.

Participation and funding

While commercial undertakings from both EU Member States and ‘close third countries’ are eligible to participate, only costs arising on the territory of EU Member States or countries which have concluded specific agreements with the EU are eligible for Marco Polo funding. Therefore, in calculating the subsidy for each project, only the parts of the route in countries eligible for funding can be used. T




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



Calls for Tenders

No new calls for tender were posted this week.




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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