What is the speed limit on Spanish motorways? Do I need to wear a helmet when I cycle in Sweden? What safety equipment must I always have in the car when driving in Slovakia? From now on, holiday makers do not need to spend a lot of time searching for this information. They can have it at hand wherever they are with the European Commission's new smartphone app "Going Abroad".
The European Commission has published today for the first time a scoreboard on transport in the EU. It compares Member State performance in 22 transport-related categories and highlights for most of these categories the five top and bottom performers. The Netherlands and Germany top the scoreboard with high scores in 11 categories, followed by Sweden, the UK and Denmark.
The European Commission has updated for the 23rd time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union - better known as "the EU air safety list".
On the basis of safety information from various sources and hearings before the EU Air Safety Committee, the Commission decided to remove all airlines from Swaziland from the EU safety list. There is also positive news for the Philippines, where Cebu Pacific Air is allowed to operate to the EU, and for Kazakhstan, where national carrier Air Astana is allowed to increase the number of its flights to the EU.
The European Commission has proposed on 8/04/2014 to set tough new standards to regulate the operations of civil drones (or "remotely piloted aircraft sytems" – RPAS). The new standards will cover safety, security, privacy, data protection, insurance and liability. The aim is to allow European industry to become a global leader in the market for this emerging technology, while at the same time ensuring that all the necessary safeguards are in place.
How EU policy has evolved over the last 5 years
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas welcomed the agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on establishing emergency call response centres for the handling of 112 eCalls. The eCall system automatically dials 112 - Europe's single emergency number - in the event of a serious accident.
As of January 2014, the European Union has a new transport infrastructure policy that connects the continent between East and West, North and South. This policy aims to close the gaps between Member States' transport networks, remove bottlenecks that still hamper the smooth functioning of the internal market and overcome technical barriers such as incompatible standards for railway traffic. It promotes and strengthens seamless transport chains for passenger and freight, while keeping up with future technological trends. This project will help the economy in its recovery and growth, with a budget of €26 billion up to 2020.
The European Commission is stepping up its support to towns and cities in a new "urban mobility package" adopted on 17 December 2013. The Commission will reinforce the exchange of best practice, provide targeted financial support and invest in research and development. In addition, it is encouraging the development of "sustainable urban mobility plans" to stimulate a shift towards cleaner and more sustainable transport in urban areas.
On 16 December 2013, the European Commission adopted "Shift2Rail", a new public-private partnership to invest just under €1 billion in research and innovation to get more passengers and freight onto Europe's railways. Rail is amongst the most efficient and climate-friendly forms of transport, but currently it only carries about only 10% of European cargo and 6% of passengers each year.
The European Commission launched on 11 December 2013 Calls for proposals worth €350 million to finance European transport infrastructure (TEN-T), for projects in all EU Member States and for all transport modes: air, rail, road, maritime and inland waterways.
The European Commission has updated for the 22nd time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". On the basis of safety information from various sources and a hearing both with the Nepalese aviation authorities as well as with a number of Nepalese carriers, the Commission decided to put all airlines from Nepal on the EU air safety list.
The European Observatory on Airport Capacity held a plenary meeting at which it fully endorsed the findings on network congestion and climate change and resilience of "Challenges of Growth 2013 ", a comprehensive study carried out by Eurocontrol highlighting the likely problems resulting from a shortage of airport capacity in Europe.
As part of the EU/China Urban Partnership the EU and China are working together to improve urban mobility. Today, Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, addressed the 2nd EU China Urban Forum in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing. The annual Forum brings together hundreds of EU and Chinese city Mayors as well as academics and business representatives with an interest in the future of urbanisation in order to share ideas and identify future co-operation activities.
In the most radical overhaul of EU infrastructure policy since its inception in the 1980s, the European Parliament has given final approval to new maps showing the nine major corridors which will act as a backbone for transportation in Europe's single market and revolutionise East–West connections. To match this level of ambition, Parliament also voted to triple EU financing for transport infrastructure for the period 2014–2020 to €26.3 billion.
Transport ministers from 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area met in Brussels on 14 November 2013 and confirmed their commitment to boost cooperation. The aim is to establish a well-connected area for aviation, rail, maritime and road transport. Regional integration in transport will strengthen economic exchanges and create business opportunities in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Want to know more about the new TEN-T Projects selected under the 2012 Call?
