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C/01/448

Brussels, 6 and 7 December 2001

14660/01 (Presse 448)

2395th Council meeting

- TRANSPORT AND TELECOMUNICATIONS -

Brussels, 6 and 7 December 2001

President : Ms Isabelle DURANT

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mobility and Transport

Mr Rik DAEMS

Minister for Telecommunications and Public Undertakings, with responsibility for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, the Liberal Professions and the Self-Employed of the Kingdom of Belgium

CONTENTS

PARTICIPANTS 5

ITEMS DEBATED

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

TELECOM PACKAGE 7

PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA AND THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY IN THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS SECTOR 8

NETWORK AND INFORMATION SECURITY Resolution 9

eEUROPE 2002 15

TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY PACKAGE 7th report 15

OTHER BUSINESS 16

    - Action plan: Safer use of the Internet 16

    - e-Government Ministerial Conference 16

TRANSPORT

SHIPPING 17

    - EUROPEAN MARITIME SAFETY AGENCY 17

    - FORMALITIES FOR SHIPS ARRIVING IN AND DEPARTING FROM PORTS 17

HORIZONTAL QUESTIONS 18

    - WHITE PAPER 18

    - GALILEO 19

AVIATION 20

    - CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY QUESTIONS 20

    - IMPACT OF THE EVENTS OF 11 SEPTEMBER ON THE AIR TRANSPORT ECONOMY 22

    - OCCURRENCE REPORTING IN CIVIL AVIATION 22

    - HARMONISATION OF TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES (JAR OPS 1) 22

    - SAFETY REQUIREMENTS AND ATTESTATION OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE FOR CABIN CREWS IN CIVIL AVIATION 23

    - AIRCRAFT NOISE 23

    - NEGOTIATIONS FOR A TRANSATLANTIC COMMON AVIATION AREA (TCAA) 24

LAND TRANSPORT 25

    - TRAINING OF PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS FOR THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS OR PASSENGERS BY ROAD 25

    - HARMONISATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT 25

    - SPEED LIMITATION DEVICES 26

    - SAFETY IN TUNNELS 26

OTHER BUSINESS 27

    - Ratification and implementation of the HNS Convention 27

    - Follow-up to the Göteborg conclusions 27

    - Land transport: digital tachograph 27

    - Road safety: protection of pedestrians 27

ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

TRANSPORT

  • Land transport I

  •  EC-Romania road transport Agreement on the carriage of goods I

  • Shipping I

  •  Port State control I

  •  Ship inspection and survey organisations * II

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Postal services II

INTERNAL MARKET

  • Dangerous substances and preparations (PentaBDE) II

ENVIRONMENT

  • Promoting environmental NGOs III

CUSTOMS UNION

  • Industrial products suspension of common customs tariff duties III

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Enlargement III

DEVELOPMENT

  • Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria IV

ITEM ADOPTED BY THE WRITTEN PROCEDURE

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

  • Cross-border payments in euro V

INFORMATION ON THE ITEM ADOPTED BY THE SIMPLIFIED CODECISION PROCEDURE

ENVIRONMENT

  • Emissions from motor vehicles (cold starts) VI

_________________

For further information call 02-285.67.00 or 02-285.68.08

PARTICIPANTS

The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows:

Belgium :

Ms Isabelle DURANT

Mr Rik DAEMS

Mr José DARAS

Deputy Prime Minister for Mobility and Transport

Minister for Telecommunications and Public Undertakings, with responsibility for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, the Liberal Professions and the Self-Employed

Vice-Minister-President and Minister for Transport, Mobility and Energy (Walloon Region)

Denmark :
Mr Helge SANDER

Mr Flemming HANSEN

Minister for Science, Technology and Development

Minister for Transport

Germany :
Mr Alfred TACKE

Mr Henner WITTLING

State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology

State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing

Greece :
Mr Christos VERELIS

Mr Georgios ANOMERITIS

Mr Spyros VOUGIAS

Minister for Transport and Communications

Minister for Merchant Shipping

State Secretary for Transport and Communications

Spain :
Ms Ana Maria BIRULÉS Y BELTRÁN

Mr Francisco ÁLVAREZ-CASCOS FERNÁNDEZ

Mr Baudilio TOME MUGURUZA

Minister for Science and Technology

Minister for Internal Development

State Secretary for Telecommunications and the Information Society

France :
Mr Jean-Claude GAYSSOT

Mr Philippe ETIENNE

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing

Deputy Permanent Representative

Ireland :
Ms Mary O'ROURKE

Mr James BRENNAN

Minister for Public Enterprise

Deputy Permanent Representative

Italy :
Mr Maurizio GASPARRI

Mr Pietro LUNARDI

Minister for Communications

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Luxembourg :
Mr Henri GRETHEN

