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CONTENTS

PARTICIPANTS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

ITEMS DISCUSSED

NEGOTIATIONS ON AIR TRANSPORT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND THE
COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

JOINT MEETING OF THE COUNCIL AND THE MINISTERS OF THE COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL
AND EASTERN EUROPE (CCEE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

TAXATION OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES "EUROVIGNETTE" . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

CABOTAGE IN ROAD PASSENGER TRANSPORT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

COMMON RULES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS BY COACH AND BUS                                                                            8

STRATEGY FOR REVITALIZING THE COMMUNITY'S RAILWAYS  . . . . . . . . . . . 9

COMBINED GOODS TRANSPORT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

AIR LIABILITY IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10

AIR SAFETY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

HARMONIZED SAFETY REGIME FOR FISHING VESSELS OF 24 METRES IN LENGTH AND
OVER  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

SHIPPING INFRASTRUCTURES - APPLICATION OF THE USER-PAYS PRINCIPLE . . .  13

TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS OR POLLUTING GOODS BY SEA  . . . . . . . . . . .  13

ITEMS ADOPTED WITHOUT DEBATE

AUDIOVISUAL QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I

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

Belgium:
Mr Michel DAERDEN                  Minister for Transport

Denmark:
Mr Niels PULTZ                     Deputy Permanent Representative

Germany:
Mr Matthias WISSMANN               Minister for Transport
Mr Hans Jochen HENKE               State Secretary, Federal Ministry of
                                   Transport

Greece:
Mr Haris KASTANIDIS                Minister for Transport and
                                   Communications

Spain:
Mr Joaquín ABRIL MARTORELL         State Secretary for Infrastructure and
                                   Transport

France:
Mr Bernard PONS                    Minister for Infrastructure, Housing,
                                   Transport and Tourism

Ireland:
Mr Michael LOWRY                   Minister for Transport, Energy and
                                   Communications
Mr Seán BARRETT                    Minister for Defence and the Marine
Mr Emmet STAGG                     Minister of State at the Department of
                                   Transport, Energy and Communications

Italy:
Mr Claudio BURLANDO                Minister for Transport and Merchant
                                   Shipping

Luxembourg:
Ms Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES            Minister for Transport

Netherlands:
Ms Annemarie JORRITSMA-LEBBINK     Minister for Transport and Public Works

Austria:
Mr Rudolf SCHOLTEN                 Minister for Science, Transport and the
                                   Arts

Portugal:
Mr António Guilhermino RODRIGUES   State Secretary for Transport

Finland:
Ms Tuula LINNAINMAA                Minister for Transport and
                                   Communications
Mr Juhani KORPELA                  State Secretary for Transport and
Communications

Sweden:
Ms Ines UUSMANN                    Minister for Transport and
                                   Communications

United Kingdom:
Mr John WATTS                      Minister of State, Department of
                                   Transport (Minister for Railways and
                                   Roads)

Commission:

Mr Neil KINNOCK                    Member

Joint meeting of the Council and the associated countries of Central and
Eastern Europe

The participants in the Transport Council meeting were joined by the
following representatives of the associated countries of Central and
Eastern Europe:

Bulgaria:
Mr Stamen STAMENOV                 Minister for Transport

Czech Republic:
Mr Ivan FOLTYN                     Deputy Minister for Transport

Estonia:
Mr Kalev KUKK                      Minister for Transport and
                                   Communications

Hungary:
Mr Károly LOTZ                     Minister for Transport

Latvia:
Mr Vilis KRISTOPANS                Minister for Transport

Lithuania:
Mr Algirdas SAKALYS                Minister for Transport

Poland:
Mr Boguslaw LIBERADZKI             Minister for Transport and the Maritime
                                   Economy

Romania:
Mr Serban MIHAILESCU               State Secretary, Ministry of Transport

Slovak Republic:
Mr Dezider SZABO                   State Secretary, Ministry of Transport,
                                   Posts and Telecommunications

Slovene Republic:
Mr Igor UMEK                       Minister for Transport

RELATIONS WITH THIRD COUNTRIES

NEGOTIATIONS  ON  AIR TRANSPORT  BETWEEN  THE  EUROPEAN  COMMUNITY AND  THE
COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

The Council authorized the Commission to open negotiations on air transport
market access agreements between  the European Community and the associated
countries of  Central and  Eastern Europe  (Bulgaria, the  Czech  Republic,
Estonia,  Hungary,   Latvia,  Lithuania,  Poland,   Romania,  Slovakia  and
Slovenia).