The TEN-T Executive Agency is releasing the information now and in the coming weeks.
In the most radical overhaul of EU infrastructure policy since its inception in the 1980s, the Commission has published on 17 October 2013 new maps showing the nine major corridors which will act as a backbone for transportation in Europe's single market and revolutionise East–West connections. To match this level of ambition, EU financing for transport infrastructure will triple for the period 2014–2020 to €26 billion.
The European Commission has selected a total of 172 projects that will benefit from almost €1.6 billion in EU co-financing from the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) Programme for improving transport infrastructure across Europe. 89 projects selected from the 2012 Multi-Annual Call and 83 from the 2012 Annual Call will use this financial support to help realise TEN-T network development – ranging from preliminary studies for new projects to top-up grants aimed to help assist on-going construction initiatives, in all transport modes.
The European Commission welcomes the "general approach" agreement reached at the Transport Council on 10 October 2013 on a recast of the rail safety directive. This recast is the second part of the so-called Fourth Railway Package – proposed in January 2013 – with the aim of eliminating existing administrative and technical barriers by developing further the Single European Rail Area, thereby contributing to the competitiveness of the rail sector versus other means of transport.
Following the European Parliament's vote in plenary on 9 October 2013, Vice-President Kallas said: "I am pleased with this vote which opens the way for new stricter EU-wide rules on pilot fatigue. It will bring better protection of passengers and safer working conditions for crew. This is a victory for common sense."
The European Commission has adopted on 10 September 2013 the NAIADES II package "Towards quality inland waterway transport".
The European Commission welcomes the entry into force today of the International Maritime Labour Convention establishing the minimum working and living conditions for more than 1,2 million persons working at sea and ensuring fair competition for the maritime industry globally. Recognising the importance of this International Convention, the Union has adopted several legislative instruments to ensure the consistent and effective implementation by all its Member States.
The European Commission has updated on 10/07/2013 for the 21st time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". Following improvements in the safety situation in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines is the first airline from this country allowed back into European skies since 2010. The same is true for the Venezuelan airline Conviasa, which was banned in 2012. Progress was also noted in Libya but the Libyan authorities agreed that Libyan airlines would not be allowed to operate in Europe until they are fully recertified to the satisfaction of the European Union.
The European Commission has on 10/07/2013 announced €600 million of new funding to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace. The Commission is looking to head off a capacity crunch as the number of flights is forecast to increase by 50% over the next 10-20 years. The goal is to develop the new technology needed to deliver Europe's Single Sky – the ambitious project to reform Europe's airspace, doubling capacity and halving air traffic management costs.
The Commission has set out plans on 8/07/2013 to ease custom formalities for ships – reducing red tape, cutting delays in ports and making the sector more competitive. Today, freight forwarders and exporters complain that if they chose to send goods across Europe by short sea shipping, the heavy administrative burden at ports causes additional costs and significant delays - ships can wait for hours and sometimes days in ports for customs clearance. These make the maritime sector less attractive compared to other forms of transport, especially road, unnecessarily bringing more trucks on our already congested roads. With today's new Commission proposals, shipping transport will face less administrative hurdles and therefore be able to be used to its full potential in the EU internal market and beyond.
Safer skies, seas and roads, decent working hours for people with jobs in the transport industry and wider choices for those using it, fighting pollution now and finding new technologies to make our future journeys even cleaner – we’ve been busy over the last 20 years at European level to make transport better. Read on to see 20 examples of how Europe has made your life easier and safer through better transport.
For the first time, millions of holiday-makers travelling in the EU this summer will be protected by comprehensive passenger rights – whether travelling by air or rail, and now also by ship, bus and coach. But research shows that two-thirds of passengers are not aware of their rights. For this reason, the Commission is launching a new campaign to inform the many people gearing up to travel this summer about their passenger rights, and how to claim them if needed.
From 25 to 28 June 2013, launch events will take place in Brussels, Athens-Piraeus and Sofia and an air passenger rights information day will be held in Warsaw.
To help mitigate the consequences of serious road accidents across the EU, the European Commission adopted on 13 June 2013 two proposals to ensure that, by October 2015, cars will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The "eCall" system automatically dials 112 - Europe's single emergency number - in the event of a serious accident. It communicates the vehicle's location to emergency services, even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. It is estimated that it could save up to 2500 lives a year.