Mr Marc UNGEHEUER

Minister for Transport

Deputy Permanent Representative

Netherlands :
Ms Tineke NETEKENBOS

Ms Monique DE VRIES

Minister for Comunications and Public Works

State Secretary for Transport, Communications and Public Works

Austria :
Ms Monika FORSTINGERFederal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology
Portugal :
Mr Rui CUNHA

Mr José JUNQUEIRO

Deputy State Secretary for Transport

State Secretary for Maritime and Port Administration

Finland :

Mr Olli-Pekka HEINONEN

Mr Juhani KORPELA

Minister for Transport and Communications

State Secretary for Transport and Communications

Sweden :
Ms Gun ERIKSSONState Secretary for Industry, Employment and Communications

United Kingdom :

Mr John SPELLAR

Mr Bill STOW

Minister of State, Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Minister for Transport

Deputy Permanent Representative

Commission :
Ms Loyola DE PALACIO

Mr Erkki LIIKANEN

Vice-President

Member

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

TELECOM PACKAGE

The Council took note of the progress of work on the Telecom package, taking into account in particular the outcome of the Coreper meetings and the second-reading recommendations by the competent parliamentary committees. In the light of these discussions, the Presidency will begin a trialogue with the Commission and the European Parliament, which will make a decision in plenary session on the Telecom package on second reading on 12 December 2001. These actions by the Presidency are aimed at reaching an agreement between the two European co-legislative institutions before the end of this year, as requested by the European Council, thereby avoiding a conciliation procedure.

It will be remembered that the discussions under way on the common regulatory framework for networks and electronic communications services are concerned with the following projects:

    Framework Directive, which aims to establish the principles governing the national regulatory authorities (NRAs). In particular, it defines their duties with regard to the distribution and granting of radio spectrum and numbering as well as the granting of rights of way;

    Directive on access and interconnection, which aims to give priority to commercial negotiations between the parties for access and interconnection agreements by setting a clear framework for whenever NRA intervention is necessary, for instance to correct any distortion of the market;

    Directive on authorisation, which obliges recourse to be had to general authorisations, except for the granting of radio spectrum and numbering, and sets new limits on the conditions that can be imposed on service suppliers;

    Directive on universal service and users' rights, which, by bringing together the current Community provisions on universal service and users' rights, does not provide for the universal service to be extended, but introduces a procedure for reviewing its scope;

    Decision on radio spectrum policy, which aims to grant the Commission, under an appropriate Committee procedure, the power to propose measures to harmonise radio spectrum use; the common position was forwarded to the European Parliament on 22 October 2001.

The package also includes the proposal for a Directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, which is dealt with in detail below.

PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA AND THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY IN THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS SECTOR

The Council, on the basis of compromise proposals by the Presidency, reached political agreement by qualified majority, with the Luxembourg delegation voting against, on the proposal for a Directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector.

The Council notably reached a solution on the key question of unsolicited communications. As in the Commission proposal, the current wording of Article 13 provides for an extension to electronic mail of the requirement to obtain the prior consent (opt-in) of the target subscriber to use this means of communication for commercial purposes, while providing some flexibility or clarification in the application of the principle.

Seeking to strike a balance between the protection of personal data and the needs of the law-enforcement authorities, the Council agreed to specify in the Directive the scope and conditions of measures that Member States may take to defend certain important public interests, in particular the possibility of keeping data for a limited period of time where justified for the above reasons, in compliance with the general principles of Community law.

Finally, on the basis of a European Parliament amendment, the Council clarified in its draft Directive what treatment should be reserved for "cookies" and spyware, in particular the conditions for the legitimate use of these devices, in compliance with Directive 95/46/EC.

