Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications: “We were seeking for actual changes in the transport sector”

18 December 2013, Last updated at, 11:11 EET
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author: Scanpix

In the field of transport, the Lithuanian presidency managed to ensure a smooth and continuous legislative process with the main focus put on the creation of a reliable, growing and open Europe. Moreover, much attention was paid to the development of new technologies, the environmentally-friendly infrastructure network and the common European transport area.

On behalf of the Council, Lithuania started the negotiations with the European Parliament on the Roadworthiness Package. It is expected, that the negotiations will be finished by the end of the week. This package is an important step to establish minimum safety standards for the periodic roadworthiness, periodic technical roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and vehicle registration.

The Council reached a general approach on the Rail Safety Directive and approved the progress report on Regulation on the European Union Agency for railways, which will allow the Greek Presidency to continue the discussions over Fourth Railway Package.

Also, a first reading agreement with the European Parliament was reached on establishing the European GNSS Agency regulation. It is a big step ensuring security accreditation of European satellite navigation systems in Europe.

Over the last six months, an agreement on the Regulation on occurrence reporting in civil aviation was reached, and the Council has agreed on a Council position on prolongation of the SESAR Joint Undertaking’s mandate. Furthermore, after intense debates over air passenger rights and having considered the financial implications for the air transport sector, the work on this issue will be continued at the Council’s expert level. Regarding the airport package the Council progressed building consensus on the Regulation on noise. An Informal EU Transport minister meeting discussed the initiative on Single European Sky and stressed the need to accelerate the modernization of the EU air traffic management.

The Council adopted a general approach on the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning that will allow efficient allocation and distribution of marine waters and will promote the development of various sectors such as maritime transport, offshore energy, tourism and other. A general approach for a regulation on financing the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) was an important achievement in the field of transport.

During its term in office the Lithuanian Presidency focused a lot on the interaction between the EU transport network and the third countries. At the meeting held in Luxembourg, Eastern Partnership Transport ministers expressed their support for a Joint Declaration on Future of Eastern Partnership transport cooperation and approved the Eastern Partnership transport Infrastructure network that establishes the most important transport links between the EU and the neighboring countries. Jointly, the ministers approved the priority infrastructure project list of the six partner countries. In the future, the project may be supported by EU funding and loans of international financial institutions.

“The achievements reached with regard to the transport sector at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius were seen as an important step towards closer cooperation between the EU and its neighbors” – underlined Rimantas Sinkevičius.

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The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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