The  Decision  was  drawn up  in  accordance with  the  guidelines  for the
development of relations with  the Central European countries,  established
in particular at the European Council meetings in Copenhagen  (1993), Corfu
(1994)  and Essen (1994).   The scope of the Decision  has been extended to
cover the Baltic countries.

The overall objective of the negotiations is to integrate the air transport
markets  in the  Central  and East  European  countries with  those of  the
European Community,  which for the purposes  of the negotiations  are to be
regarded as constituting  a single market.  The market  should be opened up
gradually as the associated countries adopt the acquis communautaire.   The
negotiations will be based on the following principles:

-   a  fair  balance  must  be  ensured  between  opening  the  market  and
    harmonization,   particularly   as  regards   technical,   safety   and
    environmental standards;

-   alignment on Community  safety standards is to be regarded  as the most
    important precondition for the opening up of the market;

-   each  step  towards greater  integration  will  be conditional  on  the
    submission to the Council of a Commission proposal on the matter, which
    will enable the Council bodies to follow developments in the dossier;

-   there should be bilateral agreements between the European Community and
    the  associated States rather than a multilateral  regime.  However, to
    facilitate progress,  agreements between the European Community and one
    or more groups of countries of Central and Eastern Europe will  also be
    considered.

JOINT MEETING OF THE COUNCIL AND THE MINISTERS  OF THE COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL
AND EASTERN EUROPE (CCEE)

The Council and the CCEE Transport Ministers met for the second time in the
framework of the structured dialogue to brief each other on developments in
transport policy in the Community and the associated countries.

The discussion covered the following topics:

(a)   Development of  rail and combined  transport, in particular  possible
      measures aimed at achieving  a comprehensive, coherent and  efficient
      rail and combined transport system covering the CCEE and the Union.

(b)   Transport  pricing,  and in  particular measures  aimed  at achieving
      fair,   non-discriminatory  and   efficient  pricing   in  transport,
      particularly  with a  view to  the future  integration of  the CCEE's
      transport systems with that of the Union.

NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND

The  Council heard a  report from  the Commission  on the current  state of
negotiations between  the Community and Switzerland  in the sphere  of land
and air transport and  asked the Commission to  submit a further report  to
the next meeting of the Transport Council.

The  Council  took  note  of  progress  to   date  in  the  land  transport
negotiations and of  the suggestions made  by Commissioner  KINNOCK on  the
issues outstanding, in  particular the question  of the  maximum weight  of
goods  vehicles  authorized in  Swiss  territory and  the  pricing  of road
haulage operations.

The Council  asked the Commission  to press  on with  its discussions  with
Switzerland in  compliance with the  Council's negotiating directives,  and
keep it fully informed.


LAND TRANSPORT

TAXATION OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES ("EUROVIGNETTE")

The  Council held  a  policy debate  on a  new  Commission proposal  on the
taxation of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures.

The proposal  is intended to replace Directive 93/89/EEC which the Court of
Justice    annulled   on    grounds   of    interinstitutional   procedural
irregularities, although all  its effects were preserved until  the Council
adopted a new Directive.

The Commission forwarded the new proposal to the  Council in July 1996; its
content departs  significantly from the  annulled Directive, in  particular
inasmuch as  it puts  forward a new,  more differentiated system  of taxes,
user charges and tolls, and  a system for charging external costs  which is
based on  the  principles set  forth in  the  Commission's Green  Paper  on
pricing in transport ("realistic pricing").

The following questions were discussed in particular:

-     The  advisability  of going  further  than  Directive  93/89/EEC  and
      including  some or  all  of the  new points  in the  Commission's new
      proposal;

-   The advisability  of beginning  the introduction,  as  proposed by  the
    Commission, of

    =   a system of modulated vehicle taxes and a compulsory system of user
        charges,

    =   an external  cost  element in  the calculation  of  tolls and  user
        charges, and

    =   the  definition  of  criteria concerning  an  additional  levy  for
        sensitive routes;

-   With a view to  the harmonization of transport  charges and to  promote
    the internal market, the advisability of

    =   introducing a maximum level of vehicle tax,

    =   authorizing Member  States  which  have  introduced tolls  or  user
        charges to set taxes below the minimum rates.

Following the discussion, the Presidency, while stressing the complexity of
the technical aspects of the dossier, noted the Council's political will to
continue working  towards a satisfactory  solution.  The  Council therefore
instructed the  Permanent Representatives  Committee to continue  examining
the proposal in preparation for the Council meeting in December.


