Finland's goals well taken into account in the agreement reached by the Transport Council on the EU climate package

Press release 03.06.2022 16.42 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communication Timo Harakka (Photo: Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää, Keksi/Ministry of Transport and Communications)

On 2 June 2022, the Transport Council of the European Union adopted a general approach on three legislative proposals included in the EU Fit for 55 package.

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka, who represented Finland at the meeting, is pleased with the agreement reached.

 “Active, long-term influence in the EU is in Finland’s interest. Today, it brought results. We took significant steps towards more sustainable mobility. The Transport Ministers discussed three proposals which, for their part, contribute to the very concrete achievement of the EU’s emission reduction targets. Throughout the preparation process, we have considered it important that the special characteristics of Finland be taken into account in these regulations,” says Minister Harakka.

The EU aims at reducing its emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to the level of 1990, which is to be achieved with the help of the Fit for 55 package.

Council adopts three proposals of the Fit for 55 package

The Transport Council unanimously approved the Presidency compromise on the so-called FuelEU Maritime Regulation, which requires vessels to use alternative fuels from 2025.

In the negotiations, it was important for Finland to ensure sufficient level of ambition and that the competitiveness of the Member States be taken into account. Finland's proposal to take winter navigation into account in the Regulation is now included in the adopted text, albeit on a fixed-term basis. Together with like-minded countries, Finland stressed in the Council that the derogation for winter navigation should be permanent.

The Transport Council unanimously adopted the Council's general approach on the so-called AFIR Regulation, which aims to promote the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in road, waterborne and air transport.

The AFIR Regulation obliges the Member States to ensure, among other things, the construction of an electric charging infrastructure for road transport. For example, Member States should ensure that, by the end of 2025, charging infrastructure pools meeting minimum power requirements be built along the TEN-T core network with a maximum distance of 60 km in-between them. It has been important for Finland that binding obligations for electric charging targets in road transport take acoount of the sparsely populated areas with low-traffic volumes and long distances. These views were considered in the Council's general approach.

In addition, the Transport Council approved by qualified majority the Presidency compromise on the ReFuel Aviation Regulation, which aims to increase the use of renewable aviation fuels in air transport. The main aspects important to Finland were included in the Council's general approach.

What's next?

The European Parliament plenary session will vote on the regulations in September-October 2022. Once Parliament’s position has been formulated, so-called trilogue negotiations will be launched to seek a common view on the final content of the proposal between the Member States, Parliament and the Commission.

A general approach will be sought to some of the transport initiatives in the Fit for 55 package in the Environment Council on 28 June 2022.

Inquiries:

Johanna Juselius, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 3727062, johanna.juselius@gov.fi

Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 382 7101, paivi.antikainen@gov.fi