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Trio Presidency transport ministers summarise accomplishments achieved during the last eighteen months

© The Council of the European Union

The transport ministers of the first Trio Presidency met today at Brdo to review the accomplishments of the last eighteen months in the field of transport and addressed key challenges for the future. Minister of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia Radovan Žerjav,  Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany Wolfgang Tiefensee, and Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications of the Portuguese Republic Mario Lino praised the good mutual cooperation of the Trio, which brought tangible results and achievement of the set objectives.

It was this successful joint work which Minister Žerjav especially highlighted after today's meeting. According to Mr Žerjav, the Trio worked constructively, wishing to achieve as much and as good results as possible. "Once again we proved that the results of our joint efforts are greater than the results of our individual efforts," noted Mr Žerjav.

After the meeting with the ministers of Portugal and Germany, Minister Žerjav summarised the main contributions of the Slovenian Presidency in concluding the work of the Trio.

One of priority tasks of the Trio, as well as of the Slovenian Presidency, was the work on the Galileo project, the objective of which is to establish a European satellite navigation infrastructure. According to Minister Žerjav, following the introductory efforts of Germany and Portugal, the main task of the Slovenian Presidency was to ensure an adequate legal basis and financing. Following the adoption of a political decision on a new method of public financing, the so-called Galileo Implementation Regulation needed to be adopted as well.   "Thus the project was given new impetus, and therewith we repaved the way to attaining our common European goal – to put the Galileo project into operation as soon as possible, a project which will offer numerous applications beyond the transport sector," emphasised Mr Žerjav.

Minister Žerjav also underlined the efforts of the Slovenian Presidency regarding implementation of the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries. "In the field of transport, we succeeded in conferring a mandate on the European Commission to open negotiations on formulating a Transport Community Treaty with the Western Balkan countries.  The ceremony marking the opening of negotiations on establishing the Transport Community Treaty with the countries of the Western Balkan region will take place here in Brussels today," said Mr Žerjav.

The Slovenian Presidency also made every effort in the field of road transport.  The minister, in particular, mentioned reaching political agreement on the proposal for a road package. The Slovenian Presidency has also succeeded in bringing the positions of the Member States on the main elements to a consensus regarding the exchange of data in national registers and the performance of cabotage, or the level of market liberalisation. In the field of road safety, a Directive on road infrastructure safety management and a Regulation on protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users were adopted.

Mr Žerjav pinpointed the adoption of a general approach to the Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles as one of important achievements of the Slovenian Presidency. This Directive requires that public authorities and providers of public passenger road transport take into account the energy consumption ratio, CO2 and other pollutants emissions when purchasing vehicles. "This is the first Directive ever adopted in the field of 'greening' the transport sector, and I am pleased that it was adopted during our Trio Presidency," observed Minister Žerjav.

Significant progress was also made in the aviation sector.  A mandate was conferred on the Commission to open negotiations with Israel on a comprehensive agreement. Another two mandates submitted for discussion by the Commission in 2005 and dealt with by several presidencies were also conferred, reported Mr Žerjav.   The Directive on airport charges and a general approach to the Regulation on a code of conduct for computerised reservation systems (CRS) were approved as well. 

Slovenia has prepared a sound basis for further work in the field of rail transport, in particular through addressing the Conclusions on multi-annual agreements on rail infrastructure quality and the Conclusions on a rail network giving priority to freight.

"Running a Presidency never is, and never could be, the task of a single state or trio," noted Minister Žerjav, concluding that "this also applies to the field of transport, since a Europe with good and efficient transport links is our joint European project." The Slovenian Minister expressed the wish that the upcoming French-Czech-Swedish Trio would cooperate at least as excellently and successfully as the current Trio.


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Date: 27.06.2008