EU Member States exhibited their continuing commitment and support for a more sustainable and efficient transport system in the EU by taking important steps to this respect during the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council dedicated to issues of transport and telecommunications which is taking place in Brussels today, December 20, 2012. During the first half of the last Council meeting held under the Cyprus Presidency which dealt with transport issues, ministers reached a general approach on a proposed update of the common rules on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and examined progress made on issues relating to European infrastructure networks, navigation satellite systems and international aviation.
Τhe first part of the meeting was dedicated to transport issues and was chaired by Cyprus’ Minister of Communications and Works, Mr.Efthemios Flourentzou.
Protecting road users and reducing emissions
During the morning session, EU transport ministers reached a general approach regarding the legislative proposal on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers. Its key objective is to improve road safety by setting relevant requirements, which leaves Member States free to impose stricter rules.
“This legislative proposal enhances the protection of vulnerable road users as well as contributing to the reduction of emissions in road transport” Mr. Flourentzou underlined.
Advancing the European Infrastructure Networks
Moreover, the Transport Ministers examined the progress achieved on the proposal for a Regulation establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is a significant dossier for the development and consolidation of the European infrastructure networks. The CEF is part of a package proposed in the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and lays down the rules for the granting of EU financial aid in order to improve the Trans-European Transport, telecommunications and energy networks.
Minister Flourentzou noted that “CEF will be financing projects in order to support the infrastructure development on transport, energy and telecommunication networks thus recognizing their growth potential as well as their complementary importance as backbone of a resilient and dynamic EU economy.”
The Council also examined the progress made on the legislative proposal which aims to establish a new financial and governance framework concerning the two European navigation satellite systems; Galileo and EGNOS.
”Galileo and EGNOS are expected to contribute to the EU competitiveness, growth and innovation in key sectors,” said the minister.
Transforming the European and Global Aviation Scene
Furthermore, in the aviation field, Transport Ministers emphasised the need for concerted action in the transformation of the international aviation with the adoption of Council Conclusions on the Commission’s Communication on the ‘EU External Aviation Policy – Addressing Future Challenges’.
"I would like to congratulate the Cyprus Presidency for the very well prepared Council Conclusions which form a strong basis to strengthen our aviation relations with important global partners", said the Vice President of the Commission, Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Siim Kallas, in his closing remarks.
Finally, in the margins of the Council meeting, the agreement between the EU and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation EUROCONTROL was signed, in the presence of the Directorate General of the organisation, Mr. David McMillan. The agreement constitutes an important development since it provides a general framework for the enhanced cooperation between the EU and EUROCONTROL, thus facilitating the realisation of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative.
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