Newsletter
Issue n° 168 - 21 March 2014

Mobility and transport

In the spotlight

airplane

Transport Business Summit 2014
On Thursday 27 March Vice-President Kallas and the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport will host the second Transport Business Summit in Brussels. The conference will bring together industry leaders and decision-makers to discuss how transport can contribute to Europe's goals for jobs and growth. For a comprehensive list of speakers and the live stream please consult: http://www.transportbusinesssummit.eu/ Questions can be addressed to the panel on Twitter using the hasthag #EUTransport.

More news

Road safety: Vice-President Kallas welcomes deal on 112 eCall


19 March 2014

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas welcomed the agreement today 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.

Vice-President Kallas said: "Today, we are starting the countdown for eCall, so that this service is not a privilege for a few, but will improve safety for all road users in the EU. eCall will be a major asset in our struggle to cut by half the number of road fatalities by 2020".

It is estimated that 112 eCall can speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside and can reduce the number of fatalities by at least 4% and the number of severe injuries by 6%. eCall is a low-cost solution. Because it is only activated in the event of a serious accident, driver behaviour cannot be tracked during normal use of the car.

The agreement between Parliament and Council is an important step in the EU road safety strategy to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries. It ensures that once cars equipped with eCall will be on the road, the necessary infrastructure will be ready to handle the calls and to rescue drivers and passengers more quickly throughout the European Union. This agreement still needs to be approved by a vote in both institutions.

Background

In June 2013, the Commission proposed as part of the eCall initiative a Decision to ensure the deployment of the necessary infrastructure for the proper receipt and handling of the 112 eCalls.

The agreement reached provides for

  • the deployment, at least 6 months before the date of application of the Regulation concerning the mandatory fitting of the eCall device in vehicles (personal cars and commercial light vehicles), of the eCall infrastructure required for the handling of all eCalls on the EU territory, with a final deadline for the deployment set at October 1, 2017.
  • the right of each Member State to organise its emergency services in the way most cost effective and appropriate to its needs, including the right to let private organisations recognised by the Member State deal with the receipt and handling of eCalls, in accordance with the specifications laid down by Delegated Regulation (EU) No 305/2013.
  • 112 eCalls handling free of charge for the users.


TEN-T project: ERTMS upgrade for locomotives Austria and Slovenia thanks to EU support


17 March 2014

A project to upgrade Austrian and Slovenian locomotives in terms of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) will be supported by the European Union with a little over €1.6 million from the TEN-T Programme. The project will improve the safety of rail transport whilst at the same time making the sector more competitive.

The project was selected under the 2012 TEN-T Multi-Annual Call, which gave priority to ERTMS, a major European industrial initiative to make rail transport safer and more competitive. Its goal is to substitute more than 20 different train control-command systems which are currently in use in Europe with a single harmonised system.

It specifically concerns retrofitting 13 locomotives belonging to four private railway undertakings from Austria and Slovenia. The locomotives will then be able to operate on the ERTMS (level 1 and 2) lines of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland.

By increasing the interoperability of the locomotives, the project will enhance the competitiveness of the rail freight sector.

The project will be monitored by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and is set to be completed by the end of 2015.

For more information, please consult the project's page: http://inea.ec.europa.eu/en/ten-t/ten-t_projects/ten-t_projects_by_country/multi_country/2012-eu-60033-p.htm



TEN-T project: EU to co-finance studies for new northern Greek motorway


19 March 2014

The European Union will co-finance to the tune of €1.5 million from the TEN-T Programme a series of studies which are necessary to prepare for the tendering of the works for the northern border section of the Ionian Highway in Greece. 

The initiative, which was selected for funding under the 2012 TEN-T Annual Call, includes conducting preliminary and final design studies, geotechnical surveys, a cost-benefit analysis and the health and safety plan. They apply to a 46 km stretch of motorway between the Egnatia Odos-Ionian Highway interchange and Kakavia.

The studies and the subsequent works will contribute to:

  1. satisfying the increased demand for passengers and freight transport to and from Albania
  2. connecting northwest Greece with Italy, Slovenia and the other EU Member States through the sea corridors that pass from the ports of Igoumenitsa and Patra
  3. upgrading transport infrastructure in western and northern Greece, as well as reducing reduce travelling times and increasing road safety.

For more information, please consult the project's page: http://inea.ec.europa.eu/en/ten-t/ten-t_projects/ten-t_projects_by_country/greece/2012-el-91061-s.htm



Vice-President Kallas welcomes deal on alternative fuels infrastructure for transport


20 March 2014

European Transport Commissioner, Vice President Siim Kallas welcomed the agreement reached today on a far reaching package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use.

European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport said: "This agreement maps out a clear future for clean transport across Europe. It is a major innovation and a milestone towards meeting our commitment to reduce European transport's overdependence on oil and developing a transport system fit for the 21st century."

The Clean Power for Transport Package consists of a Communication on a European alternative fuels strategy, a Directive focusing on infrastructure and standards and an accompanying document describing an action plan for the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in shipping.

The main measures agreed are:

  • Minimum levels of infrastructure across the EU. A requirement on Member States to submit to the Commission national plans for minimum levels of infrastructure to be in place by 2020 for electric vehicles and for CNG in urban agglomeration, Hydrogen and LNG in maritime ports and for heavy duty vehicles is postponed to 2025 (all dates available in table below). The targets will be published by the Commission. There is a review clause in the Directive to allow the Commission to assess if national targets are sufficient to deliver a critical mass of infrastructure or if mandatory targets agreed at EU level – as had been originally proposed by the Commission - will be needed.
  • EU wide standards for the infrastructure. The agreement requires the development of EU wide standards for clean fuels. This will end the uncertainty that has been holding back business and consumers. It means standardised plugs for electric vehicles and standardised refuelling equipment – refuelling and recharging equipment - for hydrogen and natural gas as well as future standards for wireless recharging points, battery swapping technology and standardised plugs for buses and motorcycles.
  • Clear consumer information to facilitate use - including on the charging and refuelling points themselves, as well as comparison of prices for the different alternative and conventional fuels based on a methodology developed by the Commission.

