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Transport: New horizons for EU aviation

aircraft

Global aviation is changing dramatically and Europe has been harder hit by the recession than many other regions. The European Commission has 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.

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[Memo: EU External Aviation Policy Package ]

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Speech: A vital resource - Europe's ports face winds of change

Commissioner Siim Kallas

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming to this conference today: your presence demonstrates your commitment to contribute to a new European ports policy. I would like to thank you for the 500 or so replies which the Commission has received to its recent policy consultation. Of course, we are all here today in our respective roles. We all have our interests and they will not always converge. What I would like to achieve from this conference is to discuss the issues together, test the ideas – to set the scene for our work, and identify the core elements for a new policy. Ports are Europe’s windows onto the world. We expect, and hope for, a great deal of growth in the years ahead as ports handle more tonnage and passengers. I am pleased to say that most respondents in our consultation – including port authorities and users – agreed with that view.

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Speech: Europe's railways - connecting and competing in the future

rail

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming to this conference organised by the European Commission. Your presence today shows your commitment to helping Europe's railways adapt to the many challenges ahead and to enable the sector to achieve its full potential.

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[Video: Keynote speech]

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WTO Boeing case: EU requests to impose countermeasures against the US

aircraft take off

The European Union asked the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body to allow the imposition of countermeasures against the United States in the "Boeing case". This follows the EU’s assessment that the United States had not lived up to its obligation to remove its illegal subsidies in the aircraft sector, as required by the WTO rulings that clearly condemned US subsidies to Boeing.

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Background

Station

Eurobarometer: 71% of Europeans in favour of more competition in national and regional rail

71% of EU citizens support the opening of their national and regional rail systems to competition. The total support is above 60% in all but two Member States (Netherlands and Luxembourg). 78% of EU citizens think that more competition will be good for passengers.

According to a special Eurobarometer survey, less than half of Europeans are satisfied with their railway systems (46%) - although satisfaction has improved since 1997 (41%). The level of satisfaction varies from 67% in Finland to 18% in Bulgaria. Satisfaction is overall quite low in the Member States of central and south-eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece).

For most Europeans, the opening to competition will have a positive influence on ticket prices (72%), quality of services to passengers on the trains (71%), comfort and cleanliness of trains (70%), frequency of trains (68%), punctuality of trains (66%), the way railway companies are managed (63%) and the number of stations or routes which will be served (62%).

The absolute majorities of Europeans expect that more competition in the rail market will be good for individual stakeholders, such us passengers (78%), private rail operators (68%) and employees of rail transport operators (55%).

Finally, 70% of EU citizens wish that competition leads to "no-frills" rail services like those of low-cost airlines and 43% wish the development of premium services (meals, films, newspapers, etc.). Also, almost two-thirds (65%) of Europeans wish for more ways of buying tickets (e.g. online, via smartphones, or on board).

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