Vice-President Siim Kallas website

European Commission Mobility and Transport website

Commission proposes updated mandate of the European Maritime Safety Agency

The European Commission adopted a proposal modifying the mandate of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to enable it to deal with new challenges in an ever-changing world. EMSA is widely recognised as an important contributor to the European Union's maritime transport and safety policy in close cooperation with the Commission, the Member States and stakeholders from the sector. Developments since the agency's start in 2003 require now a limited update of its mandate.

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Commission takes Austria and Ireland to Court for failure to implement EU rules on dangerous goods

The European Commission has decided to refer Austria and Ireland to the EU's Court of Justice over their failure to fulfil their obligations to implement Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods in their national legislation. The directive should have been fully implemented by 30 June 2009. Failure to implement the directive can put citizens and the environment at risk and create distortions of competition between operators in different Member States.

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Commission asks Hungary to ensure fair access to ground handling at Budapest airport

The European Commission has requested Hungary to ensure fair access for providers of ground handling at Budapest Airport. The Commission considers that Hungary is failing to fulfill its obligations under Directive 96/67/EC, whereby any service provider should be able to compete to provide ground handling services – baggage handling, catering services, fuel and oil handling, and passenger transport. Hungary is required to comply with the request which takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures, within two months, failing which the case may be referred to the EU's Court of Justice.

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Commission launches infringement procedures against France, Germany, Austria and Finland over agreements with Russia on Siberian overflights

The European Commission has launched infringement procedures against France, Germany, Austria and Finland over their bilateral air service agreements with Russia, which inter alia include provisions concerning Siberian overflights. The decision was taken on the initiative of European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas Responsible for Transport. The Commission has concerns over two main issues. First, the agreements in question do not contain a clause recognising that the terms apply equally to all EU carriers, despite the "Open Skies" case-law of the EU's Court of Justice. This can create serious practical problems - for example, if an airline is taken over by an airline from another Member State it stands to lose all its traffic route rights. Second, the bi-lateral air service agreements between the four Member States and Russia contain specific provisions on the setting of traffic rights as well as on the modalities for fixing the charges that EU-designated carriers must pay to Aeroflot in order to fly over Siberia on their way to Asia. The Commission is concerned that such provisions may be in breach of EU antitrust rules and could lead to competition distortions to the disadvantage of both EU airlines and consumers. The Commission is actively assessing the compliance with EU law of the twenty three other Member States' bilateral air service agreements with Russia.

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Transport Commissioner congratulates Brussels Airport for carbon achievement commitments

Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, commended Brussels Airport for its commitment to reducing future carbon emissions. At a ceremony held in the departure hall of the airport, Vice-President Kallas presented Mr Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, with a certificate marking its progress under an industry-led carbon accreditation scheme. Twenty-three airports1 across 12 countries in Europe are now accredited under the scheme.

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Vice-President Kallas to attend summit on how to improve competitiveness of European aviation industry

Vice President Siim Kallas attended an aviation summit dedicated to the competitive challenges facing the European aviation industry. The summit in Bruges is organised by the Belgian presidency.

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Commission reviews funding for 92 major Trans-European Networks infrastructure projects

Vice President Siim Kallas published the first ever mid term review of 92 priority Trans-European Networks infrastructure projects, co-financed by the Commission under the TEN-T programme for 2007-2013. The review provides a detailed "snap shot" of the state of play of each major infrastructure project in terms of financing and completion. The aim is to introduce more accountability into the funding process and to make sure that EU money is being well spent. Over half (52.2%) of these 92 major pan-European infrastructure projects are still on track for completion by December 2013, despite the tough financial environment. For the rest, the mid term review applies a strict "use it or lose it" principle. A two year extension is granted to credible projects which are facing difficulties in the economic crisis, to support their completion. But for projects which, at this mid term stage, are no longer credible, EU funding will be cut and re-allocated.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "This mid term review is about supporting key investments in infrastructure and delivering value for taxpayers' money. I am greatly encouraged that despite the tough economic circumstances, many Member States are making the right decisions to invest in the economic infrastructure that is critical to Europe's recovery. With this review, we want the scarce resources available to be managed strictly. But where projects are no longer meeting their objectives then EU funding must be cut and re-allocated so we make best use of the limited resources."

Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport said: "I am very pleased with the unanimous support from Member States to grant us a negotiating mandate for Brazil. Brazil is a strategically important and fast-growing market. An EU-wide agreement with Brazil will no doubt increase the number of flights and the range of services at the most competitive prices between Brazil and the EU. This will create significant new opportunities for our industry as well as benefits for the travelling public."

Main results of the mid term review

The review assesses 92 separate funding decisions worth around three-quarters (5.3 billion Euro) ofthe EU's 8 billion Euro TEN-T budget (2007-2013).

  • The review shows that 48 projects out of 92 will be finished by the deadline of 31 December 2013 (52.2%).
  • A further 29 projects of the projects (31.5%) are credible in terms of structure and financing and could be complete by 2015. For this reason, and faced with an exceptional period of financial crisis, the Commission will give a two year extension for the use of EU funding until 2015. This extension will be subject to specific political, technical and financial conditions, which will optimise the effectiveness of the TEN-T programme. The same budgetary rigour will apply for any future delays of projects; activities that would slip beyond 2015 will be cut.
  • 10 projects (10.9%) have received a conditional extension to 2015 but have had a partial reduction of EU funding imposed.
  • 5 projects are not credible at this stage (5.4%) and for these projects EU funding will be cut and re-allocated.

Moreover, any project in the above four categories has been screened in a detailed way for each of their objectives. In case these objectives are no longer met, the related budget will be cut.

As a result of the above analysis, around €311 million will be liberated to be re-injected into new calls for proposals under the current TEN-T programme.

What are Trans European Networks

The TEN-T programme was established by the European Union to help build missing links and remove transport bottlenecks, creating a single, multimodal network of transport corridors throughout Europe.

Projects are financed by Member States and the European Commission. Up to a maximum of 30% of the budget for infrastructure works on a project and 50% for studies can come from the European TEN-T budget.

The 92 projects reviewed by the Commission correspond to an overall investment of 32.647 billion Euro and a TEN-T (European) contribution of 5.3 billion Euro.

The 92 projects key parts of the 30 priority TEN-T networks /major inter-modal corridors across the EU (see link below for details).

The 30 TEN-T priority networks are major infrastructure projects, often involving several countries, for example: the high-speed railway axis Paris-Bruxelles/Brussel-Köln-Amsterdam-London: PBKAL; or the Railway axis Gdańsk-Warszawa-Brno/Bratislava-Wien.

[Map and complete list of TEN-T 30 priority networks / projects (2007-2010)]

[More on TEN-T]

[TEN-T Agency]

[Speech by Commissioner and Vice-President Siim Kallas on Mid-term review of the 2007-2013 TEN-T Multi-Annual Work Programme Project Portfolio at the European Parliament TRAN Committee]


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