The belief that the Cyprus Presidency can help the EU tackle the economic crisis and growing unemployment rates through the development and adoption of integrated policies was outlined today by the Minister of Communications and Works Mr Efthymios Flourentzou. The Communications Minister presented the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency before the European Committees of Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in Brussels. Mr Flourentzou signalled the great potential of Europe’s seas and oceans for achieving growth and highlighted the importance of raising awareness concerning road safety among young people.
Mr Flourentzou called on the EU to share the vision of the Cyprus Presidency for achieving sustainable growth and prosperity, by highlighting the need to develop integrated policies. Speaking before the TRAN and ITRE committees of the European Parliament, the Communications Minister emphasised the importance of close cooperation between the Cyprus Presidency and the European Parliament in bringing these goals to fruition.
“Sustainable growth as well as job creation could be achieved through the effective development of integrated policies such as Transport, Telecommunications and Information Society, Integrated Maritime Policy and EU Space Policy” said Mr Flourentzou. He noted that the promotion of such policies, which foster growth and enhance social cohesion, were of paramount importance.
Mr Flourentzou vowed to work closely with the European Parliament in order to complete legislative initiatives concerning the promotion of modern, efficient and well developed transport and telecommunications infrastructures such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which constitutes part of the Multiannual Financial Framework. The Communications Minister stressed such matters were vital for the EU economy’s growth and competitiveness.
Oceans and Seas important for EU economy
The Communications Minister emphasised the potential of Europe’s oceans and seas for the EU economy, sustainability and prosperity, as well as the need for a genuine strategic approach to Europe’s maritime affairs and coastal areas should be further explored.
“The Cyprus Presidency will, as a priority, aim at ‘re-energising’ the EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), through the examination and adoption of a political Declaration, in order to create momentum for the implementation of this innovative cross-cutting policy”, stressed Mr Flourentzou to the positive response of the TRAN Committee members.
The Cyprus Presidency will look to give the IMP a considerable boost in next week’s Informal Ministerial Meeting of Transport and Telecoms, which will take place in Cyprus between July 16 and 17.
Referring to next week’s informal meeting, Mr Flourentzou noted the crucial role of Information Technologies in the implementation of the European transport policy, while he highlighted the Cyprus Presidency’s priorities of integrating the European Transport Policy.
“Its main objective is to support the EU Telecoms and Transport Policies by further promoting the development of public open data policies addressing multimodality through the effective development of intelligent transport systems. The outcome of the relevant Ministerial Meeting will be presented to the ITS World Congress which will take place in Vienna in October”, Minister Flourentzou said.
Targeting a single European Sky
The Communications Minister also revealed the Cyprus Presidency priority on establishing Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs), as part of the process of the completion of the Single European Sky.
“The Presidency will host an Aviation Summit in October and it will work in close cooperation with the European Commission and the Member States, to make the FABs operational, thus improving aviation performance” the Minister added.
Road Safety; Increase awareness among young people
An area of crucial importance with social dimension is Road Safety. Minister Flourentzou stressed the fact that a big proportion of road crashes involve young road users and therefore the Cyprus Presidency will host the “4th European Road Safety Day” dedicated to Youth.
“The aim is to increase awareness on the sensitive issue of Road Safety among the young people and to give the opportunity to the participants to exchange views and propose possible concrete actions on ways to improve youth road safety in a national and European level, turning young people to policy formulators” Minister Flourentzou emphasised.
In the same area, the Minister informed the Members of the TRAN Committee that "the Cyprus Presidency is committed to promoting, in close cooperation with European Parliament, the amendment of the current legislation on recording equipment in road transport (tachographs) as well as the amendment on the existing legislation on Roadworthiness Tests for Motor Vehicles and their Trailers”.
Promoting Digital Agenda for Europe
Concerning the Cyprus Presidency’s target of integrating the Digital Agenda for Europe, the Communications Minister stressed his commitment to work hard with the European Parliament in order to successfully conclude the negotiations on the proposal for a Directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information that will ensure a common approach across all EU Member States.
“It will have a significant positive economic impact as it is expected to generate new businesses and jobs” he added.
Minister Flourentzou emphasised the need to increase the confidence of citizens and businesses in online transactions. In this respect, he expressed Cyprus Presidency’s commitment to work on the proposal for a Pan-European legislative framework on trust and confidence in electronic transactions in the internal market.
Minister Flourentzou also expressed the determination of the Cyprus Presidency to work hard within the Council as well as with the European Parliament in order to successfully conclude the negotiations on the relevant legislative initiatives.
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Ministry of Communications and Works
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