Transport council: EU to kick-off negotiations for new aviation agreements - EU monitor

EU monitor
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Source: V. (Violeta) Bulc i, published on Friday, June 10 2016.

This week, transport ministers from all EU member states met for the transport Council in Luxemburg. The main topics on the agenda were external aviation agreements, aviation safety and inland waterways. I also informed the ministers on a very successful Passenger Ships Safety package and road safety issues.

At the Council, EU transport ministers authorised the Commission to start negotiations for EU-level aviation agreements with Turkey, Qatar the United Arab Emirates and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). These negotiating mandates are one of the main deliverables of the new Aviation Strategy for Europe, which we adopted last December. Global connectivity is a driver of trade and tourism, and contributes to economic growth and job creation. The agreements will offer new business opportunities to the whole aviation sector, new routes and better fares to passengers while at the same time guaranteeing a level playing field to our companies. I am glad to see that all EU countries trusted us with the mandates. We will now reach out to our partners - full steam ahead - in order to start negotiations swiftly.

Another important area of discussion was inland waterways. In February 2016, we proposed to enhance the mobility of inland navigation crew members and provide new career prospects in the sector. It is an important issue to tackle because we should strive to make inland waterways a more competitive mode of transport, and as such attractive for growth, jobs and innovation. I'm pleased to see that the Council adopted our proposal for a directive on the recognition of professional qualifications in this sector, which is part of the so-called "NAIADES II package". This is an important step forward towards better facilitation of labour mobility and overall bigger competitiveness of the inland waterways industry.

I also informed the ministers about our proposals to simplify and improve safety for ships carrying passengers in EU waters. Passenger ships play a crucial role in the day-to-day mobility of our citizens. They have also become an increasingly important element of their holiday experience. Offering the highest safety standards to passengers across all transport modes is one of my top priorities, and passenger ship safety pack is one of first maritime deliveries of my mandate. It enhances safety on ships by making the best use of recent technology and removes some redundant and costly requirements. This clearly is "Better Regulation" at work. However, it is only a beginning of our work in the maritime sector - much more is coming in 2017 when we want to focus on maritime transport, as means to ensure global connectivity, an efficient internal market and leadership of EU industry.

Overall, the transport council in Luxembourg was a constructive and useful meeting, and we had some very fruitful discussions with EU transport ministers on a range of strategic issues in the area of transport. I'm pleased to see that the Commission's work in this area is showing results and is well-recognised by the Member States. I also congratulate the Dutch presidency for an excellent Council and for a successful Presidency. I welcome the incoming Slovak presidency and look forward to our good cooperation.

Svet EU: srečanje evropskih prometnih ministrov in letalski sporazumi EU z različnimi ključnimi akterji

Ta teden je v Luksemburgu potekalo srečanje prometnih ministrov držav članic EU. Glavne teme razprave so bili letalski sporazumi, varnost v letalskem prometu in celinske plovne poti. Zbrane ministre sem obvestila tudi o uspešnem paketu ukrepov za varnost potnikov na ladjah ter problemu cestnoprometne varnosti.

Na zasedanju so prometni ministri pooblastili Evropsko komisijo za začetek pogajanj o letalskih sporazumih EU s Turčijo, Katarjem, Združenimi arabskimi emirati in Združenjem držav jugovzhodne Azije (ASEAN). Sporazumi so eden izmed ključnih delov Evropske letalske strategije, ki je bila sprejeta decembra lani. Globalna povezanost je izredno pomembna za rast gospodarstva in ustvarjanje delovnih mest. Sporazumi bodo izboljšali konkurenčnost evropskega letalskega sektorja ter okrepili njegovo vlogo v svetu, ustvarili nove poslovne priložnosti ter potnikom omogočili cenejše lete in nove destinacije. Zadovoljna sem, da so nas pri tem podprli ministri vseh držav članic. Sedaj je čas, da s ključnimi partnerji čim prej pričnemo pogajanja.

Še ena pomembna tema zasedanja so bile celinske plovne poti. Februarja smo predlagali povečanje mobilnosti članov posadke v celinskih vodah, kar bi vzpodbudilo zaposlitvene priložnosti v tem sektorju. Gre za pomembno področje, saj želimo, da celinska plovba postane konkurenčnejše prevozno sredstvo, kar bi vzpodbudilo razvoj gospodarstva in inovacij ter izboljšalo mobilnost ljudi in tovora. Veseli me, da so ministri EU na zasedanju sprejeli naš predlog direktive o priznavanju profesionalnih kvalifikacij, kar je del t.i. NAIADES II paketa. To je pomemben korak k izboljšanju pogojev za zaposlene v sektorju ter nasploh k večji konkurenčnosti in privlačnosti celinske plovbe.

Na zasedanju sem ministre obvestila tudi o predlogih za poenostavitev in izboljšavo pravil o potniških ladjah v EU, ki jih pripravljamo v Komisiji. Ladje so za mobilnost evropskih državljanov zelo pomembno prevozno sredstvo, še posebej v času počitniških potovanj. Nenehno se zavzemam za zagotavljanje najvišjih varnostnih standardov pri vseh prevoznih sredstvih in eden izmed mojih prvih dosežkov na področju pomorstva je paket ukrepov za varnost potnikov na ladjah. Z uporabo novih tehnologij izboljšuje varnost plovil in odpravlja odvečna in draga pravila. Nedvomno gre za primer dobre prakse pri spreminjanju zakonodaje, ki poenostavlja postopke in deluje v prid uporabnikom storitev. Toda to je šele začetek - še veliko več podobnih sprememb pripravljamo v letu 2017, ko se bomo intenzivneje posvečali pomorskemu prometu. Gre za ukrepe, ki zagotavljajo globalno povezljivost, učinkovito delovanje notranjega trga in ohranjanje vodilne vloge evropskih podjetij v pomorstvu.

Zasedanje v Luksemburgu je bilo konstruktivno in zelo koristno - z ministri smo imeli kar nekaj plodnih razprav o prihodnjih strateških usmeritvah prometa. Veseli me, da delo Evropske komisije na tem področju prinaša dobre rezultate, kar priznavajo tudi prometni ministri evropskih držav. Ob tem pa čestitam tudi nizozemskemu predsedstvu za odlično organizacijo zasedanja in nasploh zelo uspešno predsedovanje Svetu EU. Sedaj štafeto prevzema Slovaška in prepričana sem, da bomo tudi pod njihovim vodstvom dobro sodelovali in nadaljevali uspešno delo.