The agreement was reached in "trilogue" negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and representatives of Member States. It must be formally approved by the plenary of the European Parliament and Member States in Council.



Maritime port activity in the EU Rotterdam busiest port for goods handling in 2012 Dover for passengers


18 March 2014

For readability reasons, the EUROSTAT documents are only available in PDF and WORD formats: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STAT-14-42_en.htm



Commissioner's corner

Tweet on road safety

"With road accidents, every second counts for victims. eCall will save more lives."

Siim Kallas

Figure of the month

8 billion

26 Billion euro in funding will be provided by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to transform today’s patchwork of roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified trans-European transport network.

We were asked about...

Question asked by Esther Herranz García (PPE)

(29 January 2014)

Subject:  Public road transport services  
 
Bearing in mind the right of all EU citizens to free movement, does the Commission believe that application of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on public passenger transport services by rail and by road ought to be mandatory in order to ensure that the various Member States offer their citizens a good quality public road transport system?

Are the various Member States bound to establish their own public service obligations for road transport in order to guarantee all EU citizens can enjoy their right to free movement?
 

Read the answer


Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

25.02.2014

The objective of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on public passenger transport services by rail and by road is to define how competent authorities may act in the field of public passenger transport to guarantee the provision of services of general interest which are, among other things, more frequent, safer, of a higher quality or provided at lower cost than those that market forces alone would have allowed.

The regulation is directly applicable in all Member States. However, it does not create a positive obligation for Member States to establish public service obligations. The Member States and their competent authorities have the possibility to establish public service obligations that respect the relevant national legislation as well as EU legislation, particularly Regulation (EC) 1370/2007.



Transport and You

Events

3 April 2014

Workshop on trends and prospects of jobs and working conditions in transport


Workshop on

Trends and prospects of jobs and working conditions in transport

3 April 2014

Universitaire Stichting - Fondation Universitaire
Egmontstraat / Rue d'Egmont 11
1000 Brussels

In the framework of the initiatives foreseen in the Commission's 2011 Transport White Paper, DG Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission launched a study aimed at assessing the labour market situation in the transport sector at the light of the ageing of the working population. Part of this study is carried out by JRC, the other part by the research-based consultancy firm Panteia and the advisory firm PwC. This study, which is nearing completion, assesses the sufficiency of labour and skills supply in transport up to 2020. It evaluates in particular the risks of critical skill shortages and possible remedial action to avoid them. To do so it examines the influence of working conditions on labour and skills supply, as well as the availability of training facilities to meet these possible shortages.

This study will provide a very practical input to the strategic planning of transport firms and to the career decisions of current and future workers while offering updated information to their respective representatives at Member State and EU level. It will also provide elements of judgement for the Commission and Member State governments to consider whether any specific policy action is needed.

Preliminary results show (future) shortages in many professions. These seem to be caused by ageing, unattractive working conditions, insufficient training, changes to required competences, etc. The relatively unattractive working conditions are shown to be partly due to the characteristics of the sector, can to some extend be related to market opening processes and are perception rather than reality in some other cases.

Matching demand and supply for labour and skills at a fair level of job quality will not be an easy task. It is clear THE solution does not exist; multiple efforts by many jurisdictions and stakeholders are required!

The study so far entailed literature and data analysis, modelling, expert interviews, dedicated MS survey on training and a targeted stakeholder consultation. The study will finish with a workshop with experts from a wide range of stakeholders. The goal of the workshop is to present, discuss and validate the provisional results of the study and especially on possible solutions for the identified problems/risks. Via this e-mail we would invite you to join this workshop. A copy of the draft synthesis will be sent to those intending to participate in the workshop the 27th of March at the latest.

The workshop will take place on thursday the 3rd of April 2014. It will be held in English (no translations).

The workshop is aimed at the following types of organisations:

  • EU officials (JRC, DG MOVE, DG EMPL, Cedefop, OSHA)
  • EU Transport Agencies (ERA, EMSA, EASA)
  • Member State officials
  • Employer Organisations
  • Trade Unions
  • Relevant EU representative organisations employers/employees
  • Key companies in passenger and freight sectors
  • Scientists
  • Skills Councils

Representatives of organisations and firms or individual experts who wish to attend the workshop should inform Mr Paul Vroonhof, Team leader of the study on the trends and prospects of jobs and working conditions in transport, at the firm Panteia which is organising the event, by writing to the e-mail address: p.vroonhof@panteia.nl.



27 March 2014

Transport Business Summit 2014: Transport – Driving Europe’s Economy


27 March 2014, Brussels, Belgium

Reduced cost, greater flexibility, better access to markets and more sustainable technologies: European transport policy has improved in many ways to create new opportunities for business. The second Transport Business Summit will bring together business leaders and decision-makers to discuss how transport can contribute to Europe’s goals for jobs and growth.

Hosted by the European Commission, Vice-President Siim Kallas and the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, the conference will feature Mario Monti, former Prime Minister of Italy as the keynote speaker as well as prominent transport industry panelists.

More information will come shortly, but be sure to block your agendas today!

We look forward to seeing you in Brussels. Further details, including conference registration instructions, will follow soon. Feel free to contact Cecoforma who is organising the Transport Business Summit on behalf of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport at: info@transportbusinesssummit.eu

 
 #EUTransport 



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