13140/97 (Presse 389)
2059th Council meeting
– TRANSPORT –
Brussels, 10 and 11 December 1997
President: Ms Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES
Minister for Transport
of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
– Negotiations with India and China 5
– Port State control 5
– External relations in the field of maritime transport 6
– Maritime cabotage 7
– Negotiations between the Community and the United States 8
– European Organization responsible for civil aviation safety 8
– European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) 9
– Airport charges 9
– Attestation of professional competence for cabin crews in civil aviation 10
– Overflying Siberian territory 10
MEASURES CONCERNING ALL MEANS OF TRANSPORT
– Agreement on a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) 11
– Eurovignette 12
– Negotiations with Switzerland 12
– Social harmonization in road transport 13
– Registration documents for motor vehicles 14
OTHER BUSINESS 15
ITEMS ADOPTED WITHOUT DISCUSSION
– Registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships I
– Minimum requirements for vessels carrying dangerous or polluting goods I
– Harmonized safety regime for fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over II
– Common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus III
– Road passenger cabotage III
– Recording equipment in road transport (tachograph) III
– Signing of the Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the Community and Slovenia IV
– Humane trapping standards – Agreement with Canada V
– Anti-dumping measures – silicon metal originating in China V
– Cooperation on the telematic interchange of data between administrations V
– Telecommunications and competition V
– Statistics VI
– Achievements in the field of Justice and Home Affairs in 1997 VI
For more information: tel.: – 285.60.83 – 285.63.19
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows:
Mr Jean-Louis SIX Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Jan TRØJBORG Minister for Trade and Industry
Mr Bjørn WESTH Minister for Transport
Mr Hans Jochen HENKE State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport
Mr Jochen GRÜNHAGE Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Stavros SOUMAKIS Minister for Merchant Shipping
Mr Anastasios MANTELIS Minister for Transport and Communications
Mr Joaquín ABRIL MARTORELL State Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport
Mr Miguel ANGEL NAVARRO Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Jean-Claude GAYSSOT Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing
Mr Philippe ETIENNE Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Mary O'ROURKE Minister for Public Enterprise
Mr Frank COGAN Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Roberto ROSSI Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES Minister for Transport
Ms Annemarie JORRITSMA-LEBBINK Minister for Transport and Public Works
Mr Casper EINEM Federal Minister for Science and Transport
Ms Judith GEBETSROITHNER Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr António Guilhermino RODRIGUES State Secretary for Transport
Mr Matti AURA Minister for Transport and Communications
Ms Ines UUSMANN Minister for Transport and Communications
Mr Gavin STRANG Minister for Transport
* * *
Mr Neil KINNOCK Member
NEGOTIATIONS WITH INDIA AND CHINA
The Council reached agreement on the directives for negotiations with China and India with a view to the conclusion of agreements on maritime transport. It decided that the texts of the negotiating directives would be forwarded to the Working Party of Legal/Linguistic Experts for finalization in accordance with the Council's usual procedures so that they could be adopted as "A" items at an early Council meeting.
The purpose of the negotiations is to guarantee the freedom to provide services in international maritime transport and free access to cargoes and ancillary services. They will also aim to secure national treatment as regards use of the above services and the establishment of maritime companies providing international transport services.
PORT STATE CONTROL
The Council reached political agreement on its common position on the proposal for a Directive amending Council Directive 95/21/EC 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).
Directive 95/21/EC provides in particular for each Member State to inspect a given percentage of ships entering its ports to establish whether they comply with the principal international conventions in force as regards maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment.
The draft common position aims to amend this Directive with a view to:
– extending the scope of the Committee procedure.
EXTERNAL RELATIONS IN THE FIELD OF MARITIME TRANSPORT
The Council noted the progress report from the Permanent Representatives Committee regarding the Commission communication on the Community's external relations in the field of maritime transport. The Council already discussed that communication at its meeting on 17 and 18 June of this year.
The progress report recorded delegations' agreement in principle on most of the general objectives of the Community maritime policy advocated by the Commission. Where procedural aspects were concerned, the report made the point that delegations favoured better use of the existing instruments.
The Council discussed the decision by the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Committee of 26 September 1997 to extend to the EEA the application of Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage).
Following the discussions, the Council adopted the following statement:
"The Council and the Commission state that Norway's Declaration concerning Decision 70/97 of the EEA Joint Committee constitutes an extremely important element for the Community as regards its position on the extension of Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 to the EEA. They reserve the right to re-examine this position and to invoke the appropriate procedures laid down in the EEA Agreement if the Norwegian position, as expressed in the declaration, were to change in respect of access of vessels registered in the Norwegian International Ship register (NIS) to Norwegian cabotage."
NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND THE UNITED STATES
Commissioner KINNOCK presented a communication to the Council on the current state of negotiations between the Community and the United States in the field of air transport.
The Council instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to expedite its examination of the communication and of the Commission recommendation with the aim of reporting back to the Council in March 1998.
It will be remembered that in July 1996, the Council authorized the Commission to initiate negotiations between the Community and the United States in the field of air transport with a view to the creation of a "common aviation area" between the parties concerned. The parties held two rounds of talks (in October 1996 and April 1997) on which Commissioner KINNOCK reported to the Council. The Council examined that report at its meetings in June and October of this year and instructed Coreper to study the new report the Commission was due to submit. The Commission submitted the report in question to the Council in November in the form of the communication presented today.
EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION RESPONSIBLE FOR CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY
The Council examined progress to date on the recommendation for a Decision authorizing the Commission to start negotiations with a view to establishing a European organization responsible for civil aviation safety.
The Commission submitted that recommendation to the Council in December 1996. At its meetings in March and June of this year, the Council reached conclusions on future proceedings for the creation of such a body and expressed a favourable attitude towards the establishment of a European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA); it also asked Coreper to elaborate further on the terms of reference for the negotiations.
The Council took note of the report and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to examine all questions of relevance to the establishment of a European organization responsible for civil aviation safety on the assumption that:
EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION FOR THE SAFETY OF AIR NAVIGATION
The Council took note of the report from the Permanent Representatives Committee on the progress of proceedings on the recommendation authorizing the Commission to start negotiations with a view to establishing Community membership of the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), and instructed the Committee to continue examining the dossier.
It will be remembered that, in June 1997, the Council reached conclusions in which it expressed the view that accession was the most appropriate form of Community participation in Eurocontrol and that a priority arrangement should be concluded between the Community and Eurocontrol to formalise and extend on short notice the observer status of the Community in meetings of the bodies of Eurocontrol.
The Council took note of current progress with work on the proposal for a Council Directive on airport charges and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to continue its examination of the dossier.
The purpose of the proposal is to establish within a Community framework the principles of non-discrimination, cost-relatedness and transparency in airport charges, and to create modulation and consultation systems applicable to the fixing of those charges.
ATTESTATION OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE FOR CABIN CREWS IN CIVIL AVIATION
The Council noted the progress made to date in the examination of the proposal for a Directive on safety requirements and attestation of professional competence for cabin crews in civil aviation and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to continue examining the dossier.
The Commission submitted the proposal to the Council on 24 July 1997. The Commission proposal fits in with the technical, social and safety measures accompanying the process of liberalization in the air transport sector. The aim of the proposal for a Directive is transposition of the JAR OPS (Joint Aviation Requirements: common rules in all areas concerned with aircraft safety and use, drawn up by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA), a body consisting of representatives of the civil aviation authorities of the Member States and other European countries) into Community legislation, thus creating mobility and a framework for safety training and competence for cabin crews in civil aviation.
OVERFLYING SIBERIAN TERRITORY – CONCLUSIONS
The Council of the European Union:
MEASURES CONCERNING ALL MEANS OF TRANSPORT
AGREEMENT ON A GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEM (GNSS)
The Council recorded agreement on
The Agreement ought to contribute to the achievement of Community objectives such as the completion of the internal market and the enhancement of economic and social cohesion. The creation of a satellite navigation system should also make it possible for Europe to make an effective contribution to a GNSS.
The Council stressed the urgency of this dossier.
The Council discussed this item with a view to reaching political agreement on its common position on the proposal for a Directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (Eurovignette).
The discussion focused on a new Presidency compromise proposal. However, delegations were unable to agree on this compromise. The Council instructed Coreper to continue examining the dossier.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND
The Council discussed the progress of negotiations with Switzerland in the field of transport on the basis of a presentation by Commissioner KINNOCK. Following the discussions, the Council noted that progress had been made. It urged the Commission to expedite the negotiations in the light of the negotiating directives and the comments made by delegations on the Commission's report.
