The EU’s Transport Minsters are expected to reach a general approach on the proposal for a Regulation on the periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers, which will serve towards reducing road fatalities by half until 2020, as the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council, dedicated to issues of transport and telecommunications, convenes in Brussels on Thursday, December 20. During the meeting, which is the last Council meeting to be held under the Cyprus Presidency, ministers will also evaluate the progress made during the Cyprus Presidency on important legislative proposals such as the Connecting Europe facility, the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems, electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and the Trans-European Telecommunications Networks.
On Thursday, December 20, the TTE Council that will be chaired by the Cypriot Minister of Communications and Works Mr.Efthemios Flourentzou, is expected to achieve progress on issues that contribute towards a more sustainable and efficient transport system for the EU and towards the further development of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Halving EU road fatalities by 2020
During the Council, the proposal for a Regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers will be discussed. The enhancement of the road safety and the environmental protection are the two main objectives of this proposal aiming to contribute to reduce road fatalities by half until 2020. A general approach is anticipated on this issue.
Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The Council will also evaluate the progress made on the legislative proposal for a Regulation establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). 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 Ttansport, telecommunications and energy networks. It will finance the projects which fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.
Galileo and EGNOS
The proposal for a Regulation on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems is also on the Council’s agenda, where its progress will be examined. The purpose of this proposal is to establish a new financial and governance framework concerning the two European satellite navigation programmes, Galileo and EGNOS.
Towards a reinforced and renewed EU external aviation policy
In the area of aviation, Transport Ministers are expected to adopt Council Conclusions on the Commission Communication on the ‘EU's external aviation policy - Addressing Future Challenges’. It is identified that the rapid transformation of international aviation requires a reinforced and renewed EU external aviation policy andthrough these Council Conclusions the EU will aims to emphasise the need for concerted efforts for the benefit of global aviation.
In the margins of the Council meeting, the agreement providing a general framework for enhanced cooperation between the EU and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) will be signed in the presence of the Directorate General of the Organisation, Mr. David McMillan.
Further development of the Digital Agenda for Europe
Increasing the confidence of citizens and businesses in online transactions is regarded as being of utmost importance to boost the digital economy. In this respect, the Council will note the progress made on the proposal for a Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market which will facilitate the use of public and private online services.
Additionally, the Council will discuss the progress in relation to the proposal for a Regulation on guidelines for Trans-European Telecommunications Networks. The regulations aim at targeting further private investment in order to develop the necessary infrastructure to interconnect the internet at high speeds through EU funding, thus achieving the strategic goals of 2020 in the “Digital Agenda for Europe”.
Finally, the Telecoms Ministers will also discuss the proposal for a Regulation on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI). Public sector information (PSI) is the single largest source of information in Europe. The realisation of the economic potential of this source of information leads to the need to further open up the market for services extending the scope to also cover certain cultural institutions (namely museums, libraries and archives), as well as the obligation to allow the re-use of existing accessible documents held by public sector bodies.
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