Transport ministers agreed on rail passengers’ rights and streamlining regulatory procedures of TEN-T
The EU transport ministers met in Brussels on 2 December. Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin chaired the meeting.
The Transport Council agreed its position on the proposal concerning rail passengers’ rights and obligations. The new rules will benefit all passengers and encourage railway undertakings to provide more and better services to passengers. This will increase the use of rail transport.
The Council also agreed its position on the proposal on streamlining and speeding up permit-granting measures of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), which will facilitate the completion of the network. The core TEN-T network should be completed by 2030.
On the other hand, the Council was not able to agree its position on amending the Eurovignette Directive. The proposal has been discussed for a long time and Finland has actively pushed the issue forward as President of the Council. Finland has considered the proposal important from the point of view of transport emissions.
The ministers held a policy debate on ways to promote digital passenger transport services in the EU. Key topics included access to data, its reliability and security, as well as traffic safety. The debate emphasised the importance of promoting digital transport services that are climate-friendly and socially and economically sustainable. In order to create such services, extensive cooperation is needed.
The ministers also discussed the future of the Single European Sky. Ministers agreed on the need for urgent action to address capacity issues in the European airspace and thus improve the sustainability of aviation.
The Council is ready to open the legislative initiative on the Single European Sky presented in 2013 and to update it to meet future needs. The Council invites the Commission to provide detailed information on the extent to which there may be a need for updates to the draft legislative text. The Commission is also invited to provide detailed background information and material to justify its proposals as comprehensively as possible.
As the member state holding the Presidency, Finland provided information on the proposed directive on discontinuing seasonal time changes. Many issues remain open and national positions have not yet been formed. The issue will be discussed next at a working-level meeting on 9 December.
Maaria Mäntyniemi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. + 358 50 444 0922
Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director-General (rail passengers’ rights and digital passenger transport services), tel. +358 50 344 3400
Maija Ahokas, Director of Unit (Single European Sky), tel. +358 40 031 6178