CABOTAGE IN ROAD PASSENGER TRANSPORT

Pending receipt of the Opinion of the European Parliament, the Council held
a policy debate on the proposal for a Regulation laying down the conditions
under which  non-resident  carriers  may operate  national  road  passenger
transport services within a Member State (cabotage).

It  will be remembered that, on  interinstitutional procedural grounds, the
Court of Justice annulled cabotage Regulation (EEC) No 2454/92 although its
effects were upheld until a new Regulation was adopted.

The content of the  new Regulation proposed by the Commission  departs from
that  of the annulled Regulation particularly inasmuch  as it also proposes
liberalizing the  cabotage of  regular services.   This key feature  of the
proposal elicited differing  reactions from the Member  States depending on
whether purely internal  cabotage was involved  or cabotage  as part of  an
international  service.  The Council did not  endorse liberalization of the
former.  As regards cabotage  for regular services performed in the  course
of international haulage operations, a number of delegations raised serious
difficulties.

Concluding the discussions, the Presidency noted that there was a consensus
that   the  annulled   Regulation  should   be  reinstated  as   a  minimum
liberalization measure.   The Council  asked the Permanent  Representatives
Committee to study as a compromise the possibility of liberalizing cabotage
for  regular  international services  in  conjunction with  the appropriate
safeguard clauses so as to enable the Council to adopt a common position on
the  matter  at  its  December  meeting  in  the  light  of  the   European
Parliament's Opinion.

COMMON RULES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS BY COACH AND BUS

The Council held a policy discussion, pending receipt of the Opinion of the
European Parliament, on the  proposal for a Regulation  amending Regulation
No  684/92 on common rules for  the international carriage of passengers by
coach and bus.

The aim of this proposal is to:

-   improve  and  simplify  the definitions  of the  various  categories of
    service,
-   introduce a "Community licence",
-   further liberalize certain services of minor economic importance.

The Council noted  the progress already  made with the  examination of  the
proposal.     Following  its  discussion,   it  instructed  the   Permanent
Representatives Committee to  continue its work on the  matter in the light
of the comments made and of the European Parliament's Opinion and to submit
a report to  the Council at its  December meeting which would  enable it to
reach political agreement.


STRATEGY FOR REVITALIZING THE COMMUNITY'S RAILWAYS

Commissioner KINNOCK  presented the  White Paper  entitled "A  Strategy for
revitalizing the  Community's  railways".    This  issue  gave  rise  to  a
wide-ranging preliminary exchange of views on the part of Ministers.

The White Paper is in  response to the request made by  Transport Ministers
at their informal meeting in Rome on 12 and 13 April 1996.

It is a strategy document which analyses a number of problems affecting the
European Community's railways,  suggests a number  of ways of  revitalizing
them and  sets out  a schedule for  action to  be taken  by the  Commission
(including   some   proposals   for   amendments   to  existing   Community
legislation).

The President instructed the  Permanent Representatives Committee to  press
on with  its study of the White  Paper and stated his  intention of placing
this issue on the agenda for the Transport Council meeting in December with
the aim of giving the Commission guidelines at that stage for further work.

COMBINED GOODS TRANSPORT

Commissioner   KINNOCK  presented  a  communication   regarding  an  action
programme for combined goods transport (PACT II), together with  a proposal
for a Regulation on the granting of financial aid in this area.

The  proposal makes provision for a five-year  programme (1997-2001) with a
budget of ECU 35 million.

The  Council asked the  Permanent Representatives Committee  to examine the
proposal and to report back at a forthcoming Council meeting.


AIR TRANSPORT

AIR LIABILITY IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS

The Council examined the proposal for a Regulation on air carrier liability
in case of accidents.   The aim of the proposal  is essentially to regulate
the limits of the air  carrier's liability in the event of  death, wounding
or other bodily injury suffered by a passenger.

The matter is covered  by the 1929 Warsaw Convention  and the international
instruments supplementing  it.    Since  the  limits  laid  down  in  those
agreements are regarded  as being too low - by  today's economic and social
standards - and in  order to harmonize the  limits and take account of  the
establishment  of  an  internal  aviation  market  in  the  Community,  the
Regulation proposed basically makes provision for:

-   absolute liability of up to ECU 100 000,

-   beyond that  figure,  unlimited  liability with  the  possibilities  of
    action for liability laid down in the Warsaw Convention,

-   immediate  payment of a  lump sum  of ECU  50 000  to persons entitled,
    which  may  be offset  against any  subsequent sum  paid in  respect of
    liability but which is not returnable under any circumstances,

-   the  possibility of bringing an action for  liability before the courts
    of the Member State where the passenger has his domicile or residence.

