Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Europe Union.Transport and Telecommucations.Background

Council Europe.Transport,Telecommunications and Energy Council.Brussels,7 December 2011. Establishment of a single European railway area The Council is expected to reach political agreement on a draft directive on a single European railway area (17324/11), confirming its general approach adopted in June this year, while slightly adapting the wording of a few provisions in order to take account of amendments adopted by the European Parliament. While this political agreement is being formalised in the form of a first-reading position, the Council will enter into negotiations with the European Parliament to seek agreement on a final text to be adopted jointly by both institutions at second reading, if possible.

The Council will try to reach a partial general approach on a proposal for a regulation on the tachograph to be used by professional drivers so that compliance with the rules on driving time and rest periods can be monitored, in order to ensure road safety, decent working conditions for drivers and fair competition between transport businesses. The aim of the proposal, which amends the 1985 tachograph regulation, is to make fraud more difficult and to reduce the administrative burden by making full use of new technologies and introducing a number of new regulatory measures.

The Council will take stock of progress made on new guidelines defining a long-term strategy for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) with the aim of establishing a complete and integrated transport network covering all member states and regions and providing the basis for the balanced development of all transport modes.

The Council will seek a general approach on an update of a 2008 directive defining the minimum level of training for seafarers, with a view to aligning the EU legislation with recent amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The 2008 directive is the transposition into EU law of this convention, which was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and to which all EU member states are parties.

The Council is due to agree a general approach on a recast of the 2002 regulation on the phasing-in of double-hull requirements for single-hull oil tankers (17025/11). The recast brings together the amendments made to the regulation in one text for clarity; the only change to the rules currently in force concerns the procedure for updating the references in the regulation to the relevant regulations and resolutions adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In a public session, the Council will adopt its position at first reading (16226/11 + ADD1) on the draft decision on the first radio spectrum policy programme. The text endorsed was negotiated in trialogue meetings between the Polish presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission. The Council position will be transmitted to the European Parliament, which is expected to endorse it in the first quarter of 2012.

The Council will take note, in a public session, of a progress report (17900/11) on a draft roaming regulation and will have an exchange of views on the basis of the presidency questionnaire In a public session, the Council will take note of the progress report on a draft  regulation concerning the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). The Commission proposal aims to strengthen and modernise the ENISA and to establish a new mandate for a period of five years.

The Council is due to adopt conclusions on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe (17904/11). These conclusions were drawn up on the basis of the Commission communication on the subject published in April 2011 (9350/11). This communication seeks to fulfil the Commission commitment to preserve "the open and neutral character of the internet, taking full account of the will of the co-legislators now to enshrine net neutrality as a policy objective and regulatory principle to be promoted by national regulatory authorities". This commitment was made in its declaration on net neutrality when the 2009 telecoms package was concluded (OJ C 308,  18.12.2009, p.2).