SOCIAL HARMONIZATION IN ROAD TRANSPORT – CONCLUSIONS
Having conducted a policy debate on 9 October 1997 on the White Paper on Sectors and Activities excluded from the Working Time Directive submitted by the Commission and having taken note of the memorandum on European harmonization of social legislation in the road transport sector submitted by France on 19 November 1997, and of the positions of the other Member States,
Having regard to its Resolutions of 24 October 1994 on road freight transport in the Single European Market and of 19 June 1995 on social harmonization in road freight transport in the Internal Market,
Whereas fair conditions of competition should continue to be ensured when the internal road freight transport market is completed;
Whereas further efforts should be made to improve road safety;
Whereas it is necessary to consider whether drivers' qualifications and their working conditions should be improved, having regard to the protection of their health and safety;
Having regard to the need for better harmonization of the application of Community social regulations,
REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES
Pending receipt of the Opinion of the European Parliament, the Council adopted a policy guideline on its common position and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to finalize the text in accordance with the usual procedures so that the common position could be adopted as an "A" item at an early Council meeting and forwarded to the European Parliament.
The aim of the proposal for a Directive, submitted to the Council by the Commission in June of this year, is to harmonize, at Community level, the form and content of registration certificates for motor vehicles in order to facilitate road traffic within the Community, simplify procedures for the re-registration of vehicles in another Member State, promote exchanges of information on the transfer of ownership of vehicles so as to step up the fight against illegal vehicle trafficking, and improve the functioning of the internal market.
The Council took note of the presentation by the Swedish delegation of the report of the Joint Commission of Inquiry which had examined the causes of the sinking of the "Estonia" on 28 September 1994. The Swedish delegation also announced that in April 1998 it would be convening an international conference to study the recommendations made by that Commission of Inquiry.
BLOCKING OF ROADS AND PORTS
The Council held a general debate on the blocking of roads and ports in the Community as part of protest movements. In particular, it discussed the implications of such behaviour and the measures the Commission might consider taking if such protests recurred.
WEEKEND AND/OR HOLIDAY DRIVING BANS FOR HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES
The Council heard an oral report from Commissioner KINNOCK on driving bans for heavy goods vehicles on weekends and/or holidays. The Commissioner informed the Council that the Commission intended to submit a proposal in the first quarter of 1998 for a Regulation harmonizing such driving bans within the Community.
The Council took note of Commissioner KINNOCK's report.
The Swedish delegation spoke on the subject of the indication of the place of birth on driving licences.
The delegation wanted Directive 91/439/EEC on driving licences amended to make the indication of the holder's place of birth optional.
The Council took note of the Swedish delegation's statement.
Adopted without discussion. In the case of legislative acts, votes against or abstentions are indicated. Decisions involving statements which the Council has decided to release to the public are asterisked; the statements in question may be obtained from the Press Office.
Registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships
The Council adopted its common position with a view to adopting a Directive on the registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships operating to or from ports of the Member States of the Community. The common position will be forwarded to the European Parliament, in accordance with Article 189c of the Treaty (cooperation procedure).
The purpose of the proposal is to oblige passenger ships operating on international or domestic routes to or from ports of the Member States of the Community to count their passengers and their crew before departure and, if the voyage exceeds 20 miles from the point of departure, to record their names, sex and age category. This would help ensure that the number of persons on board does not exceed the maximum passenger capacity of the ship and would provide the emergency services with details of the number of persons to be rescued in the event of an accident. The registration of persons on board would help all the services involved in the event of an accident to identify the victims, take decisions on medical care, settle insurance claims, etc. (see Press Release 9131/97 (Presse 203–G)).
Minimum requirements for vessels carrying dangerous or polluting goods
The Council adopted its common position with a view to adopting a Council Directive amending Directive 93/75/EEC concerning minimum requirements for vessels bound for or leaving Community ports and carrying dangerous or polluting goods.
The purpose of Directive 93/75/EEC is to oblige vessels bound for Community ports to notify the national authorities of the nature of the dangerous and polluting goods they are carrying and to make available to those authorities a plan indicating the location of such goods on board.
The common position has three main objectives:
Harmonized safety regime for fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over *
The Council adopted the Directive setting up a harmonized safety regime for fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over.
The purpose of the Directive is to:
Common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus *
The Council adopted the Regulation amending Regulation No 684/92 on common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus.
The main purpose of the Regulation is to:
– introduce a Community licence;
– liberalize certain services of minor economic importance.
Road passenger cabotage *
The Council adopted the Regulation laying down the conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate national road passenger transport services within a Member State (cabotage).
The Regulation provides, inter alia, for the introduction of cabotage for regular services performed as part of a regular international service, urban and suburban services being excluded.
