From left to right: Mr Ivaylo MOSKOVSKI, Bulgarian Minister for Transport, Information Technology and Communications; Mr Jaroslaw PIETRAS, Director General, General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. Photo: European Union
With Bulgaria´s Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski as chair, EU transport ministers today agreed their position on rules to safeguard competition in air transport, on port reception facilities and on electronic road tolling and exchange of information. The three agreements were confirmed at the first day of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting in Luxembourg, which runs on 7, 8 and 11 June.
After the Bulgarian Presidency has reached agreements among Member States on these three key pieces of legislation, negotiations with the European Parliament can start with the aim of reaching final deals.
The draft rules to safeguard competition in the air transport aim to ensure fair competition between EU and foreign air carriers operating in the EU, while ensuring good connectivity throughout the EU.
Commenting on today´s success, minister Moskovski said:
"Air transport is a major driving force of the EU economy, enabling advanced technological innovations, more jobs and better connectivity for citizens, both inside the Union and with the rest of the world. Once adopted, this instrument will provide the European aviation sector with a tool similar to those existing at international level in other areas of commercial activity."
The draft rules on port reception facilities will provide incentives for ships to dispose of their waste on land. This will contribute to reducing marine litter, in line with EU’s overall strategy to protect our seas and oceans.
Minister Moskovski said:
"This is an important tool for making maritime transport more environmentally friendly. It will help us protect our seas from plastic waste, derelict fishing gear and other rubbish that currently ends up harming our marine environment."
The draft rules on the electronic road tolling and exchange of information seek to make it easier to trace owners of foreign vehicles that fail to pay road tolls by granting each other access to national vehicle registration data. They will make it possible for people and businesses to pay their electronic tolls with one on-board unit, one contract and one invoice, when travelling across Europe.
Minister Moskovski said:
"These new rules on electronic road tolls will ensure that all road users pay their tolls, wherever they are in the EU. And increased interoperability between different tolling systems will make for better mobility throughout the EU."
The Council also discussed the rest of the key proposals in the road transport sector, including rules on hauliers' driving and rest times, positioning by means of tachographs, the posting of drivers who operate in other member states, cabotage and establishment rules for road transport operators. The work on those files will continue under the next Austrian Presidency.