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COUNCIL OF
THE EUROPEAN UNION

EN

10850/09 (Presse 169)

PRESS RELEASE

2949th Council meeting

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy

Luxembourg, 11-12 June 2009

President Mr Gustáv Slamečka
Minister for Transport
Mr Vladimír Tošovský
Minister for Industry and Trade

Main results of the Council

The Council granted a mandate to the Commission to open negotiations with Georgia on a comprehensive air transport agreement .

The Council reached a political agreement on a draft regulation concerning a European rail network for competitive freight .

It also adopted conclusions on the Commission g reen paper "TEN-T - policy review" .

The Council reached a political agreement on a directive requiring member states to maintain minimum stocks of oil or petroleum products . The Council will formally adopt the text without debate at a forthcoming Council meeting after legal linguists' revision.

In addition, the Council adopted without discussion a revised regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund , following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament.

CONTENTS 1

PARTICIPANTS

ITEMS DEBATED

TRANSPORT

Air transport agreement with Georgia

European rail network for competitive freight

Rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach

European satellite radio-navigation programmes

Intelligent transport systems

Green Paper: TEN-T policy review - Council conclusions

TELECOMMUNICATION

European network and information security policy

ENERGY

Oil stocks

Energy efficiency package

International energy relations

OTHER BUSINESS

EVENTS IN THE MARGINS OF THE COUNCIL

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

TRANSPORT

  • Driving licences - Regulatory procedure with scrutiny

EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY

  • Iraq – EU integrated rule of law mission

TRADE POLICY

  • Anti-dumping

  • Protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the EC

SOCIAL AFFAIRS

  • Council strengthens the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to counter crisis

PARTICIPANTS

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

Belgium:

Mr Paul MAGNETTE Minister for Climate and Energy

Mr Etienne SCHOUPPE State Secretary for Mobility, attached to the Prime Minister

Bulgaria:

Mr Valentin IVANOV Deputy Minister for the Economy and Energy

Ms Krasimira MARTINOVA Deputy Minister for Transport

Czech Republic:

Mr Gustáv SLAMEČKA Minister for Transport

Mr Vladimír TOŠOVSKÝ Minister for Industry and Trade

Ms Lenka PTÁČKOVÁ MELICHAROVÁ Deputy Minister for the Interior with responsibility for European affairs

Mr Pavel ŠKVÁRA Deputy Minister for Transport

Mr Tomáš HÜNER Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Energy Section

Denmark:

Ms Connie HEDEGAARD Minister for Climate and Energy

Mr Lars BARFOED Minister for Transport

Germany:

Mr Jochen HOMANN State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology

Mr Engelbert LÜTKE DALDRUP State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development

Estonia:

Mr Juhan PARTS Minister for Economic Affairs and Communications

Ireland:

Mr Eamon RYAN Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Greece:

Mr Kostis HATZIDAKIS Minister for Development

Spain:

Ms Concepción GUTIÉRREZ DEL CASTILLO State Secretary for Transport

Mr Pedro Luis MARÍN URIBE State Secretary for Energy

France:

Mr Jean-Louis BORLOO Ministre d'État, Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning

Ms Nathalie KOSCIUSKO-MORIZET Minister of State with responsibility for Forward Planning and the Development of the Digital Economy

Italy:

Mr Claudio SCAJOLA Minister for Economic Development

Mr Altero MATTEOLI Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Cyprus:

Mr Antonis PASCHALIDES Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism

Latvia:

Mr Arturs BERGHOLCS Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Communications

Lithuania:

Mr Arvydas SEKMOKAS Minister for Energy

Mr Arunas STARAS Vice-Minister for the Transport and Communication

Luxembourg:

Mr Jeannot KRECKÉ Minister for Economic Affairs and Foreign Trade, Minister for Sport

Mr Lucien LUX Minister for the Environment, Minister for Transport

Hungary:

Mr Lajos CSEPI State Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy

Malta:

Mr Austin GATT Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications

Mr George PULLICINO Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs

Netherlands:

Mr Camiel EURLINGS Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management

Ms Maria van der HOEVEN Minister for Economic Affairs

Austria:

Ms Doris BURES Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology

Mr Reinhold MITTERLEHNER Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, the Family and Youth