The Council held a debate on the basis of a  questionnaire referring to the
above principles  and their possible  compatibility with international  law
and the international agreements concluded by the Member States.

The debate revealed broad consensus on the part  of delegations on the need
to  adopt rules which were more advantageous to passengers and thus achieve
a long-awaited reform.

The Council  instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to press on
with in-depth  examination  of the  dossier on  the basis  of  delegations'
comments.



AIR SAFETY

Commissioner KINNOCK reported  to the Council  on the  progress of  current
work in the Commission on

-   the  measures planned  as a  result of  the high-level  Working Party's
    report on defining a Community strategy for improving air safety;

-   establishing a European authority in the field of air safety.

AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Commissioner KINNOCK briefed the Council on current work in  the Commission
following  presentation  of the  White  Paper  on  air  traffic  management
entitled "Freeing Europe's airspace".


SHIPPING

HARMONIZED SAFETY  REGIME FOR FISHING  VESSELS OF 24  METRES IN LENGTH  AND
OVER

Pending receipt of the Opinion of the European Parliament, the Council held
a policy discussion on  the proposal for a  Council Directive setting up  a
harmonized safety regime for fishing vessels.

The purpose of this proposal is to:

-   impose,  as  of  1 January  1998, the  provisions  of  the Torremolinos
    Convention  of 1977 and its 1993 Protocol to fishing vessels flying the
    flag of a Member State of a length  of 24 metres and above, as  well as
    to fishing vessels of a  third country operating in the internal waters
    or territorial seas of a Member  State or landing their catch in a port
    of  a  Member  State;  this   Protocol  concerns,  in  particular,  the
    certification,   construction  and   equipment,   stability,  machinery
    installations, fire  protection,  protection of  the crew,  life-saving
    appliances, emergency procedures, radio-communications and navigational
    equipment of fishing vessels;

-   extend,  to fishing vessels  between 24 and  45 metres  in length built
    after  1 January 1998, the requirements of  the Torremolinos Convention
    that only apply to vessels of more than 45 metres;

-   impose certain  general and regional  additional requirements over  and
    above those of the Torremolinos Protocol;

-   to have a committee  procedure used to adopt harmonized interpretations
    for the  200 provisions of the  Protocol providing for  a discretionary
    decision by the contracting parties.

The Torremolinos  Convention and its protocol are not  likely to enter into
force in the near future.

The Council's  discussion  of  this  item  related  in  particular  to  the
following questions:

-   application of the Directive to existing fishing vessels,

-   its  application to  vessels flying  the flag  of  a third  country and
    landing their catches in a Member State port,

-   the option for  Member States to  apply more  stringent standards  than
    those provided for in the Directive,

-   recourse to the abovementioned committee procedure,

-   determination of the committee involved and procedure to be followed by
    it,

-   the dates  of  implementation of  the Directive  for  existing and  new
    vessels respectively.



In  conclusion, the  Council noted  that the  approaches which  had emerged
during the debate required closer scrutiny by the Permanent Representatives
Committee, together with the other problems outstanding.

The  Directive will be placed on the  agenda for the next Transport Council
meeting with a view to political agreement being reached on that occasion.

SHIPPING INFRASTRUCTURES - APPLICATION OF THE USER-PAYS PRINCIPLE

The United  Kingdom delegation  submitted a  note suggesting that  shipping
infrastructure costs (such  as shipping aid) be  transferred, in accordance
with a system to  be defined for the Union as a whole,  from Member States'
budgets to the users benefiting from the services provided.

Following  an initial  exchange  of views,  which  revealed  differences of
opinion  on the desirability of such an  approach and its consequences, the
President announced that the United Kingdom's suggestion would be discussed
in  greater detail  when  the Council  examined the  communication entitled
"Towards a new maritime strategy".

TRANSPORT  OF DANGEROUS OR POLLUTING GOODS BY SEA

The Council took note  of a brief  presentation by Commissioner KINNOCK  of
the  proposal  for a  Directive  amending  Directive  93/75/EEC  concerning
minimum  requirements for vessels bound for or  leaving Community ports and
carrying dangerous or polluting goods.


OTHER DECISIONS

(Adopted without debate)

AUDIOVISUAL QUESTIONS

Relations with Cyprus and Malta

The  Council authorized  the Commission  to negotiate  bilateral agreements
with the Republic  of Cyprus and  with Malta in  the audiovisual sector  in
general, and  in the fields  of encouragement of  development, distribution
and  training within the audiovisual sector under the MEDIA II programme in
particular.

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