The European Commission has on 11 June 2013 acted to speed up the reform of Europe's air traffic control system. The Commission is looking to head off a capacity crunch as the number of flights is forecast to increase by 50% over the next 10-20 years. Inefficiencies in Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to 5 billion Euros each year to airlines and their customers. They add 42 kilometres to the distance of an average flight forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in costly user charges and suffer greater delays. The United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.
Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, today welcomed the agreement between the Commission, the Council and the Parliament on proposals to transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T).
The European Commission has launched on 23 June 2013 a new initiative to improve port operations and onward transport connections at 319 key seaports along Europe’s coastline. The guidelines and legal changes being proposed will help port operators upgrade their services and facilities as well as giving them more financial autonomy.
The European Commission promotes the roll-out of intelligent information services for Europe's drivers. Rules adopted on 15 May 2013 ensure such information services will be compatible across Europe.
The European Commission adopted on 14 May 2013 a Communication on the Marco Polo programme (2003 – 2013) which helps companies introduce transport services that shift freight off the road and on to more environmentally friendly modes such as short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterways.
Under the European Commission's leadership, a high-profile group of mayors and industry representatives has started to work towards making Europe’s cities 'smarter'.
The Commission has adopted on 3 May 2013 a new Regulation establishing governance and incentive mechanisms to facilitate the effective and timely deployment of SESAR, the Union's flagship project that aims at modernising the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system and enhancing its performance.
The European Commission adopted on 3 May 2013 revised implementing Regulations on performance and charging, setting the framework for the upcoming negotiations on targets for the second reference period (2015 to 2019) of the SES Performance Scheme.
The European Commission proposed on 15 April 2013 new rules to allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries which will reduce fuel consumption by 7-10%, cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and also enhance the safety of vulnerable road users.
Road fatalities across the EU have decreased by 9% in 2012. According to new figures published by the European Commission today, 2012 saw the lowest number of people killed in road traffic in EU countries since the first data were collected.
The European Commission announced on 13 March 2013 a package of measures to ensure that air passengers have new and better rights to information, care and re-routing when they are stranded at the airport. At the same time there will be better complaint procedures and enforcement measures so passengers can actually obtain the rights to which they are entitled.
On 1 March 2013, Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 on bus and coach passenger rights becomes applicable, providing bus and coach travellers throughout the EU with new rights.
Police officers from 28 countries across Europe took part in a large-scale motorway control operation in France and Belgium on Thursday 21 February 2013. The five-hour operation was prepared by the Belgian National Traffic Police, the French National Gendarmerie, French National Police and Dutch National Traffic Police. During this time, hundreds of cars, buses and trucks travelling across the border were stopped and checked. Police were joined by representatives of partner agencies including vehicle inspectorate, customs and revenue.
The European Commission announced on 30 January 2013 a comprehensive package of measures to deliver better quality and more choice in railway services in Europe. Rail is a vital part of EU transport, with a key role in addressing rising traffic demand, congestion, fuel security and decarbonisation. But many European rail markets are currently facing stagnation or decline.
The European Commission announced on 24 January 2013 an ambitious package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-co-ordinated and insufficient.
From January 19th 2013, all new driving licences issued across the EU will be in the form of a plastic "credit card," with a standard European format and tougher security protection. The new European licence will progressively replace the more than 100 different paper and plastic models currently in use by more than 300 million drivers across the EU. It is part of a broader package of measures (3rd EU Driving Licence Directive) coming into force designed to enhance free movement, tackle driving licence fraud and improve road safety across the EU.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas called today on the 44 Director-Generals representatives of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) for full engagement on the implementation of the Single European Sky, and for a positive cooperation between ECAC and the EU.
The European Parliament voted today on proposed measures to help increase the capacity of Europe's airports, reduce delays and improve the quality of services offered to passengers. In its vote on the "airports package" the Parliament gave strong support for the Commission's proposals to improve slot allocation as well as to improve the transparency of noise decisions. The Parliament referred the proposals on ground handling back to the Parliamentary Committee for further consideration.
The European Commission has adopted on 4 December 2012 the 20th update of the European list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list".
Many Member States are seriously lagging behind and not yet fully compliant with requirements to make nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) fully operational, for the deadline of 4 December 2012.