NETWORK AND INFORMATION SECURITY Resolution

The Council adopted the following Resolution on a common approach and specific actions in the area of network and information security

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Responding to

the Conclusions of the Stockholm European Council of 23/24 March 2001 that "the Council together with the Commission will develop a comprehensive strategy on security of electronic networks including practical implementing action",

Having regard to

    1. the Resolution of the Council of 30 May 2001 eEurope Action Plan: Information and Network Security;

    2. the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Network and Information Security: Proposal for a European Policy Approach (1);

    3. the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament eEurope 2002: Impact and priorities (2);

4. the eEurope 2002 Action Plan endorsed by the Feira European Council of 19/20 June 2000;

    5. the Council Recommendation on common information technology security evaluation criteria (3);

      6. the Council Recommendation on contact points maintaining a 24-hour service for combating high-tech crime (4);

7. the Communication from the Commission on cyber crime (5);

    8. Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (6);

    9. Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data; (7)

    10. Directive 97/33/EC on interconnection with telecommunications with regard to ensuring universal service and interoperability through application of the principles of Open Network Provision (ONP) (8);

    11. Directive 97/66/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications sector (9);

    12. Directive 98/10/EC on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal service for telecommunications in a competitive environment (10);

13. Directive 1999/93/EC on a Community framework for electronic signatures (11);

Whereas:

    1. networks and communication systems have become a key factor in economic and social development and their availability and integrity is crucial to essential infrastructures, as well as to most public and private services and the economy as a whole;

    2. in the light of the increasingly important role played in the economy by electronic services, the security of networks and information systems is of growing public interest;

3. the security of transactions and data has become essential for the supply of electronic services, including e-commerce and online public services, and low confidence in security could slow down the widespread introduction of such services;

    4. there is a need for individuals, businesses, administrations, and other organisations to protect their own information, data and communication systems by deploying effective security technologies, where appropriate;

    5. the private sector, acting in a competitive market environment, and through its capacity to innovate offers a variety of solutions adapted to genuine market needs;

    6. the complex nature of network and information security means that in developing policy measures in this field, public authorities must take into account a range of political, economic, organisational and technical aspects, and be aware of the decentralised and global character of communication networks;

    7. policy measures can be more effective if they are part of a European approach, respect the effective functioning of the Internal Market, build on increased cooperation between Member States and internationally, and support innovation and the ability of European enterprises to compete at global level;

    8. a substantial body of legislation relevant to network and information security is already in place, notably as part of the EU's legal framework for telecommunications, electronic commerce and electronic signatures;

    9. there are legal requirements imposed on providers of telecommunications services to take appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard the security of their services; these measures shall ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk represented;

    10. the international standard ISO-15408 (Common Criteria) has become a recognised system for defining security requirements for computer and network products and evaluating whether a particular product meets those requirements;

    11. the international standard ISO-17799 (Information technology Code of practice for information security management) and similar national guidelines are becoming recognised practice for security management in private and public organisations;

    12. internet infrastructure should permit a high degree of access to networks and services, and be managed and operated in a robust and secure manner, e.g. by the adoption of open standards and internet security protocols.

Considering, in line with Council Resolution of 30 May 2001 on the "eEurope Action Plan: Information and Network Security", that network and information security is about:

 ensuring the availability of services and data,

 preventing the disruption and unauthorised interception of communications,

 confirmation that data which has been sent, received or stored are complete and unchanged,

 securing the confidentiality of data,

 protection of information systems against unauthorised access,

 protecting against attacks involving malicious software,

 securing dependable authentication.

THEREFORE

Asks the Member States

    1. by the end of 2002 to launch or strengthen information and education campaigns to increase awareness of network and information security; to specifically target such actions at business, private users and public administrations; to elaborate such awareness raising actions closely with the private sector, including inter alia Internet Service Providers, and to encourage private sector-led initiatives;

    2. to promote best practices in information security management notably in small and medium sized companies based, where appropriate, on internationally recognised standards;

    3. by the end of 2002 to strengthen or promote the importance of security concepts as part of computer education and training;

    4. by mid 2002 to review the effectiveness of national arrangements regarding computer emergency response, which could include virus alert systems, with a view to strengthening, where necessary, their ability to prevent, detect, and react efficiently at national and international level against network and information systems disruption and attack;

    5. to promote the use of the Common Criteria standard (ISO-15408) and to facilitate mutual recognition of related certificates;

by the end of 2002 to take significant steps towards effective and interoperable security solutions based on recognised standards where possible which could include open source software in their e-government and e-procurement activities, and towards the introduction of electronic signatures to allow those public services that require strong authentication also to be offered on-line;

    7. where they choose to introduce electronic and biometrics identification systems for public or official use, to cooperate where appropriate on technological developments and to examine any possible interoperability requirements;

    8. with a view to facilitating Community and international cooperation, to exchange information with each other and with the Commission on the bodies primarily responsible within their territory for network and information security matters;

