Lamoureux Outlines EC Transport Priorities

Monday, August 09, 2004
The European Parliament's new Transport and Tourism Committee held its first meeting on 28 July 2004, where François Lamoureux, the Director General of the European Commission's DG Transport and Energy (second in command after Commissioner Loyola de Palacio), presented the Commission's long-term objectives. There are four key objectives of interest to INTERTANKO:

1) Adopting a global approach to safety and security: Lamoureux said that essential to improving and progressing security measures for EU transport is to establish who will bear the costs involved - the ship operators or the public authorities. The Commission feels that public authorities should fulfil this role, a standpoint not shared by EU Member States who are disinclined to foot the bill. On the question of improving safety standards, Lamoureux felt that the idea of creating a European coast guard needs further exploration. An initial thought from the Commissioner was to increase the powers of EMSA to cover this.

2) Financing "Trans-European Transport Networks" (TETNs) and "Motorways of the Seas" Also at the centre of Lamoureux's speech was the budget for the TETNs project, which he stressed needs to be increased in order for the project to be successful. He reiterated the Commission's recent plan for the EU financial package for 2007-2013, where it is stated that the budget for TETNs will be increased to EUR 20.35 billion. The Director General said he would also like to see further contributions to the project by the private sector. Optimistic research has shown that the private sector will have to foot the bill for up to 20% of the total costs of the infrastructure, indicating that considerable public funding will still be necessary.

3) Creating an external transport policy Lamoureux was disappointed by the continuing "dispersed action" by Member States within international organisations such as the IMO. He brought up the issue of the proposal for a single EU membership to the IMO still being blocked by the Council of Ministers, and was insistent on the need for the EU to be present within such an organisation as a single unified body.

4) Maintaining a sustainable transport policy: Another of Lamoureux's main comments focused on the need for better integration of sustainable development priorities into future transport policy. Although this mainly made reference to road traffic, he also insisted that short sea shipping would be covered.

Other points of interests: Lamoureux concluded by looking at the Commission's short-term objectives. On the subject of maritime transport, he referred to the Commission's plans to publish a new proposal on the liberalisation of port services (the previous one having been rejected by the European Parliament in 2003) before the end of the year.

(Source: Intertanko)

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