Poland:

Mr Maciej JANKOWSKI Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure

Mr Marcin KOROLEC Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Portugal:

Ms Ana Paula ZACARIAS Deputy Permanent Representative

Romania:

Mr Adriean VIDEANU Minister for Economic Affairs

Mr Eusebiu PISTRU POPA State Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Mr Marius FECIORU State Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

Slovenia:

Mr Matej LAHOVNIK Minister for the Economy

Mr Patrik VLAČIČ Minister for Transport

Mr Jozsef GYÖRKÖS State Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Slovakia:

Mr Ľubomír JAHNÁTEK Minister for the Economy

Mr Milan MOJŠ State Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications

Finland:

Ms Anu VEHVILÄINEN Minister for Transport

Ms Suvi LINDÉN Minister for Communications

Sweden:

Ms Maud OLOFSSON Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Energy

Ms Åsa TORSTENSSON Minister for Infrastructure

United Kingdom:

Mr Sadiq KHAN Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government

Commission:

Mr Antonio TAJANI Vice President

Ms Viviane REDING Member

Mr Andris PIEBALGS Member

ITEMS DEBATED

TRANSPORT

Air transport agreement with Georgia

The Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations with Georgia on a comprehensive air transport agreement.

The Commission requested this mandate in January 2009. The agreement aims at mutually opening the respective markets where air carriers can freely provide their services on the basis of commercial principles and to be able to compete on a fair and equal basis.

The agreement is in line with the Council conclusions adopted in 2005 on "Developing the agenda for the Community's external aviation policy" ( OJ C 173, 13.7.2005, p.1 ), in which it welcomed the progress towards developing a wider European Common Aviation Area by 2010 incorporating EU neighbouring countries. In addition, the mandate adopted today is in line with the EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and it follows the conclusions of the Extraordinary European Council, held in September 2008 ( 12594/2/08 ), to step up relations with Georgia and, inter alia, to create a free trade area as soon as the conditions are met.

European rail network for competitive freight

The Council reached, in a public deliberation, a political agreement on a draft regulation laying down rules for the establishment and organisation of international rail corridors for competitive freight ( 10678/09 as modified by ministers).

On the basis of the political agreement , the Council will prepare its common position that will be forwarded to the European Parliament for second reading under the co-decision procedure.

This proposal is aimed at creating a European rail network for competitive freight consisting of international corridors providing operators with an efficient, high-quality freight transport infrastructure. As a result, rail operators should be able to offer an efficient, high-quality service and be more competitive on the goods transport market. To that end, the proposal sets out the rules for the creation and the modification of freight corridors, their organisation and governance, and measures for implementing freight corridors, investment planning, and capacity and traffic management.

The text agreed by ministers is based on the Presidency compromise proposal. Member states will establish at the latest three years, or exceptionally five years, after the entry into force of the regulation initial freight corridors according to the list of principal routes set out in the annex to the draft regulation. In addition, member states not mentioned in the list will have to participate in the establishment of at least one corridor and, lastly, upon request from a member state, member states will have to participate in the establishment of a corridor or prolongation of an existing corridor, in order to allow a neighbouring member state to fulfil the obligation to establish at least one corridor.

In order to meet concerns of some member states on the possible negative impact that the capacity reservation for freight trains would have on the normal passenger transport, and at the same time to guarantee a priority for freight trains running on freight corridors, the text agreed maintains the specific measures regarding capacity allocation and simultaneously ensures that the need for capacity of other types of transport should be recognised.

Compared to the Commission initial proposal, which established the right of applicants other than railway undertakings to request train paths for freight transport where the latter concern one or more sections of the freight corridor, the text agreed by ministers does not contains this provision. The possibility for applicants other than railway undertakings to request infrastructure for certain sections of trains paths will be possible if these paths are located in member states where national law accepts those requests.

The regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. It will not apply to Cyprus and Malta.

The Commission presented its proposal in December 2008 ( 17324/08 ). The European Parliament adopted its first-reading opinion in April 2009 ( 8901/09 ).

Rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach

During a public deliberation, the Council took note of the Presidency progress report ( 10301/09 ) on a draft regulation on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. In addition, it held a policy debate focussing on the scope of this proposal on the basis of three questions suggested by the Presidency.

During the debate, all member states reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening passenger rights travelling by bus and coach in general, and in particular to facilitate travelling for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

However, a vast majority of member states have pointed out that they consider that the scope is not sufficiently adapted to the specificities of the bus and coach services industry and it needs to be clarified and adjusted.

Regarding the first option (limited scope with no further exemption), a clear majority of delegations favour this option and consider that the scope of the proposed Regulation should be limited to national long-distance and international regular bus/coach transport services, bearing in mind the need to protect the rights of passengers as well as to adopt provisions which are proportionate and feasible as regards bus and coach undertakings.

As for the second option (open scope with possible exemptions), some delegations consider that such an option is worth exploring: this would ensure that basic rights in selected areas would be guaranteed to all passengers, while leaving margin for possible national adaptations and exemptions taking into account the principle of subsidiarity as regards local transports.

Regarding the third option (wide scope with graduated provisions), it could be supported only by two or three delegations. This option seems to be too prescriptive and lacking the necessary flexibility to be applied in an effective way to the whole sector of bus and coach transport services.

The Council invited the competent bodies to pursue the examination of the proposal in order achieve significant progress under the forthcoming Swedish Presidency.

The proposed regulation forms part of the general policy of the EU to ensure equal treatment of passengers, irrespective of the mode of transport they travel with. Similar legislation has already been adopted in the field of air and rail transport, and it is also proposed for sea and inland waterways services.

Concerning passengers in general, this proposal will create additional legal protection for all passengers in the event of death or injury and loss of or damage to their luggage. It also establishes obligations for the bus and coach undertakings in the event of cancellation or delay of a journey, setting up effective complaint handling procedures, passenger information and other initiatives aimed at strengthening passengers' rights. In addition, the draft regulation lays down rules on information and assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

The Commission presented its proposal in December 2008 ( 16933/08 ). The European Parliament adopted its first-reading opinion in May 2009 ( 8897/09 ).

European satellite radio-navigation programmes

The Council took note of the Presidency progress report ( 10312/09 ) on the draft regulation amending regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 establishing structures for the management of the European satellite radio-navigation programmes.

The proposal is aimed at bringing the provisions of regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 ( OJ L 246, 20/07/2004, p. 1) into line with those of regulation 683/2008 ( OJ L 194, 24/07/2008, p.1) on further implementation of these programmes, given the substantive changes introduced by the latter regulation in the financial, governance and procurement procedures of the Galileo programmes.

Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004, amended by regulation (EC) No 1942/2006, established a Community agency called the European Global Navigation Satellite System Supervisory Authority. The agency's original role and tasks were defined in order to meet the requirements of the system provided for at that time for the concession for the management and financing of the Galileo programme’s deployment and operational phases. This system was discontinued in 2007, and responsibility for the management and financing of the deployment phase of the programme will no longer lie with the private sector.

Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 defines the new framework for the public governance and financing of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. It sets out the principle of the strict division of responsibilities between the European Community, represented by the Commission, the Authority and the European Space Agency, granting the Commission responsibility for the management of the programmes and setting out precisely the tasks given at that time to the agency.

During the examination of the proposal by the working party, all delegations supported the objective of the proposal and recognised the need to address the inconsistencies between the two regulations as soon as possible. However, this draft regulation raised some concerns that are related mainly to security matters. The work on this file will continue under the Swedish Presidency, focussing in particular on the following issues: mission and tasks of the security accreditation committee, voting rights of the Commission in the administrative board and the involvement of the European Parliament.

The Commission presented its proposal in March 2009 ( 6257/09 ).

Intelligent transport systems

In a public deliberation, the Council took note of the Presidency progress report on a draft directive establishing the framework for the deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS) 1 in the field of road transport ( 10012/09 ).

The Council invited the competent bodies to pursue the examination of this proposal in order to reach a political agreement by the end of 2009.

The objective of this proposal is to create the conditions and to put in place the mechanisms to foster the uptake of ITS services and applications for road transport and their interfaces with other modes of transport in order to support a more efficient and environmentally friendly, safer and more secure freight and passenger mobility in the EU. To that end the proposal provides for the comitology procedure (regulatory procedure with scrutiny) to be applied to common and legally binding specifications defining detailed provisions and procedures for the deployment of ITS across the EU.

The Council working party examined this proposal and the accompanying action plan at several meetings. All delegations support the objectives of the proposal, however a majority of delegations are reluctant to apply the comitology procedure to all actions as suggested in the Commission's proposal. At the TTE Council in March, the Council adopted conclusions on the action plan ( 8005/09 + 8005/09 COR1 ). The informal transport ministers meeting in Litom ěřice in April 2009 was also devoted to ITS and contributed to a clarification of the positions of member states ( 8177/09 ).

The Commission presented its proposal in December 2008 ( 17564/08 ).The European Parliament adopted its first-reading opinion in April 2009 ( 8899/09 ).

Green Paper: TEN-T policy review - Council conclusions

The Council adopted the following conclusions on the Commission green paper: Towards a better integrated trans-European transport network at the service of the common transport policy:

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

HAVING REGARD TO:

  • The Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 154, 155 and 156 thereof,

  • The Commission's Transport White paper of 12 September 2001, entitled "European Transport Policy for 2010: time to decide", and its Mid-term review of 22 June 2006,

  • Decision 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network, revised in 2004, as last amended by Council Regulation 1791/2006/EC of 20 November 2006 (hereafter "TEN Guidelines"),

  • The Commission communication "Green Paper: TEN-T – a policy review. Towards a better integrated trans-European transport network at the service of the common transport policy" 4 February 2009,

  • The European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Green Paper on the future TEN‑T policy.

WHEREAS:

  • TEN-T policy was established in 1996 for a European Union of 15 Member States, with the key objective of interconnecting their national transport infrastructure networks to facilitate the internal market and social and economic cohesion, including to link islands and peripheral regions, to ensure access to these networks and to connect the EU's network with third countries;

  • While these objectives remain valid, the new territory of the EU stemming from the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union requires adjustment in particular of the TEN-T planning framework, beyond the 2004 revision of the guidelines;

  • New political and economic conditions (such as climate change objectives, Europe's growing international role, the Lisbon Agenda and recent efforts towards economic recovery and sustainable development) also require the TEN-T policy to be reviewed;

  • TEN-T and common transport policy, in particular the concept of co-modality, need to be better integrated so as to make the TEN-T a genuine basis for efficient, sustainable, safe and high-quality transport services throughout the different transport sectors;

  • Future TEN-T policy needs to build on the positive results of past policy action and to further pursue efforts to accomplish measures already decided (in particular the implementation of the priority projects);

  • To meet future requirements, TEN-T policy calls for a strengthening of the European dimension at network planning level and for more efficient Community instruments for implementing the TEN-T;

  • Community action should be coordinated and concentrated on actions with a European added value, taking into account the benefit for the European Union, based on transparent criteria;

  • Transport, currently amongst the sectors contributing most to the Community's greenhouse gas emissions, requires a variety of measures to reduce CO2 emissions; an optimally integrated and interconnected European transport network is a vital condition for achieving these objectives;

  • TEN-T planning shall be reflected in national transport infrastructure frameworks, and coherence must be sought between TEN-T planning ambitions and TEN-T implementation capacities. Once the network decision has been taken, Member States and other project promoters as well as the Commission must concentrate and focus their efforts through the best possible use of the different Community instruments to facilitate implementation of projects of common interest;

The COUNCIL:

(1) WELCOMES the Commission's Green Paper of 4 February 2009 on the future of TEN-T policy and a broad review building on the experience gained and the results achieved so far, without prejudice to the future debate on the financial perspectives;

(2) REAFFIRMS the need to continue investing in transport infrastructure to ensure proper development of the TEN-T in all transport modes, as a basis for the internal market and competitiveness, economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Union and its connection to neighbouring countries, focusing on the "European added value", and taking into account , inter alia , environmental objectives, when defining the future TEN-T policy;

(3) CALLS upon the Commission to ensure continuity with the existing framework, mainly the completion of priority projects, while being open to new approaches to respond to future political, economical, environmental and technological challenges and opportunities;

(4) EMPHASISES that, while major transnational traffic flows are an important criterion for the planning of the TEN-T, economic, social and territorial cohesion and access to the TEN-T are vital too, and are addressed, to a large extent, by the comprehensive network layer of the current TEN-T; therefore, and given its importance as a reference basis for a variety of legislation in the transport sector, ADVOCATES maintaining this comprehensive network . Without prejudice to the future financial perspective, Community financing, as referred to in paragraph 11, is to remain available for the comprehensive TEN-T network;

(5) Without prejudice to the final outcome of the review of the TEN-T Guidelines , AGREES that all current TEN-T priority projects should be an integral part of a coherent priority network which brings together infrastructure already completed or under construction and projects of common interest, and which is multi-modal, with due attention being given to nodes (ports, airports) and inter-modal connections (such as connections between rail, inland waterways, ports and airports);

(6) CONFIRMS that the methodology for the establishment of such a coherent priority network should take account of criteria such as effects on transnational traffic flows, territorial cohesion and economic development, spatial planning, environment/climate change, connection to neighbouring countries INVITES the Commission to develop such a methodology, at the latest at the beginning of 2010, as a basis for the elaboration of its proposal for the Guidelines' revision;

(7) EMPHASISES that, in order to ensure optimal integration of transport infrastructure development and common transport policy, the coherent priority network needs to be complemented by measures in the fields of intelligent transport and traffic management systems, interoperability and technological innovation. Furthermore, common transport policy measures or objectives such as rail freight corridors, green corridors or functional airspace blocks should be catered for in the TEN-T. Also a reasonable degree of flexibility and openness is necessary, to allow transport infrastructure to be an appropriate basis to carry out current and future transport services;

(8) AGREES that the TEN-T policy should contribute significantly to climate change and environmental objectives. The optimal integration and interconnection of all transport modes (both physical and intelligent transport systems), making efficient co-modal transport services possible, constitutes a strong basis for supporting the efforts of the transport sector towards reduction of CO2 and pollutant emissions;

(9) UNDERLINES that the implementation of projects of common interest identified in the framework of the TEN-T needs to be subject to strong commitments from all parties involved - Member States and Community, public and private parties - in accordance with their respective responsibilities;

(10) RECONFIRMS Member States' responsibilities in relation to the programming, financing and implementation of TEN-T projects concerning their territory and UNDERLINES the need to stimulate implementation of TEN-T projects by minimising administrative burdens and simplification of criteria and procedures to apply for TEN-T co-financing;

(11) UNDERLINES the need for the Community to make available the financial resources necessary to stimulate investment in TEN-T projects and, in particular, the need to reconcile adequate financing support from the TEN-T budget to the priority projects which involve relevant cross-border sections and the implementation of which will extend beyond 2013 within the institutional constraints of the financial programming framework;

(12) CALLS upon the Commission to review the coordination and effectiveness of existing Community financial instruments and, if appropriate, to propose the creation of new instruments. Public-private partnership approaches shall be further developed and supported in this context where appropriate;

(13) CONFIRMS the need for non-financial instruments to be strengthened in order to stimulate implementation of TEN-T projects, such as coordination (e.g. through European coordinators, where appropriate), close monitoring and greater transparency through the Open Method of Coordination (for example to stimulate efforts towards the completion of the comprehensive network), sharing of best practice, etc. while avoiding an unnecessary administrative burden;

(14) CALLS upon the Commission to communicate the results of public consultation on the Green Paper as soon as possible after its completion, to undertake further necessary technical work to develop the methodology for TEN-T planning, to involve Member States' experts in this technical work and also to ensure in this context due representation of different geographical areas and social/economic situations; INVITES the Commission to continue discussing the various elements of the TEN-T review, including the planning methodology, with the Committee for Monitoring Guidelines and the Exchange of Information, TEN-T Guidelines Committee, before elaborating a proposal for a revised version of the Guidelines;

(15) INVITES the Commission to submit a proposal for revised TEN-T Guidelines to the institutions before the end of 2010. That proposal should be accompanied by a sound estimate of the investment needs arising from the proposal. The assessment of investment needs must be based on information provided by Member States and on duly justified average unit costs for infrastructure works in typical situations;

(16) REQUESTS the Commission to report regularly (half-yearly) to the Council on its activities in relation to the TEN-T revision process until it submits its proposal for the revised Guidelines."

TELECOMMUNICATION

European network and information security policy

The Council held an exchange of views on network and information security policy. Ministers focused their discussions on the issue of critical information infrastructure protection, which is the subject of a recent Commission communication ( 8375/09 ), on the future of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) as well as on the general direction of European efforts in this field. In order to provide the discussion with a better structure, the Presidency drafted three questions to guide the exchange that can be found in document 10125/09 .

A ministerial conference on critical information infrastructure protection was held on 27 and 28 April 2009 in Tallinn, organised by Estonia under the aegis of the Czech EU Presidency. The conference conclusions can be found here .

Today's debate launched discussions at the Council level. The Swedish Presidency is expected to take the discussion forward and adopt conclusions or a resolution on this issue.

Enhanced protection is particularly required for some information and communication technology systems, services and infrastructures which play a vital role for society, especially for businesses and public administration, and are therefore considered "critical information infrastructures". Their disruption, due to man-made attacks, natural disasters or technical failures, can cause huge economic damage. Recent events such as the cyber-attacks against Estonia in 2007 and the fractures in transcontinental cables in 2008 show the vulnerability of modern information networks and underline the importance of protective measures aimed at ensuring continuation of critical services.

The ENISA was created in 2004 to ensure a high level of security in its area of expertise and to assist the Commission and the member states in addressing related problems. Its tasks include collecting information with a view to risk analysis, developing common methodologies and enhancing cooperation. Last year, its mandate was extended unchanged, until March 2012. Its role is now being re-examined with a view to defining the best way to tackle the main challenges of appropriate network and information protection.

ENERGY

Oil stocks

The Council reached a political agreement on a directive requiring member states to maintain minimum stocks of oil or petroleum products ( 11018/09 ).

The Council will formally adopt the text without debate at a forthcoming Council meeting after legal linguists' revision.

The proposed directive, which is to replace all existing Community legislation in this field (Council directives 2006/67/EC and 73/238/EEC and Council decision 68/416/EEC), is aimed at improving the functioning of the current EU oil stocks mechanisms, so as to ensure availability of oil in the event of a crisis.

To that end the text agreed by ministers seeks to improve the regulatory framework and to reinforce various elements of the stockholding practice in the EU, for example by encouraging the setting up of a central stockholding entities by member states. The purpose of these entities is to acquire, maintain and sell oil stocks for the purposes of this directive or for complying with international agreements concerning the maintenance of oil stocks.

In addition, m ember states will ensure that by 31 December 2012 the total oil stocks maintained at all times within the EU for their benefit correspond, at the very least, to 90 days of average daily net imports or 61 days of average daily inland consumption, whichever of the two quantities is greater. Furthermore, the directive provides for an obligation for all member states to hold at least 30 days of stocks or a third of their stockholding obligation in the form of refined products. The directive also proposes the voluntary creation of specific stocks, i.e. product reserves established specifically for the purposes of this directive.

The directive is also intended to align intra-EU rules with International Energy Agency-led action on the release of emergency oil stocks.

As far as the periodicity of reporting on oil stocks is concerned, the text agreed stipulates that member states will send to the Commission a monthly statistical summary of the levels of commercial stocks held within their national territory. The Commission will publish on this basis a monthly statistical summary of the commercial stocks in the EU. The provisions on reporting, including the periodicity, can be modified through comitology.

The Commission presented its proposal in November 2008 ( 15910/1/08 ).

Energy efficiency package

In a public deliberation, the Council took note of a progress report ( 8989/09 ) summarising the work done so far on the energy efficiency package, which contains the following three proposals: an energy labelling directive ( 15906/1/08 ), a tyres labelling directive ( 15920/08 ) and an energy performance of buildings directive ( 15929/1/08 ).

This report also lists the implementing measures submitted by the Commission, under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, to the Council and the European Parliament during this Presidency, in the context of the framework directives on eco-design requirements and energy labelling.

The purpose of the three proposals on energy efficiency is to contribute to the achievement of the objective of a 20% reduction in the EU's energy consumption by 2020, as called for by the 2007 spring European Council conclusions.