Welcomes the intention of the Commission

    1. in 2002 to facilitate an exchange of best practice regarding awareness-raising actions and to draw up an initial inventory of the various national information campaigns;

    2. in 2002 to make proposals to reinforce the Community's dialogue and cooperation with international organisations and partners on network security, in particular on the implications of the increasing dependency on electronic communication networks; and in this context to propose, by the end of 2002, a strategy for a more stable and secure operation of the Internet infrastructure;

    3. by the end of 2002 to propose adequate measures to promote the ISO 15408 (Common Criteria) standard, to facilitate mutual recognition of certificates, and to improve the process by which products are evaluated, i.e. by developing adequate protection profiles;

    4. by the end of 2002 to prepare a report on technologies and applications of electronic and biometric authentication of identity with a view to improving the effectiveness of such systems, in particular through interoperability;

    5. by mid-2002 to make proposals after consultation with the Member States and the private sector for the establishment of a cyber-security task force to build on national efforts to both enhance network and information security and to enhance Member States' ability, individually and collectively, to respond to major network and information security problems;

    6. by the end of 2002, to explore, in collaboration with Member States, the possible options for mechanisms by which Member States and the Commission can exchange information and experience on their achievement of the objectives of this Resolution, taking into account the cross-pillar dimension of network and information security, and to explore how the private sector can be best involved in this exchange of information and experience.

Welcomes the increased focus of European research activities on security matters;

Stresses the need for more research activities, in particular on security mechanisms and their interoperability, network reliability and protection, advanced cryptography, privacy enhancement technologies and security in wireless communications.

Calls upon

     suppliers and service providers to strengthen security as an integral and essential part of their products and services;

     the European private sector suppliers and service providers and their representative groupings to participate more actively in international standardisation activities and organise themselves into appropriate fora to contribute to the objectives of this Resolution."

eEUROPE 2002

The Council took note of the presentation by Commissioner LIIKANEN of the communication "eEurope 2002: creating an EU framework for the exploitation of public sector information."

It will be remembered that this communication proposes a series of actions to develop a coordinated approach in several areas in order to put in place favourable conditions for an improved commercial and non-commercial use of public-sector information. In this regard, the Commission is examining the possibility of adopting a legal instrument, either a Recommendation or a proposal for a Directive.

     

The communication concludes that improving the conditions of use of such information will help European businesses in the information sector to create added-value information products. It will thus contribute to employment and growth. In addition, such a development could considerably improve information flows on the internal market, and thus the functioning of that market.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY PACKAGE 7th report

The Council took note of a brief oral presentation by Commissioner LIIKANEN of the "Seventh report on the implementation of the telecommunications regulatory package".

It should be noted that this report, which was adopted by the Commission on 26 November 2001, examines progress in the implementation of the European Union's regulatory framework since the adoption of the last communication on that subject in December 2000. Accordingly, the report outlines the major developments on the market and highlights the regulatory matters that are still to be resolved, in particular at the dawn of a new regulatory framework in that area.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • Action plan: Safer use of the Internet

    The Council heard a briefing from Commissioner LIIKANEN regarding progress under the multiannual Community action plan on promoting safer use of the Internet. The action plan has been in force for four years and is due to expire on 31 December 2002 but the Commission intends to make a proposal in the second half of 2002 to extend it for a further two years.

  • e-Government Ministerial Conference

    President DAEMS drew the Council's attention to a Ministerial Declaration published after the Ministerial eGovernment Conference held in Brussels on 29 and 30 November 2001. In that declaration, the Ministers from the Member States, the EFTA States and the candidate countries in particular stressed the importance of rapid eGovernment developments as part of the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment and of the eEurope Action Plan.

TRANSPORT

SHIPPING

  • EUROPEAN MARITIME SAFETY AGENCY

    The Council reached political agreement on the draft Regulation establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency. After the usual legal and linguistic revision, the text will be forwarded to the European Parliament as a common position under the codecision procedure.

    This specialised maritime safety agency will provide Member States and the Commission with the necessary technical and scientific support to properly apply the Community legislation in the field of maritime safety, thereby contributing to ensuring a high, uniform level of maritime safety and pollution prevention in the Community. The Directive proposed by the Commission is part of the second package of measures presented following the Erika accident.

  • FORMALITIES FOR SHIPS ARRIVING IN AND DEPARTING FROM PORTS

    The Council adopted the Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and departing from ports of the Member States of the Community. Adoption after the first reading in the codecision procedure was made possible by the close cooperation between the European Parliament and the Council.

