Written statement to Parliament

EU Transport Council 9 October 2013

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Robert Goodwill to attend first Transport Council of the Lithuanian Presidency meeting.

I will attend the first Transport Council of the Lithuanian Presidency (the Presidency) taking place in Luxembourg on Thursday 10 October.

There will be an orientation debate on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights and Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage. The UK will look to ensure that additional burdens and costs on UK Industry are minimised (whilst retaining an appropriate level of protection for passengers), particularly on the core issues that the presidency have identified for discussion.

The council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 on the establishment of a joint undertaking to develop the new generation European air traffic management system (SESAR) will be adopted. The Single European Sky initiative aims to modernise the European air traffic management system and has considerable scope to reduce costs and improve the travelling experience for UK passengers. We plan to support the proposed extension of the SESAR joint undertaking to 2024 because it still has an important role to deliver the research and development set out in the Air Traffic Management Master Plan in support of the wider Single European Sky initiative.

There will be a general approach on three proposals.

The first is a proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the council on railway safety (part of the 4th Railway package). The UK’s position on the recast Railway Safety Directive is to ensure that we build on processes that already work well and, where appropriate, modify these to recognise changes such as the introduction of the single safety certificate. All UK interests and objectives are maintained by the proposed general approach text. I therefore fully support this proposal and the adoption of a general approach by the council.

The second is a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the council amending Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency which will play a central role in improving the governance and management of the EU’s satellite navigations systems Galileo and EGNOS. I fully support this proposal and the adoption of a general approach by the council.

The third is a proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the council on multi-annual funding for the action of the European Maritime Safety Agency in the field of response to pollution caused by ships and to marine pollution caused by old and gas installations. The commission is proposing a multiannual financial packet to be dispensed from the European Union budget for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 coinciding with the new Multiannual Financial Framework. This planned funding will not be agreed until the overall Multiannual Financial Framework is finalised.

The commission proposes earmarking an amount of €160.5 million for the referenced period compared to €154 million for the previous period. Annual appropriations will then be determined by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial framework. As this is coming from within the existing EU budget there are no additional financial burdens to the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom supports the work of the European Maritime Safety Agency and recognises the contribution it makes to maritime safety.

Under any other business, the commission will provide information on the Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), on recent transport accidents, requirement of passenger data by the Russian Federation (PNR) and on the system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of GHG emissions from international maritime transport.