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									                                                                      9686/03 (Presse 146)




                                        2515th Council meeting

         - TRANSPORT, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ENERGY -

                                       Luxembourg, 5 June 2003




                                     Presidents :        Mr Christos VERELIS
                                                         Minister for Transport and Communications

                                                         Mr Georgios ANOMERITIS
                                                         Minister for Mercantile Marine

                                                         Mr Manolis STRATAKIS
                                                         State Secretary for Transport and
                                                         Communications

                                                         of the Hellenic Republic




                                            Internet: http://ue.eu.int/
                                       E-mail: press.office@consilium.eu.int


                       For further information call 32 2 285 62 19 – 32 2 285 63 19
9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                                  1
                                                                                                     EN
                                                                                                                                       5.VI.2003

                                                              CONTENTS 1



PARTICIPANTS ................................................................................................................................ 4


ITEMS DEBATED

EUROPEAN NETWORK AND INFORMATION SECURITY AGENCY ...................................... 6
WORLD SUMMIT ON INFORMATION SOCIETY - Council Conclusions.................................... 8
SHIP AND PORT SECURITY.......................................................................................................... 10
PROMOTION OF SEA TRANSPORT AND THE SEAFARING PROFESSION - Council
Conclusions ........................................................................................................................................ 12
GALILEO- INTEGRATION OF EGNOS - Council Conclusions .................................................... 16
TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORKS................................................................................................. 18
EXTERNAL RELATIONS IN AVIATION...................................................................................... 19
ALLOCATION OF AIRPORT SLOTS ............................................................................................ 21
EUROPEAN ROAD SAFETY ACTION PROGRAMME - Council Conclusions .......................... 22
OTHER BUSINESS .......................................................................................................................... 25
–       MARITIME ENVIRONMENT - PREVENTION OF POLLUTION ...................................... 25
–       INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGING ......................................................................................... 25
–       AVIATION INSURANCE ....................................................................................................... 26
–       UNFAIR PRACTICES IN THE SUPPLY OF AIRLINE SERVICES .................................... 26
–       SAFETY IN TUNNELS ........................................................................................................... 26




1
    ▪   Where declarations, conclusions or resolutions have been formally adopted by the Council, this is
        indicated in the heading for the item concerned and the text is placed between quotation marks.
    ▪   The documents whose references are given in the text are available on the Council's Internet site
        http://ue.eu.int.
    ▪   Acts adopted with statements for the Council minutes which may be released to the public are indicated by
        an asterisk; these statements are available on the above mentioned Council Internet site or may be
        obtained from the Press Office.

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                                                                                                                                               EN
                                                                                                                                                        5.VI.2003



ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

RESEARCH
–    Agreement with Russia on science and technology .................................................................................................. I

–    Agreement with Japan on science and technology ................................................................................................... I

CUSTOMS UNION
–    Imports of canned tuna from Thailand and the Philippines ...................................................................................... I

ANTIDUMPING
–    Anti-dumping – China .............................................................................................................................................. I




9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                                                                                                   3
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                                                                                                  5.VI.2003

PARTICIPANTS
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as
follows:


Belgium :
Mr François ROUX                              Deputy Permanent Representative

Denmark :
Mr Thomas EGEBO                               Permanent Secretary of State at the Ministry of Transport

Germany :
Mr Manfred STOLPE                             Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Housing

Greece :
Mr Christos VERELIS                           Minister for Transport and Communications
Mr Georgios ANOMERITIS                        Minister for Mercantile Marine
Mr Manolis STRATAKIS                          State Secretary for Transport and Communications

Spain :
Mr Adolfo MENENDEZ                            State Secretary for Transport

France :
Mr Gilles de ROBIEN                           Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Housing, Tourism and Sea

Ireland :
Mr John BROWNE                                Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine
                                              and Natural Resources
Mr Séamus BRENNAN                             Minister for Transport

Italy :
Mr Maurizio GASPARRI                          Minister for Communications
Mr Lucio STANCA                               Minister for Innovation and Technology
Mr Pietro LUNARDI                             Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Luxembourg :
Mr François BILTGEN                           Minister for Labour and Employment, Minister for Relations with
                                              Parliament, Minister for Religious Affairs, Minister for
                                              responsibility for Communications
Mr Henri GRETHEN                              Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister for Transport

