FINNISH PRESIDENCY: TRANSPORT EXPECTATIONS
Letter from Stephen Ladyman MP, Minister
of State for Transport, Department for Transport to the Chairman
I thought you might find it helpful to have
an update on a number of transport proposals that will be progressed
in the next few months, including the Finnish plans for their
Logistics improvement is the underlying transport
theme for the Presidency, but the focus will be on dealing with
the inherited agenda, on which EU/US and Galileo are understood
as the main items. The dates for the two Councils have been confirmed
as 12 October, in Luxembourg, and 11-12 December, in Brussels.
There will be no Informal Transport Councils.
The Commission's Communication on freight
transport logistics was published on 28 June and will be the
subject of EM 11312/06. There will be an exchange of views on
it at the October Council, leading to Conclusions in December.
Germany is expected to continue with the subject during its Presidency.
Short sea shipping will be part of the logistics priority,
as it was during the previous Finnish Presidency.
The mid-term review of the Commission's 2001
transport policy White Paper appeared in June in a Communication
entitled "Keep Europe movingSustainable mobility for
our continent", and is the subject of EM 10954/06. There
will be a policy debate on this Communication in October, a summary
of which the Presidency plan to report to the Commission, rather
than agreeing formal Council Conclusions.
The Common Position on the third rail package
(7147/04) will be transmitted to the European Parliament in
September, where it will be handled as a package, and the Presidency
are aiming for a second reading agreement.
The proposal on public passenger transport
(11508/05) is expected to go to the European Parliament in
November or December, so EP consideration may be under the German
In Road Safety, proposals on infrastructure
safety assessment and on retrofitting of blind spot mirrors will
be taken to the December Council for general approach if Commission
proposals come forward in time. The Finnish Presidency is working
closely with Italy on plans for "Verona IV", the fourth
informal Ministerial conference on Road Safety, to be held in
Verona in November.
Finland has started examination of the supply
chain security proposal (6935/06). It is on the provisional
agenda for the October Council, for a general approach, but early
discussion of the proposal suggests this may be optimistic.
On Galileo, a conference/seminar on services
and future applications is planned for 12 September in Brussels.
The Presidency envisage Conclusions in October on the Commission's
state of play report and on third country links, and in December
decisions on amending the regulations on the Joint Undertaking
and the Supervisory Authority.
In aviation, EU/US is recognised as being
potentially the big issue for the Presidency, and Gillian Merron
is writing to you separately about this.
The Presidency will be working towards a general
approach in October or December on the amending Regulation on
the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Austrian
Presidency began a preliminary examination of the dossier (EM
14895/05 & 14903/05), which identified several key elements
which the Finnish Presidency will take forward. As expected these
discussions have been complex and we do not expect the dossier
to be completed before late 2007 at the earliest. The European
Parliament First Reading is currently scheduled for January 2007.
We have received 28 separate responses to our recent consultation
on this matter, and these contributions are now being analysed.
In addition to assisting with the production of the RIA they are
informing our negotiating stance on the dossier. We expect the
RIA to be produced, along with the Consultation Response Document,
in late summer.
Finland is also prepared to start work on ground
handling or the revision of the third aviation package if the
proposals appear in time, but this seems unlikely.
Of current maritime proposals, the Presidency
will continue with port state control (5632/06) for possible
general approach in December. There may also be an initial Council
discussion on the proposal on classification societies (5912/06).
The European Parliament may give a first reading to the seven
current proposals as a package during December/January.
The consultation process on the Maritime
Green Paper will last throughout the Finnish Presidency, and
into the following one.
I hope that this summary of our expectations
is useful. Further information will, of course, be provided to
you in the future on the progress of these dossiers.
14 July 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Stephen Ladyman
Thank you for your letter of 14 July, which
Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 24 July.
We were grateful to you for your helpful update,
and look forward to hearing from you further as the proposals
progress under the Finnish Presidency.
25 July 2006