Recording equipment in road transport (tachograph)
The Council adopted its common position with a view to adopting the Council Regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 and Directive 88/599/EEC on recording equipment in road transport. The common position will be forwarded to the European Parliament under the cooperation procedure.
The aim of the Council's common position is to improve the enforcement of and compliance with social legislation relating to road transport, as laid down in Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 on the harmonization of certain social legislation relating to road transport OJ No L 370, 31.12.1985, p. 1..
The common position provides for the compulsory installation of fully digital recording equipment, in accordance with the requirements of Annex I B of the text, on all new vehicles as from 1 July 2000 if all the conditions laid down are satisfied. Annex I B contains the technical specifications for the new system. However, some of the specifications will be defined in greater detail by the Commission, in accordance with the type III(a) Committee procedure, if possible before 1 July 1998.
The new recording equipment records all the activities of the driver on board the vehicle and stores them for a year. The vehicle must be equipped with a printer. Each driver will have to have his own microprocessor card on which all the driver's activities are recorded.
Vehicles already in service on the date of the compulsory installation of the new recording equipment and covered by Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 may continue to operate with the tachograph fitted as laid down in Annex I.
However, from the date of compulsory installation of the recording equipment in conformity with Annex I B, when steps are taken to replace the equipment installed in certain categories of vehicles (vehicles used for the transport of persons with more than eight seats, in addition to the driver's seat, and a maximum weight of more than 10 tonnes and vehicles used for goods transport with a maximum weight of more than 12 tonnes) registered for the first time as from 1 January 1996, the new equipment will have to satisfy the provisions of Annex I B insofar as signal transmission may be achieved with the existing connections.
Furthermore, the draft specifically contains provisions concerning the conditions for issuing the driver card, certain features relating to data protection and certain streamlined roadside checking procedures to take account of the temporary coexistence of the two systems.
Signing of the Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the Community and Slovenia
In the margins of the Council, the Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Republic of Slovenia in the field of transport was signed by Ms Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES, Minister for Transport of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and President-in-office of the Council, Mr Neil KINNOCK, member of the Commission and H.E. Mr Boris CIZELJ, Ambassador, Head of the Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union.
This Protocol brings Slovenia’s transit rights into line with the transitional change introduced in Community law following the accession of Austria to the European Union.
In the speeches made at the signing, the signatories stressed that the Agreement in the field of transport in force since July 1993, together with this Additional Protocol, is an excellent basis for developing trade between the Community and Slovenia while bringing the Slovenian transport system closer to the Community system.
Humane trapping standards – Agreement with Canada
The Council approved, by a qualified majority, the Agreement with Canada in the form of an Agreed Minute enabling the multilateral Agreement (EU–Canada–Russia) on International Humane Trapping Standards to be signed and implemented on a bilateral basis, without awaiting ratification by all three parties.
Anti-dumping measures – silicon metal originating in China
The Council adopted the Regulation imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of silicon metal originating in China. The rate of the definitive anti-dumping duty applicable to the net, free-at-Community-frontier price, before duty, is set at 49%.
Adoption of this Regulation follows the investigation carried out in response to the request for a review lodged by Community producers in view of the impending expiry of the anti-dumping measures introduced in 1990 (Regulation (EEC) No 2200/90 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty of ECU 198/tonne) and amended in 1992 (Regulation (EEC) No 1607/92 setting the definitive duty at ECU 396/tonne).
Cooperation on the telematic interchange of data between administrations
The Council approved, for the Community, the draft Decision of the EEA Joint Committee amending Protocol 31 to the EEA Agreement on cooperation in specific fields outside the four freedoms – in this case the telematic interchange of data between administrations.
The aim of the draft Decision is to bring cooperation in this area up to date (IDA programme) and to provide a framework for it.
Telecommunications and competition
The Council approved, for the Community, the draft Decisions of the Joint Committee of the European Economic Area amending Annexes XI (Telecommunications) and XIV (Competition) to the EEA Agreement.
The purpose of these draft Decisions is to incorporate the following Directives into the EEA Agreement:
The Council approved, for the Community, the draft Decision of the EEA Joint Committee amending Annex XXI (Statistics) to the EEA Agreement.
The aim of the draft Decision is to incorporate into the EEA Agreement the acquis adopted recently in the field of statistics.
Achievements in the field of Justice and Home Affairs in 1997
The Council took note of the report on achievements in the field of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) in 1997, with a view to forwarding it to the European Council.
Work in the field of Justice and Home Affairs in 1997 has focused on topics deriving from: