EU Transport Development Issues - July 2011


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EU Transport Development Issues - July 2011

  1. 1. Monthly RoundupJuly 2011EU DevelopmentTransport Issues
  2. 2.   Monthly Transport Policy roundup – July 2011 Prepared by Dods EU Monitoring   Please find below a summary of the main EU level developments for July 2011 regarding road and rail transport issues.    Polish Presidency                                                                                                                                                    On  July  1  2011,  Poland  took  over  the  presidency  of  the  Council  of  the  European  Union  from Hungary and will therefore lead the work of EU transport ministers for six months. The Poles will concentrate on the revision of the Trans‐European transport networks (TEN‐T) with a special focus on  regional  aspects  of  access  to  TEN‐T,  bottlenecks  and  cooperation  between  different  member states. A Commission proposal on TEN‐T is expected in September and the Council should adopt its general approach on December 12. Moreover, discussions on the sources of funding for the TEN‐T will commence on September 5 during the informal meeting of transport ministers.  New initiatives by the European Commission                                                                                                   a. Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan  On  July  7,  the  European  Commission  published  the  Neighbourhood  Transport  Action  Plan  to strengthen transport links with neighbouring regions to the East and South of the EU. Key road and rail measures for connecting the transport systems of the EU and its neighbours include:     Rail  freight  potential:  opening  markets  and  by  alleviating  technical  barriers  such  as  differences in rail gauge sizes;    Joining  up  the  Trans‐European  Transport  Network  with  infrastructure  of  the  EU’s  neighbours through priority transport projects;   Streamlining  the  implementation  of  regional  transport  cooperation,  by  establishing  an  Eastern Partnership Transport Panel to oversee cooperation with neighbours to the east;    Helping neighbouring countries to improve road safety.  In  addition,  the  Eastern  Partnership  Transport  Panel  will  be  launched  at  a  ministerial  conference organised on October 24‐25 in Krakow. Furthermore, the Council should adopt conclusions on the European Commission communication concerning transport relations with neighbouring countries on October 6. Please click here for more information.    1
  3. 3. b. New tachograph rules for road transport   On July 19, the Commission proposed to revise the tachograph legislation to make full use of new technological  opportunities  such  as  satellite  positioning.  This  will  make  fraud  more  difficult  and reduce the administrative burden, which is expected to save companies €515 million per year. The proposal for a regulation provides for novelties such as:   Location recording by satellite positioning system will allow replacing manual recording by  automated ones;   Remote communication that increases efficiency of roadside checks that can be targeted on  those vehicles which are more likely to be in breach of the legislation;    Specific  interface  to  allow  for  an  integration  into  intelligent  transport  systems,  while  respecting the applicable legislation on data protection;   Higher  standards  for  workshops  entrusted  to  install  and  calibrate  the  tachograph  will  reduce fraud and manipulation;   Merging the driving licence with the driver card to be used with the digital tachograph;   Continuous update of the tachograph specifications.   The proposal, accompanied by a communication explaining how to maintain security, use European standards  and  cooperate  with  third  countries  at  the  level  of  the  United  Nations  Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), has been submitted to Parliament and Council who are invited to adopt the proposal. Ministers are expected to adopt a general approach on December 12 2011.  Please click here for more information.   c. Road Safety Statistics   On  July  5,  the  Commission  published  new  statistics  showing  that  EU  road  fatalities  decreased  by 11% in 2010. The figures are follow‐up to the plans to reduce the number of European road deaths by half in the next 10 years, as announced by the “EU Road Safety Action Plan” in July 2010 and the "European Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011‐2020".  However,  country  by  country  statistics  show  that  the  number  of  deaths  still  varies  greatly  across the  EU.  Most  countries  achieved  double‐digit  reductions  in  the  number  of  road  deaths  over  the past year, the best ones being Luxembourg (33%), Malta (29%) Sweden (26%) and Slovakia (26%).   Draft directive on cross‐border enforcement of traffic rules                                                                                          On July 6, after a lengthy legislative process, the European Parliament plenary adopted, at second reading,  its  position  on  cross‐border  enforcement  of  sanctions  regarding  road  safety  under  the ordinary  legislative  procedure.  The  Parliament’s  amendments  are  the  result  of  a  compromise negotiated  between  the  Parliament  and  the  Council.  The  commission’s  initial  proposal  was introduced in March 2008.   The agreed text between the co‐legislators is targeted against the most dangerous road offences including:    speeding,    driving under the influence of drink or drugs,    not wearing seatbelts, going through a red light,   2
  4. 4.  not wearing crash helmets,    using bus lanes and other banned thoroughfares and   illegal use of mobile phones or other communication equipment while driving.    From 2013 onwards, EU member States will have to provide details of the driver or holder of the vehicle registration certificate to the authorities of the country where the offence took place.    As a next step, the directive needs to be unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers before becoming  law  –  this  should  happen  at  the  earliest  in  September,  once  the  dossier  has  passed through  the  legal  and  linguistic  services  and  the  Committee  of  permanent  representatives.  Member  States  will  then  have  two  years  to  apply  the  new  rules,  except  for  Ireland,  the  UK  and Denmark, who remain outside the system for now.   Draft regulation on two‐ or three‐wheel vehicles and quadricycles                                                            On July 12 2011, the committee on the internal market and consumer protection of the European Parliament decided to consider amendments on Wim Van De Camp (EPP, NL)’s draft report after the summer break.  The draft regulation, proposed by the Commission in October 2010 to simplify the current legal framework (Directive 2002/24/EC), to contribute to a lower, more proportionate share  of  overall  road  transport  emissions,  and  to  increase  vehicle  safety  for  new  two‐  or  three‐wheel  vehicles  and  quadricycles  (L‐category  vehicles)  entering  the  EU  market,  is  scheduled  for adoption in committee on October 6 and to be voted in the Parliament plenary on November 14.    Recast of the 1st Railway Package                             On July 11 2011, the transport committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views on  the  amendments  (continued  here)  and  the  tentative  compromise  amendments  tabled  on  the draft report of Debora Serracchiani (S&D, IT) dealing with the recast of the first railway package.  The debate at the committee following the commission’s proposal from September 2010 has been controversial.  The  directive  is  intended  to  simplify  and  modernise  the  regulatory  framework  for Europes  railway  sector  so  as  to  improve  conditions  for  investments,  increase  competition  and strengthen market supervision in that sector. Nevertheless, the Commission has decided to avoid the issue of unbundling which the Parliament wants to see addressed.   The vote in the TRAN committee is scheduled to October 11 and in plenary to November 14. The directive  is  dealt  under  the  ordinary  legislative  procedure,  the  Parliament’s  position  will  be  dealt with in the Council of ministers in early December.   Study on rail noise                                                                                                                                                   On July 14, the Commission was presented a study by rail associations (VDV, VPI, UIP, ERFA, UIC) and rail companies (AAE, DB Netz, DB Schenker Rail) on  the retrofitting of freight wagons to reduce their noise. The Commission will consider potential measures to prohibit non‐retrofitted wagons in the EU in the future. The outcome of the study will also be submitted to the European Parliament.   3
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