The work on these files will continue under the Swedish Presidency, which intends to reach agreement with the European Parliament on these proposals.

Energy labelling directive

This proposal recasts directive 92/75/EEC on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by household appliances and repeals directive 79/530/EEC. Its objective is to extend its scope, currently restricted to household appliances, to allow (after the adoption of implementing measures per product group) for the labelling of all energy-related products: this could include products used in the household, commercial and industrial sectors and non-energy using products such as windows which have a significant potential to save energy once in use or installed.

Tyres labelling directive

The proposal creates a labelling scheme for tyre parameters including fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise, addressing tyres fitted on passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy duty vehicles. It provides harmonised and easy-to-understand information to consumers, companies and retailers by grading tyre performance characteristics. It will guarantee that the information is made available to end-users via different media (e.g. electronic, catalogues, stickers).

Energy performance of buildings

The proposal clarifies, strengthens and extends the scope of the current directive 2002/91/EC in particular by:

  • extending the scope of the provision requiring member states to set up minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and for major renovations ;

  • reinforcing the provisions on energy performance certificates, inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems, , information, and independent experts, and adding an obligation to calculate cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements.

  • stimulating member states to develop frameworks and targets in order to increase the percentage of low or zero energy and carbon buildings;

  • encouraging the public sector to become more actively involved and to take a lead.

The Commission presented these three proposals in November 2008. The European Parliament adopted its first reading opinion on the tyres labelling proposal ( 8876/1/09 ) as well as on the energy performance of buildings proposal ( 8877/1/09 ) in April and on the energy labelling proposal in May 2009 ( 9322/09 ).

International energy relations

The Council took note of the information provided by the Presidency and the Commission on events and developments in international relations that took place during the Czech Presidency, or are due to take place soon ( 9852/09 + 9852/09 COR 1 ).

The briefing included, amongst other things, the fourth EU-Russia Partnership Council, relations with Ukraine, the issue of supply of Russian gas through Ukraine, the Southern Corridor countries summit, the Energy Community and the EU-OPEC energy dialogue.

OTHER BUSINESS

(a) Aviation security charges

The Council took note of the main lines of the Commission proposal on aviation security charges that is the fulfilment of a Commission commitment made to the European Parliament in 2007 during the negotiations leading to the adoption of the regulation on aviation security ( 9864/09 ).

(b) Liberalisation process in the railway sector

The Council took note of the information provided by the Commission on the degree of market opening of member states in the railway sector .

(c) Informal meeting of ministers for transport

The Czech Presidency informed delegations on the outcome of the informal meeting of EU transport ministers that took place in Litoměřice on 29 April 2009 (10768/09).

(d) First ASEM transport ministers meeting

The Council took note of the information provided by the Lithuanian del egation on the preparation of the first meeting of the ASEM transport ministers, which will take place in Vilnius on 19-20 October 2009.

(e) Current state of play of the transport issues following the EU-Russia Summit

The Council took note of the information provided by the Commission, at the request of the Polish delegation, on the current state of play of the transport issues following the EU‑Russia Summit, which took place in Khabarovsk on 22 May 2009.

(f) Draft decree on container traffic by the Federal Custom Services of Russia

The Council took note of the information provided by the Finnish delegation on the possible consequences of the entry into force of a Russian a decree on container traffic.

(g) Second European Maritime Day

The Council took note of the information provided by the Italian delegation on the main results of the Second European Maritime Day, organised jointly by the Commissioner for Maritime affairs and the Italian government, which took place in Rome on 18‑20 May 2009 ( 10618/09 , 10619/09 ).

(h) Internet of Things

The Council took note of the information provided by the Commission on the communication on the Internet of Things to be adopted in the coming weeks ( 10524/09 ) .

(i) Safer Internet for Children

The Council took note of the information provided by the Presidency on the ministerial conference "Safer Internet for Children", which took place in Prague on 20 April 2009. ( 10522/09 ) .

(j) Internet Governance

The Council took note of the information provided by the Commission on the state of play of Internet Governance and on the next steps to consider ( 10721/09 ).

(k) Baltic interconnection Plan

The Council took note of the information provided by the Commission on the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection plan ( 10703/09 ).