Transport matters! Discover some fascinating facts on how transport allows Europe to Connect to compete
Or check out all the facts on video .
The European Commission has formally asked Spain on 21 November 2012 to clarify how airport charges have been modified at airports operated by AENA Aeropuertos. The decision to send a letter of formal notice has been taken following the reception of several complaints asserting that the European Directive on airport charges has not been respected.
The European Commission decided on 21 November 2012 to amend its decision referring Cyprus to the European Court of Justice for not fully transposing the Directive on driving licences.
On 19 November 2012, the European Commission adopted technical changes to the Directive on driving licences in order to provide more flexibility and a smoother transition to the new driving licence regime. The amendment aims to avoid unnecessary administrative burden to citizens or industry. There are around 300 million European citizens having a driving licence, most of them will be concerned about this new Directive.
Vice-President and Commissioner for transport Siim Kallas joined the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in celebrating their 10th anniversary on 14 November 2012.
Less than two weeks ahead of the special European Council of 22-23 November on the future EU budget 2014-2020, business leaders express strong support for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in a video clip. Top-level representatives leave no doubt about the need for better interconnections in Europe in transport, energy and the internet to enhance Europe's growth and competitiveness, about the need for European action through the CEF and about the strong potential to leverage private finance through this 50 billion initiative.
EU citizens will have safer flights following today's publication of a new regulation with modernised binding rules for commercial operations of airplanes and helicopters. The previous regulation on commercial air operations was adopted in 2006. These updated rules reflect scientific and technological developments in the aviation industry and changes in international aviation standards since then. The aim of the regulation is to boost efficiency in air operations while maintaining a high level of safety...
The future of the Connecting Europe Facility is reaching a critical phase as, in the next few weeks, Member States are expected to decide the EU’s budget for 2014-2020. To support European growth and competitiveness, a number of business leaders have signed a declaration calling on senior EU policymakers to support and approve the Connecting Europe Facility.
The European Parliament adopted today a report by MEP Georges Bach calling for more EU action to strengthen passenger rights. The report stresses the need to make passenger rights easily understandable to all citizens, to facilitate their implementation and enforcement, and to ensure a similar approach for all modes of transport. The work of the European Parliament in the area of passenger rights, including the report it adopted on air passenger rights on 29 March 2012, gives support to the Commission’s ambitious agenda to promote better protection for passengers facing travel disruptions whether they travel by air, rail, waterborne or road transport...
The European Parliament adopted today a resolution to push forward implementation of the Single European Sky (SES), very much in line with the European Commission priorities. The Commission welcomes the support of the EP, especially at the time of key implementing deadlines and shares the views of rapporteur Jacqueline Foster that Member States should now prioritise the implementation of SES in accordance with the agreed deadlines and objectives. The EP reiterates the key role of SES in delivering considerable economic, safety and environmental savings to the aviation sector's benefit. It calls for a proactive political support on the part of the Member State applying the performance scheme, delivering real benefits from FABs and deploying SESAR technologies...
The European Parliament approved today the legislative proposal which will bring the European Union Directive on the training of seafarers in line with recently updated international rules. The legislative proposal also aims to ensure that information concerning seafarers is collected, aggregated and made available for statistical purposes. Today, accurate figures in this respect are lacking. The Commission adopted its proposal on 14 September 2011 and a political agreement in Council was already reached in December last year. International rules set minimum standards, while EU rules ensure their enforcement in the EU. European and international legislation are important to ensure quality jobs and safety at sea...
The Single European Sky, the flagship project to create a single European airspace – tripling capacity and halving air traffic costs – is "not delivering". Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for transport, today announced his intention to present new legislative proposals in Spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary.
Business leaders and policy-makers strongly support the Commission's 50 billion plan for strategic infrastructure investment in transport, energy and internet
Global aviation is changing dramatically and Europe has been harder hit by the recession than many other regions. The European Commission has today set out an ambitious package of proposals to boost the international competitiveness of the EU's aviation industry by opening negotiations with key partners to access new business opportunities in the fast growing markets, developing new tools to fight unfair competition and creating the right regulatory conditions to stimulate investment.
Speech by Vice President Siim Kallas at the Conference on the fourth railway package
The European Commission has launched this application to cover air and rail transport; the app will also be extended to bus/coach and waterborne transport in 2013.