    The purpose of the Directive, proposed by the Commission in response to the Council Resolution of December 2001 on short sea shipping, is to simplify the reporting formalities to be fulfilled for ships calling at ports by introducing uniform use of IMO FAL forms, thus also promoting short sea shipping.

HORIZONTAL QUESTIONS

  • WHITE PAPER

    The Council took note of the Presidency conclusions on the White Paper "European Transport policy for 2010: time to decide":

    "The Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on the basis of the proceedings of the Council, of the informal Council meeting on transport and the environment on 15 September 2001 and of the Presidency seminars on various aspects of the White Paper:

    • Broadly subscribes to the Commission's assessment of developments in the field of transport in the Community since the publication of its previous White Paper in 1992;

    • Notes that the uneven development of the various modes of transport has helped to tilt the balance even further towards non-sustainable modes of transport;

    • Recalls, in accordance with the conclusions of the Göteborg European Council, that the price of using different modes of transport should reflect the real costs to society and that action is needed to bring about a decoupling of transport growth and GDP growth, by ensuring optimum and appropriate use of each mode of transport through a fair and equitable pricing system;

    • Notes that promoting intermodality is central to redressing the balance between modes of transport, but that in practice shifts of mode can be achieved only very gradually;

    • Considers that the opening-up of the transport market must be accompanied by improvement in the quality of transport activities, particularly in social and organisational terms;

    • Considers that the setting of common flexible environmental targets for the transport sector at Community level would facilitate efforts to integrate transport and environment policies, provided that the differences in situation from one Member State to another are taken into account;

    • Stresses the importance, because of its internal logic, of realising the trans-European network in the context of any action seeking a better balance between modes of transport;

    • Hopes that the Council will examine the White Paper closely and that the Commission will submit proposals for its implementation in accordance with the priorities which emerge from the Council's future discussions."

  • GALILEO

    The Council stressed the importance it attaches to the GALILEO project, a European satellite radionavigation system.

    It carried out clarification of the draft Regulation and the statutes of the Joint Undertaking which is to manage the GALILEO development phase (up to 2005) and prepare for the subsequent deployment phase (up to 2008). Proceedings on this matter will also have to continue on the details of the financial viability of the project with a view to reaching overall agreement at the next Council meeting in March 2002.

    The Council noted that the matter might be discussed at the European Council in Laeken.

AVIATION

  • CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY QUESTIONS

      Rules in the field of civil aviation security

    The Council reached political agreement on the draft Regulation on establishing common rules in the field of civil aviation security. After the usual finalisation by the legal and linguistic experts, the text will be formally adopted as a common position and forwarded to the European Parliament under the codecision procedure.

    This dossier is part of the action plan against terrorism adopted following the Council meeting on 14 September and the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on 21 September. In addition, the European Council in Ghent expressed a wish to have the Commission proposals on security adopted without delay.

    The control measures on the ground in Community airports (passengers, luggage, etc.) set out in the Annex to the Regulation are based on ECAC recommendations (document 30) and have been adapted to the new situation following the events of 11 September.

Report from the ad hoc Multidisciplinary Group

When discussing the item, the Council took account of the outcome of the proceedings of the ad hoc Multidisciplinary Group jointly chaired by the Presidency and the Commission on civil aviation security measures additional to those set out in the above Regulation.

The ad hoc Group identified the measures which could be swiftly implemented and those requiring further work.

The Council stressed the usefulness of the recommendations contained in the report as legislative measures that it would be advisable to take and of which implementation ought to be encouraged.

It asked the Commission, on the basis of the work programme presented by the Group, to act on those recommendations by presenting new legislative proposals as soon as possible.

The Council will return to this dossier at its March meeting to check on action taken and proceedings in progress.

  • IMPACT OF THE EVENTS OF 11 SEPTEMBER ON THE AIR TRANSPORT ECONOMY

    The Council acknowledged the extent of the difficulties generated by the fall-out from 11 September, which has abruptly increased the difficulties in the sector.

    With regard to insurance, the Presidency noted that the Member States wish to allow those not in a position to return to normal operation of the market to maintain the current arrangements until the end of March.

    Within the ad hoc Group, the Commission will continue to monitor the arrangements put in place to guarantee that premiums return to a market situation. It will have to continue to check on notification by the Member States in order to ensure that Community rules on State aid are respected.

