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Brussels, 8 March 2013
Transport Council – 11 March 2013
The EU's Council of transport ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday 11 March under the Irish Presidency. From the European Commission, Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport and mobility, will present agenda items on rail interoperability, occurrence reporting in civil aviation and the Clean Power for Transport initiative.
A press conference will be held at around 13:40 in the press room of the Council.
The Commission's proposal for the recast of the interoperability directive is included in the Fourth Railway Package adopted by the Commission on 30 January 2013.
The EU railway market has seen massive changes, gradually introduced by three legislative ‘railway packages’ intended to open up national markets and make railways more competitive and interoperable at EU level. The Commission has come forward with the Fourth Railway Package in order to enhance the quality and efficiency of rail services by removing the remaining obstacles.
The recast directive on the interoperability of the rail system within the EU is a component of the Fourth Railway Package, which is focused on the removal of remaining administrative and technical barriers, in particular by establishing a single authorization for railway vehicles and a single certificate for railway undertakings. This will contribute to increasing economies of scale for railway undertakings active across the EU, decreasing administrative costs and accelerating administrative procedures and avoiding discrimination.
Today’s policy debate allows the Commission to answer specific concerns expressed by Member States and clarify some of the most sensitive measures proposed. It should provide to the Council preparatory bodies (COREPER and Working Party) policy guidance for further progress in the analysis of the Commission proposal.
For more information: IP/13/65
Occurrence reporting in civil aviation
The European Commission proposed on 19 December 2012 new rules aiming to decrease the number of aircraft accidents and fatalities through better use of data on occurrences. An occurrence is any type of event significant in the context of aviation safety which might or might not have resulted in an actual accident but which merits being reported and analysed. In addition, the new rules promote more efficient exchange of information and safety analysis between Member States.
This legislative proposal is a core element of the future European aviation safety which aims to shift Europe towards a proactive and evidence-based safety system, i.e. a system that attempts to prevent accidents based on the collection and analysis of data, rather than simply reacting after accidents.
In the Council, the discussion on the text of the proposal has made good progress thanks to the Irish Presidency. The European Commission considers an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council under the current legislature ambitious but realistic.
For more information:
Press release - Commission proposes new rules to prevent aircraft accidents (19/12/2012)
Memo on occurrence reporting in civil aviation (19/02/2012)
Clean Power for Transport initiative
On 24 January 2013, the Commission announced an ambitious package of measures to boost the market up-take of alternative fuels in transport. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts by Member States and European industry have been un-coordinated and insufficient, leading to fragmentation. The Commission is therefore proposing a minimum of clean fuels infrastructure coverage for Member States such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas and EU wide implementation with common technical specifications.
The Clean Power for Transport package consists of a communication on a European alternative fuels strategy, a draft 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 Council will exchange views on the communication and draft directive.
For more information: