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Lithuania

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2007 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 706 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 507 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 707 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1750 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1406 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1204 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its July 1997 Opinion, the Commission considered that Lithuania would probably be able to comply with most of the Community transport acquis in the medium term. Accession should therefore not pose significant problems for Lithuania in this sector, provided that adequate attention was paid, in the pre-accession period, to safety improvements (especially maritime safety), harmonisation of environmental standards in transport (air pollution, noise) and acquis implementation in the road haulage and railway sectors. The Commission also called for Lithuania's administrative structures, including the bodies supervising such areas as safety, to be rapidly reinforced.

The November 1998 Report concluded that progress had been made in this sector, particularly in adopting and implementing the acquis, but stressed the need to improve maritime and aviation safety.

In 1999, the Commission considered that Lithuania had to continue the reform of its maritime, railway and aviation administrations. This reform was a requirement for further progress on alignment with the acquis.

The November 2000 Report noted that Lithuania had recorded significant progress, particularly in the fields of road transport safety, air transport and maritime safety. However, there were still a considerable number of technical details which had to be implemented, on a legislative level, on the basis of the ministerial Strategic Plan and Objectives for Transport and Communications Sectors until 2010.

The November 2001 Report emphasized that Lithuania was continuing to align its legislation with the acquis, particularly with regard to road transport safety, railway restructuring and civil aviation, including strengthening relevant administrative capacity.

The October 2002 Report noted that Lithuania had continued to align its legislation with the acquis and had made further progress, particularly in the field of road and maritime transport, as well as strengthening administrative capacity in those sectors.

The 2003 report emphasises that Lithuania is essentially meeting the commitments in the transport sector. However, it must complete the transposition of the railway acquis, in particular as regards interoperability. In the areas of road and maritime transport, Lithuania needs to adopt implementing legislation and reinforce its administrative capacity. Lastly, in the area of air transport, Lithuania needs to strengthen administrative capacity and become a member of the Joint Aviation Authorities.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

Community transport policy consists of initiatives in three fundamental areas.

The Europe Agreement provides for harmonisation of Lithuanian legislation with Community law, co-operation aimed at restructuring and modernising transport, improvement of access to the transport market, facilitation of transit and achievement of operating standards comparable to those in the Community. The White Paper focuses on measures for the accomplishment of internal market conditions in the transport sector, including such aspects as competition, legislative harmonisation and standards.

EVALUATION

As regards horizontal issues, further emphasis has been given to the modernisation of the main transport infrastructure corridors with investments of about EUR 50 million during the last year. Lithuania has approved the final report on Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment (TINA) of October 1999, which should form the basis for extending the Trans-European Networks to Lithuania.
With regard to transport of dangerous goods, an important step forward has been the adoption of the Law on Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Roads, Railways and Inland Waterways and the adoption of further secondary legislation.

In the land transport sector, most progress was achieved regarding the transport of dangerous goods by road, market access, social legislation and safety. Implementing Ministerial orders have been adopted concerning the minimum level of training for drivers in the transport sector, training procedures for drivers transporting dangerous goods, technical requirements for road transport vehicles and the use of tachographs. Furthermore the Government approved implementing rules on the carriage of dangerous goods by road and on the description of forms and examples of motor-vehicles user's certificates and driver's licences. The European Agreement on International Occasional Carriage of Passengers by Bus (INTERBUS) was ratified by the Lithuanian Transport Minister in September 2001.
In 2001, progress was achieved in the field of road transport with regard to social rules, technology and safety. However, more work is required with regard to strengthening administrative capacity, in particular through specialised training of staff, social rules (particularly driving times and rest periods), and vehicle taxation.
In 2002, good progress was made in aligning legislation with the acquis. However, further efforts still need to be made with the transposition and implementation of social rules.
In 2003, the framework legislation was transposed. However, as regards the implementation of social rules, the level of checks has to be increased in order to meet acquis requirements. At the same time, cooperation with the Labour Inspectorate and the police needs to be implemented effectively. Administrative capacity should be strengthened in the Ministry of Transport.

In the railway sector, the restructuring and liberalisation process of Lithuanian Railways is ongoing, and in April 2000 the Government adopted a Regulation on the Reorganisation of Lithuanian Railways, to be completed in 2002.
In 2001, the Government approved some legally binding guidelines on the reform of the railway sector. These should stimulate the legal and economic restructuring of Lithuanian Railways and ensure further alignment with the acquis, including the new Community legislation of 2001 on accelerating the liberalisation of railways. Restructuring and modernisation of the sector should continue in order to make rail transport more competitive and cost-effective. The capacity of the State Railway Inspectorate and other railway administrations needs to be strengthened. Transposition remains to be completed with regard to the revised railway acquis, in particular the provisions such as separation of accounts between the infrastructure manager and the operator.

In the inland waterways sector, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted in August 2000 an Amendment and Supplement to the Code on Inland Water Transport regulating. the access of foreign vessels to Lithuanian inland waterways. Secondary legislation was adopted on minimum technical requirements and technical operation of inland waterways vessels.

In the field of air transport, the Lithuanian Parliament passed the new Law on Civil Aviation in July 2000 which forms the basis for a major reorganisation and strengthening of the civil aviation authorities. The Law provides for the establishment of a Civil Aviation Administration and a Civil Aviation Inspectorate. The new Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), set up in July 2001, is responsible for commercial air navigation services, regulatory issues and the Inspectorate of Civil Aviation for flight safety oversight.
In 2002, Lithuania approved new rules on the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents, which if need be are applied by the independent Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Commission.
On the technical level, Ministerial Orders have been adopted regarding Rules on Licensing of Specialists in Civil Aviation and on Registration and Marking of Civil Aircraft. Negotiations between the EU and Lithuania on the multilateral Agreement to establish a European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) were concluded at the end of 1999 and a bilateral protocol has been signed. Further efforts need to be concentrated on the necessary administrative restructuring under the new revised Civil Aviation Law.
The Government also approved the privatisation guidelines for the national carrier, Lithuanian Airlines. Full membership of the Joint Aviation Authorities remains to be achieved.

As regards maritime transport, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted the Law on Maritime Safety in August 2000, which provides for the establishment of the Lithuanian Safe Shipping Administration, as well as relevant amendments to the Law on Commercial Navigation and the Customs Code. The adoption of the Law on Klaipeda Seaport aims at ensuring free competition and equal business conditions to all economic entities in the territory of the national seaport.
Ministerial Orders were adopted on the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, Maintenance of Technical Facilities and Settings on Maritime Vessels, Transportation of Passengers and Baggage by Sea and Rules on the Issuing of Diplomas of Marine Grade and Qualification Certificates. Lithuania ratified the International Conventions on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic and on Civil Liability as well as the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation of Oil Pollution Damage.
The Safe Shipping Administration was established in 2001. However, Lithuania needs to strengthen its maritime administration in order to further align with the acquis and to lower the detention rate concerning its own fleet. Care should also be taken that there is a sufficient number of trained inspectors to apply the acquis.
In 2002, the Government approved the "Lithuanian Shipping Development Strategy", which aims at introducing a broad and fundamental policy approach in the field of maritime transport. In 2003, Lithuania adopted a complementary action plan in order to further reduce the detention rate of Lithuanian flagged ships.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 28.01.2004
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