(l) G8 Energy Ministerial Meeting

The Council took note of the information provided by the Italian delegation on the G8 meeting of energy ministers, which took place in Rome, on 24-25 May 2009 ( 10705/09 ).

(m) International Renewable Energy Agency

The Council took note of the information provided by the German delegation on the foundation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) ( 10941/09 ).

EVENTS IN THE MARGINS OF THE COUNCIL

The Council held an informal discussion on the state of play regarding the telecoms package in the margins of the Council on 11 June. The Presidency press statement can be found here .

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

TRANSPORT

Driving licences - Regulatory procedure with scrutiny

The Council decided not to oppose the adoption by the Commission of a directive amending directive 2006/126/EC on driving licences ( 8558/09).

The amending directive is subject to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, allowing the Council to oppose the adoption of legal acts by the Commission. Now that the Council has given its green light, the Commission may adopt the directive, unless the European Parliament objects.

EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY

Iraq – EU integrated rule of law mission

The Council adopted a joint action on the EU integrated rule of law mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX mission) ( 9579/09 ).

The joint action extends the EUJUST LEX for one year, until 30 June 2010, and the mission will also prepare the first pilot activities on Iraqi territory to provide training, strategic advice and mentoring to senior officials of the Iraqi Criminal Justice Sector, as the security conditions allow. In addition, the joint action provides for a new financial reference amount of up to EUR 10,8 million in order to cover expenditure related to the mission for the period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010.

Since 2005, the EU has been contributing towards strengthening the rule of law in Iraq and promoting human rights through EUJUST LEX by providing training courses and work experience secondments in EU member states for senior Iraqi police, judicial and penitentiary personnel.

EUJUST LEX was established under j oint a ction 2005/190/CFSP (see Official Journal L 62, 9.3.2005, p. 37) .

More information and documents available on HREF="http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=823&mode=g&lang=en" MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor http://www.consilium.europa.eu/eujust-lex .

TRADE POLICY

Anti-dumping

Hand pallet trucks

The Council adopted a regulation extending the definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by regulation (EC) No 1174/2005 on imports of hand pallet trucks and their essential parts originating in China to imports of the same product consigned from Thailand, whether declared as originating in Thailand or not ( 9903/09 ) .

Castings from China

The Council adopted a regulation amending regulation (EC) No 1212/2005 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of certain castings originating in China ( 10062/09 ) .

Protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the EC

The Council adopted a regulation so as to undertake a codification of Council regulation No  2026/97 on protection against subsidized imports from countries not members of the European Community ( 9380/09 ), which has been substantially amended several times.

The new regulation explains inter alia when a subsidy shall be deemed to exist, according to which principles it shall be countervailable, and according to which criteria the amount of the countervailable subsidy is to be calculated. Moreover, it lays down clear and detailed guidance as to the factors which may be relevant for the determination of whether the subsidised imports have caused material injury or are threatening to cause injury.

SOCIAL AFFAIRS

Council strengthens the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to counter crisis

The Council adopted today 1 a revised regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) 2 , following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament ( 3654/09 + 10304/09 ADD1 ).

The main objective of the new regulation is to enable the EGF to make earlier interventions in favour of workers made redundant as a result of globalisation as well as to improve the attractiveness of the fund and to strengthen the solidarity in the context of the current economic and financial crisis.

The new regulation includes the following provisions:

  • the trigger number for interventions of the fund is reduced from 1000 to 500 redundancies;

  • the period for the use of financial contributions from the fund is prolonged from 12 to 24 months;

  • the scope of the EGF is temporarily broadened by providing support also to workers who have lost their jobs as a direct result of the current crisis; in addition, the co-financing rate for these cases is increased to 65%, compared to the usual co-financing rate which remains 50%; in order to benefit from this derogation, the applications must be submitted before 31 December 2011.

The new rules, which form a part of the European Economic Recovery Plan, will apply retroactively to all applications for assistance from the EGF received from 1 May 2009.

1 :

"Intelligent transport systems" mean applying information and communication technologies to transport. These applications are being developed for different transport modes and for interaction between them.

1 :

The decision was taken, without discussion, at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting.

2 :

Germany voted against, the United Kingdom and Latvia abstained.


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