    With regard to relations with third countries, a majority of the Member States think it necessary to consider common defence mechanisms and therefore note with interest that the Commission intends to present a proposal to that effect in the next few months.

  • OCCURRENCE REPORTING IN CIVIL AVIATION

  • HARMONISATION OF TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES (JAR OPS 1)

    The Council noted that work on these dossiers had made enormous progress and should continue over the next few months.

  • SAFETY REQUIREMENTS AND ATTESTATION OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE FOR CABIN CREWS IN CIVIL AVIATION

    The Council took note of progress on this dossier. It noted the existence of substantive differences of opinion between the Member States on the advisability of legislating on this matter.

    It will be remembered that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, the European Council, at its extraordinary meeting on 21 September 2001, called upon the Transport Council to take the necessary measures to strengthen air transport security, including technical training for crews. As a consequence, the Presidency decided to resume examination of the proposal for a Directive on training of cabin crews, as well as the proposal for a Regulation on JAR-OPS.

  • AIRCRAFT NOISE

    The Council took note of the Commission presentation of its proposal for a Directive on aircraft noise. It instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to examine the proposal without delay. It also appealed to the European Parliament to deal with it urgently, the objective being to have the Directive enter into force before 2 April 2002, the date on which the hushkits Regulation, unless replaced in time, will become applicable to third-country aircraft.

    It will be remembered that, following the agreement reached at the 33rd Assembly of the ICAO in Montreal on 5 October 2001, this proposal for a Directive is intended to solve the problems created by the hushkits Regulation and the complaint lodged with the ICAO under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention.

  • NEGOTIATIONS FOR A TRANSATLANTIC COMMON AVIATION AREA (TCAA)

    The Council took note of the Commission's views on this item.

    It should be noted that the Commission considers it advisable in the present context to resume discussions on this issue in order to reactivate negotiations with the United States in which the Member States' interests would be collectively safeguarded by the Commission with greater force.

LAND TRANSPORT

  • TRAINING OF PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS FOR THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS OR PASSENGERS BY ROAD

    Pending receipt of the European Parliament's opinion, the Council adopted a general policy approach to the draft Directive on the training of professional drivers for the carriage of goods or passengers by road.

    The draft Directive presents a set of flexible, efficient arrangements designed both to achieve a similar level of competence in all the Member States and to enable them to organise training in accordance with national practice. The establishment of such training will have positive effects on road safety and raising the status of the profession.

  • HARMONISATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT

    The Council took note of the progress made on the proposal for a Regulation on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport, which the Commission had presented at the Council meeting on 16 October 2001.

    It instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to continue to expedite examination of the proposal.

    The proposal submitted by the Commission on 15 October 2001 is intended to clarify, simplify and update the provisions concerned for the purpose of facilitating the interpretation and monitoring of the common standards. The proposal also aims to provide a solid technical basis for the efficient and uniform use of the new digital tachograph. On initial examination, the proposal was favourably received by the delegations.

  • SPEED LIMITATION DEVICES

    Pending receipt of the European Parliament's Opinion, the Council adopted a general policy approach to the amendment of Directive 92/6/EEC on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehicles in the Community.

    Directive 92/6/EEC provides for the installation and use of speed limitation devices on certain heavy goods vehicles, viz. on category M3 vehicles (carriage of passengers) with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes and on category N3 vehicles (carriage of goods). The draft Directive extends the scope of Directive 92/6 EEC to cover category M2 motor vehicles, category M3 vehicles with a maximum mass of more than 5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes, and category N2 vehicles.

  • SAFETY IN TUNNELS

    The Council expressed concern at the number of serious accidents in several European tunnels and stressed the urgent need to reinforce safety measures. It therefore welcomed the Commission's intention of submitting a legislative proposal on tunnel safety at the beginning of 2002.

    In the White Paper on European transport policy for 2010, the Commission proposed to achieve the objective of a higher level of safety in tunnels by a twofold approach: firstly by transferring part of carriage of goods from road to rail and other modes of transport and, secondly, by establishing minimum safety standards for the users of road and rail tunnels forming part of the trans-European transport network. In addition, the Commission referred to certain features which should also contribute to greater safety in tunnels, such as updating the arrangements governing professional drivers' driving time and rest periods and the introduction of the digital tachograph.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • Ratification and implementation of the HNS Convention

    The Council took note of the intervention by the French and United Kingdom delegations on the need for swift ratification of the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS) (IMO). The Commission presented a proposal to that effect.

