Vice-President Siim Kallas website

European Commission Mobility and Transport website

Driving licences: Commission requests seven Member States to comply with new EU measures on fitness to drive

Car

The European Commission has asked Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia to adopt national legislation updating requirements for physical and mental fitness to drive in accordance with their obligations under European Union law. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If these Member States fail to inform the Commission within two months of what measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with the law, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice

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Commission launches infringement procedures against two Member States over agreements with Russia on equal treatment of EU airlines and Siberian overflights

Airplane

The European Commission has launched infringement procedures against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic over their bilateral air service agreements with Russia, sending each of these Member States a formal request for information known as a 'letter of formal notice'. The Commission is concerned that the agreements may hinder equal treatment of EU airlines and competition between European airlines and provide the basis for Siberian overflight charges that may be illegal under EU anti-trust rules. Similar letters of formal notice have already been sent to 23 other Member States in recent months, and the Commission is now assessing the compliance with EU law of the remaining two Member States' bilateral aviation agreements with Russia. The fact that European Union airlines have to pay to fly over Siberia on their way to Asian destinations can not only make the flights more expensive, but can also lead to unfair competition between EU and non-EU airlines.

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Kallas visits Germany to present transport strategy

Futuristic city

Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for transport, visited Germany to present the newly published White Paper on Transport to the Bundestag's Transport Committee. The Transport 2050 roadmap to a Single European Transport Area contains 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. Vice-President Kallas appreciates the opportunity to have direct contacts with German parliamentarians, which also is perfectly in line with the spirit of the new Lisbon Treaty, which strengthens the role of national parliaments in EU policy making.

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Background

Kallas calls on Member States to work together on travel information

Vice-President Siim Kallas

The European Commission has encouraged Member States to work together to make it possible for passengers to buy a single ticket for a journey in Europe regardless of the countries or transport modes involved. During the transport council on 31 March 2011, Vice-President Siim Kallas told the ministers that the technology already exists to make seamless multimodal travel possible but that their help was needed to remove the remaining barriers, for example by improving the availability and quality of data.

Vice-President Kallas said: "With today's technology, there is no reason why passengers should not be able to access travel information or even buy a single ticket for their journey at the click of a mouse. Buying a single ticket online should be a matter of minutes, whether you change from planes to trains, or from roads to ships for your journey. Even though the technology is there, we will need the Member States to work with us to get things moving."

The roadmap to a Single European Transport Area, published on Monday 28 March, highlighted the importance of having integrated multimodal travel services across the EU. To encourage people to travel more and make use of the advantages each transport mode has to offer, all travel information will need to be easily accessible. Member States can assist by encouraging travel operators to cooperate (for example by sharing data), enhancing the availability and quality of data, and improving the business case for a European solution. This will make it possible for passengers to access all information online to better plan their journeys, as well as reserve and purchase a single ticket regardless of the number of EU countries involved or the number of transport modes.

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