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Brussels, 23.06.2010

Transport Council – 24 June 2010

The European Transport Council will meet in Luxembourg on 24 June. The main points on the agenda are the EU-2020 strategy, the European Commission's action plan on urban mobility, adoption by the Council of the second stage EU–US air services agreement, the follow-up to the volcano ash cloud crisis and the report on security scanners.

EU-2020 strategy

Ministers will discuss the EU2020 Strategy proposed in March by the European Commission. The objective is twofold: to exit the crisis and to prepare the EU economy for the challenges of the next decade. Europe 2020 sets out a strategy to achieve high levels of employment, a low carbon economy, higher productivity and increased social cohesion. This will be done through concrete actions at both EU and national levels. By stressing the need to  modernise  Europe's transport system, the strategy explicitly recognises the important role of transport in making the economy function, re-gain strength and be able to respond to new political challenges.

Ministers will have a policy debate on the role of transport in the strategy, having in mind that the strategy is not just a vision but a practical program of reforms. The Commission will adopt by the end of the year a White Paper, which will include a transport action programme until 2020. The White Paper will set out the concrete actions required to modernise the transport sector and address the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy.

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Commission action plan on urban mobility

The Council will discuss Council conclusions on the action plan on urban mobility presented by the European Commission in September 2009. A broad stakeholder consultation process - following the publication of the Green Paper "Towards a new culture for urban mobility" in 2007 - allowed identifying 20 short-term actions with clear EU added value for implementation by the Commission in the field of urban transport. These actions support and complement local initiatives to improve the traffic situation in urban areas and help mitigate the negative impacts of urban transport on the climate, the environment, and citizens' health.

The action plan on urban mobility facilitates city efforts aimed at

  • Improving the quality of public transport

  • Reducing air pollution

  • Addressing the transport needs of citizens with reduced mobility

  • Testing and implementing new technologies and novel concepts for urban transport

  • Making better use of existing transport infrastructure

  • Rebalancing the different transport modes such as private car use, public transport, walking and cycling.

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Second stage of the EU–US air services agreement

The Council will be considering the adoption of a second stage air services agreement with the United States. The proposed second stage agreement builds on the existing first stage "Open Skies" agreement in place since 2008 by:

  • further opening market-access opportunities, including greater access to the US "Fly America" programme for European companies

  • deepening regulatory cooperation across a wide spectrum of regulatory issues, including joint work to tackle the environmental effects of aviation

  • launching a process towards the removal of transatlantic market access barriers, including the possibility of reforming legislation on airline investment

The proposed second stage agreement results from the negotiations with the United States which started in May 2008 and concluded with the initialling of the draft agreement on 25 March 2010.

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Follow-up to the volcano ash cloud crisis

Following the eruption of the Eyjafjalla volcano in Iceland in April 2010, several actions have been undertaken at EU level to alleviate its consequences. The extraordinary Transport Council of 4 May had agreed conclusions and the European Commission will now report on the implementation and the progress made.

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Security scanners

The European Commission issued on 15 June 2010 a communication of the use of security scanners at EU airports at the request of the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission will now present the report to the Transport Council and seek the views of the ministers in the light of the factual information gathered in the report.

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