  • Follow-up to the Göteborg conclusions

    The Council took note of the information from the Presidency on the follow-up measures taken since 1 July 2001 on mobility in line with the conclusions of the European Council in Göteborg on the strategy for sustainable development.

  • Land transport: digital tachograph

    Following an intervention by the United Kingdom delegation in favour of amendment of the Regulation on a control device in transport, the Council took note of the positions of the various delegations on the matter.

  • Road safety: protection of pedestrians

    The Council took note of an intervention by the German delegation, which referred to the voluntary undertaking by the automobile industry to promote the protection of the most vulnerable road-users. With regard to the prohibition on fitting bull-bars, the German delegation pleaded for a binding regulatory provision applicable to all vehicles concerned.

ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

The documents whose references are given are available on the Council's Internet site http://consilium.europa.eu. Acts adopted with statements for the Council minutes which may be released to the public are indicated by an asterisk; these statements may be obtained by following the procedure indicated above or from the Press Office.)

TRANSPORT

Land transport

 EC-Romania road transport Agreement on the carriage of goods

    The Council adopted the Decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Romania establishing certain conditions for the carriage of goods by road and the promotion of combined transport. (8010/1/01)

    The purpose of the Agreement is, inter alia, to contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market by promoting transit traffic through Romania for internal transport between Greece and the other Member States. It will thus enable intra-Community trade to be conducted at the least possible cost to the public at large and to reduce to a minimum the administrative and technical obstacles which affect it. This Agreement is part of a package of three transit Agreements between the Community and, respectively, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary; the Agreement with Bulgaria entered into force on 1 May 2001 and the agreement with Hungary on 1 June 2001.

Shipping

     Port State control

    In accordance with the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 13 November 2001, the Council adopted the Directive concerning the enforcement, in respect of shipping using Community ports and sailing in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Member States, of international standards for ship safety, pollution prevention and shipboard living and working conditions (port State control). (3657/01)

    The Directive is part of the first package of measures presented by the Commission on maritime safety after the sinking of the Erika. The purpose of the Directive is to make inspections mandatory in accordance with a system of targeting vessels representing high risks established by the Paris Memorandum on port State control. In the case of certain categories of ship stricter measures provide, in particular, for mandatory expanded inspections and the refusal of access to Community ports. 

 Ship inspection and survey organisations *

    In accordance with the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 13 November 2001, the Council adopted the amendment to Directive 94/57/EC on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations. (3656/01)

    This Directive is part of the first package of measures presented by the Commission after the sinking of the Erika in December 1999 concerning the safety of the seaborne oil trade. The purpose of the Directive is to strengthen and harmonise the Community regime concerning authorised bodies, while simplifying the monitoring and reporting obligations imposed on Member States.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Postal services

The Council adopted its common position on the draft Directive amending Directive 97/67/EC with regard to the further opening to competition of Community postal services. (14091/01)

The Council approved the aims and the main features of the Commission proposal. In its common position, however, it made a number of amendments, the most significant of which concern:

  • the timetable for liberalisation;

  • the continued reserving of outgoing cross-border mail to the extent necessary to ensure provision of the universal service;

  • the procedure to be followed for the decisive step towards the full accomplishment of the internal market for postal services in 2009;

  • the removal of any definition of special services.

INTERNAL MARKET

Dangerous substances and preparations (PentaBDE)

The Council adopted its common position with a view to the adoption of a Directive amending for the 24th time Directive 76/769/EEC. The purpose of the Directive is to restrict the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations, and of pentabromodiphenyl ether (PentaBDE) in this instance. The common position will be sent to the European Parliament for its second reading in accordance with the codecision procedure. (12332/01)

Pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) is a brominated flame retardant used almost exclusively in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam for furniture and upholstery. The risks to the environment of pentaBDE have been assessed and have indicated the need to reduce the dangers arising from production and use of such foam.

ENVIRONMENT

Promoting environmental NGOs

Further to the political agreement reached at the last Environment Council meeting on 29 October 2001, the Council formally adopted its common position regarding the Decision laying down a Community action programme promoting non-governmental organisations primarily active in the field of environmental protection. (13397/01)

Pursuant to the codecision procedure, the common position will now be forwarded to the European Parliament for its second reading at the plenary session in December; the aim is to have the Decision adopted before the end of the year, which is when the current programme expires.

