No 334 - Weekly - 26 November 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

Background

Practical Information

 
 
 

 

 

• 9 December
Green Corridors Conference , Brussels
• 12-13 January
TEN-T workshop , Brussels

 

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Summary

 

 

 

 

• Transport

Rail passengers on track for new rights across the European Union

Rail passengers will from now on enjoy new rights that will protect them and their belongings when they travel by train anywhere within the European Union. EU Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights, which enters into force this week, enshrines travellers' basic rights and imposes a number of obligations on rail companies concerning their responsibility towards their customers. Every year, almost 8 billion passengers use the train for their journeys.

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State Aid

 

Commission authorises aid for construction and maintenance of A2 motorway in Poland

The European Commission has approved the aid proposed by the Polish authorities for the company Autostrada Wielkopolska II S.A. The aid is intended for the construction and maintenance of the section of the A2 motorway between the villages of Świecko and Nowy Tomyśl.

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TEN-T

 

Inauguration of key transport infrastructure project in Maastricht underlines the importance of European mobility

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani attended the start of works for an urban highway tunnel in Maastricht (The Netherlands) that removes the last traffic lights on a vital trans-European north-south road link. The works are co-funded by the European Commission under the European Economic Recovery Plan 1 (EERP) Call launched on 30 March 2009. The EERP's TEN-T projects, such as the Maastricht tunnel, aim to boost the European economy following the financial and economic crisis by increasing Community investment in strategic sectors such as infrastructure – giving a positive after-effect on European mobility as a whole.

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Road Safety

 

Road safety in Europe: a priority for the coming decade

In 2008, 39 000 European citizens died in road accidents. The EU objective to halve the number of deaths in road accidents by 2010 (i.e. 27 000 deaths) will be a difficult target to achieve. The European Commission hosted on 2 December a conference on the results of the public consultation preceding the drafting of the European Road Safety Action Programme 2011-2020. More than 400 stakeholders with different backgrounds discussed the problems and the state of play in road safety in the European Union.

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List of banned airlines

 

Commission updates the list of airlines banned from the European airspace

The European Commission has published the twelfth update of the Community’s list of airlines banned in the European Union which comprises those of three additional countries following safety deficiencies highlighted by audits. With this update the ban imposed upon three airlines is lifted and one airline is allowed to resume operations under conditions given satisfactory improvements in safety.

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Memo

 

• Energy

Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by GDF Suez to boost competition in French gas market

The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding commitments offered by the French energy company GDF Suez to boost competition on the French gas market. In particular, the commitments address Commission concerns that GDF Suez may have closed off competitors from access to gas import capacity into France in breach of EU rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In response to the Commission's concerns, GDF Suez offered a major structural reduction of its long-term reservations on French gas import infrastructure capacity. In the light of GDF Suez's commitments, the Commission has now closed its investigation.

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Summary of new rights

 

 

Background

Rail passenger rights

After the regulations enforcing the air passengers' rights , the European Union now also enhances protection regarding railway passengers with Regulation 1371/2007 entering into force this week. This Regulation constitutes a further step towards the implementation of the objectives set under the Communication from the Commission "Strengthening passenger rights within the European Union", of 16 February 2005 . The protection of passengers within the whole European transport system will be completed once the European Parliament and the Council will finally adopt passenger rights legislation for bus and coach transport as well as for maritime and inland waterways transport for which the Commission made specific proposals on 4 December 2008 to strengthen.

 The third railway package legislation of 2007, will on the one hand open the market for international passengers rail transport from 1 January 2010 , and on the other hand - under the so-called Public Service Regulation , also entering into force this week - better define the legal and financial framework for awarding public service contracts related to inland transport in order to ensure citizens 'quality for money' for public transport services all over Europe. In such a context, where a single market is emerging, measures to promote users' rights are essential to grant the consumer adequate protection on opening markets and the rail industry a level playing field and thus take full advantage of the benefits of the integrated market for rail transport services.

Under the Rail Passengers Regulation 1371/2007, common minimum rules will apply throughout Europe, for instance in case of delays or cancellation of trains. In addition, since rights are meaningless unless passengers are aware of them and know how to pursue them, the railway companies are obliged to inform passengers of their rights and obligations and to establish complaint boards. However, Member States may, on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis, grant an exemption on their purely domestic railway traffic for a period of no longer than five years, which may be renewed twice for a maximum of five years on each occasion (making a maximum of 15 years); a permanent derogation for urban, suburban and regional services; a derogation for a period of five years, which may be renewed, in case of rail services a significant part of which is operated outside the Community. Nonetheless, certain provisions of the Regulation will be mandatory for the railway traffic within the European Union: rules on availability of tickets, through tickets and reservations; liability of railway undertakings for passengers and their luggage; minimum level of insurance for railway companies; right to transport of passengers with reduced mobility; information on accessibility of rail services; and obligations on passengers' personal security. Hence, through such a combination of core rights and possible national exemptions, the Regulation manages to reconcile the objective of granting basic rights to passengers across the EU with the reality of heterogeneous conditions of railway services in the Member States.

 

 

Disclaimer::
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.

 

 

Disclaimer:
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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