The programme aims to promote the systematic involvement of environmental NGOs in drawing up and implementing Community laws in the field of the environment. The draft Directive aims to introduce a five-year programme (2002-2006) which will be open to the NGOs of the Member States, the associated countries, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey and to NGOs in the Balkan countries taking part in the stabilisation and association process. The overall budget is EUR 32 million.

CUSTOMS UNION

Industrial products suspension of common customs tariff duties

The Council adopted the amendment to Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 as regards suspension on an autonomous basis of the common customs tariff duties on certain industrial products (bullion lead, ground maintenance simulators for civil aircraft).

(13527/01)

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Enlargement

The Council adopted several common positions of the Union with a view to the Accession Conferences at Ministerial level on 11 and 12 December 2001.

DEVELOPMENT

Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

Having agreed to all of the amendments voted by the European Parliament at first reading, the Council adopted definitively, in accordance with the codecision procedure, the Decision thus amended concerning the Community contribution to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The Decision provides that the Community shall contribute to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, EUR 60 million for 2001.

It is recalled that the joint Declaration of 31 May 2001 by the Council and the Commission and the European Parliament Resolution of 4 October 2001 on communicable diseases and poverty welcomed the proposal of the UN Secretary General to establish a Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and stressed that contributions to the Global Fund should be additional to existing resources.

ITEM ADOPTED BY THE WRITTEN PROCEDURE

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

Cross-border payments in euro

On 7 December 2001 under the written procedure the Council adopted, by qualified majority with the Austrian delegation voting against, the common position on the draft Regulation on cross-border payments in euro. (14562/01)

This decision is in accordance with the political agreement reached at the Internal Market, Consumer Affairs and Tourism Council on 26 November 2001, and follows finalisation of the text. The common position will be sent to the European Parliament immediately for the second reading under the codecision procedure.

The aim of the Regulation is, at the same time as the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2002, to reduce bank charges for cross-border payments in euro to bring them into line with those applying at national level for euro transactions.

The common position provides, in particular, for the dates of entry into force as regards charges for cross-border payments and credit transfers in euro, namely that:

     with effect from 1 July 2002, charges levied by an institution in respect of electronic payments up to EUR 12 500 would be the same as the charges levied for such payments within the State where the institution is located,

     with effect from 1 July 2003 at the latest, charges levied for cross-border credit transfers in euro of that amount would be the same as the charges levied for such payments transacted within the State where the institution is located,

     with effect from 1 January 2006, these amounts would be raised to EUR 50 000.

In addition, the common position covers Community currencies other than the euro, laying down that the Regulation would also apply to cross-border payments transacted in the currency of another Member State when the latter notifies the Commission of its decision to extend the Regulation's application to its currency.

INFORMATION ON THE ITEM ADOPTED BY THE SIMPLIFIED CODECISION PROCEDURE

Adoption by the "simplified" codecision procedure was brought in by the Amsterdam Treaty and means that the Council is no longer required to restate its opinion on an act if the European Parliament approves the common position or takes no decision. In both cases, the act in question is deemed to have been adopted in accordance with the Council's common position.

ENVIRONMENT

Emissions from motor vehicles (cold starts)

The Directive on measures to be taken against air pollution by emissions from motor vehicles (amending Directive 70/220/EEC) was adopted definitively after approval, without amendment at the second reading, by the European Parliament of the Council's common position. The act is therefore deemed to have been adopted in accordance with the Council's common position. (3663/01)

The Directive sets cold-start emission limits for certain light commercial vehicles and small vans which are not yet covered by current Community law, in particular:

     new types of light commercial vehicles (category N1) of weight class II (greater than 1305 kg and up to and including 1760 kg) and weight class III (greater than 1760 kg);

     new types of passenger cars (category M1) designed to carry more than six occupants and passenger cars with a maximum mass greater than 2500 kg.

    (1) COM(2001) 298 final, 6.6.2001.

    (2) COM(2001) 140 final.

    (3) OJ L 93, 26.4.1995.

    (4) OJ C 187, 3.7.2001.

    (5)Creating a safer society by improving the security of information infrastructures and combating computer-related crime, COM(2001) 890, http://ec.europa.eu/archives/ISPO/eif/internetPoliciesSite/Crime/crime.1.html.

    (6) OJ L 8, 12.1.2001.

    (7)OJ L 281, 23.11.1995.

    (8) OJ L 199, 26.7.1997.

    (9) OJ L 24, 30.1.1998.

    (10) OJ L 101, 1.4.1998.

    (11) OJ L 13, 19.1.2000.


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