Netherlands :
Ms Melanie SCHULTZ VAN HAGEN                  State Secretary for Transport and Water Management

Austria :
Mr Herbert GORBACH                            Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology

Portugal :
Mr António CARMONA RODRIGUES                  Minister for Public Works, Transport and Housing

Finland :
Ms Leena LUTHANEN                             Minister for Transport and Communications

Sweden :
Mr Jonas BJELVFENSTAM                         State Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Employment and
                                              Communications

United Kingdom :
Mr John SPELLAR                               Minister of State for Transport

                                         *   *     *
Commission :
Ms Loyola DE PALACIO                          Vice-President
Mr Erkki LIIKANEN                             Member




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                                                                                                          EN
                                                                                                  5.VI.2003



The Governments of the Accession States were represented as follows:


Czech Republic :
Mr Milan SIMONOVSKÝ                           Minister for Transport
Mr Michal FRANKL                              Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Informatics

Estonia :
Mr Meelis ATONEN                              Minister of Economic Affairs and Communication

Cyprus :
Mr Kyriakos KAZAMIAS                          Minister for Communications and Works

Latvia :
Mr Roberts ZILE                               Minister for Transport and Telecommunications

Lithuania :
Mr Zimantas BALČYTIS                          Minister for Transport and Telecommunications

Hungary :
Mr Kálmán KOVÁCS                              Minister at the Ministry of Informatics and Communications
Mr István CSILLAG                             Minister for Economic Affairs and Transport

Malta:
Mr Censu GALEA                                Minister for Transport and Communications

Poland :
Mr Marek POL                                  Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure

Slovakia :
Mr Pavol PROKOPOVIČ                           Minister for Transport

Slovenia :
Mr Pavle GANTAR                               Minister for the Information Society
Mr Jakob PRESEČNIK                            Minister for Transport




9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                                       5
                                                                                                       EN
                                                                                         5.VI.2003

ITEMS DEBATED


EUROPEAN NETWORK AND INFORMATION SECURITY AGENCY


The Council agreed on a general approach, pending the European Parliament's opinion in first
reading, on the draft Regulation aimed at establishing a European Network and Information
Security Agency. It requested the Permanent Representatives Committee to examine the
Parliament's opinion when available so as to enable the Council to adopt a common position at a
forthcoming meeting.


The general approach was agreed on with two abstentions, by the German and United Kingdom
delegations.


The proposed European Agency is intended to assist the Commission and the Member States in
meeting requirements, including those set out in present and future Community legislation, in the
light of increased concerns regarding network and information security. The Regulation will
enhance cooperation at European level between different actors operating in the field of network
and information security.


The assistance that the Agency provides should help ensure interoperability of information security
functions in networks and information systems, thereby contributing to the smooth functioning of
the Internal Market. The Agency will also provide support for the Community's contacts with
relevant parties in third countries.




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                                                                                         5.VI.2003



The text of the general approach includes the main following changes in relation to the
Commission's initial proposal:


   Limitation of the Agency's activities to an advisory role and deletion of provisions concerning
    an advisory board.


   Modification of the composition of the Management Board to include one representative of each
    Member State, three representatives appointed by the Commission and one representative each
    (without the right to vote) of the information and consumer technologies industry, consumer
    groups and academic experts in network and information security.


   Extension of the Management Board's functions and of its involvement in the day–to–day
    operation of the Agency.




9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                             7
                                                                                             EN
                                                                                       5.VI.2003



WORLD SUMMIT ON INFORMATION SOCIETY - Council Conclusions


"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

1.   WELCOMES

the Communication from the Commission on the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS),
the first segment of which is to be held in Geneva on 10-12 December 2003;

2.   RECALLS

the importance of the impact of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) on society
in general and the citizen in particular;

the opportunities that ICTs as a tool for knowledge and information sharing offer world-wide for
sustainable economic growth, social cohesion, and political and cultural development in an
Information Society for all, in particular in the context of the 2010 Lisbon strategy and the
Conclusions of the Lisbon and Feira European Councils ;

the importance of the objectives of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan and the associated eEurope+
Action Plan, in the EU and its candidate and acceding countries respectively and the Council's
commitment thereto in the framework of its resolution of 18 March 2003 on the implementation of
the eEurope 2005 Action Plan;

the Council conclusions of 30 May 2002 on the role of ICTs in the EC Development Policy 1 and

the Council conclusions of 5 December 2002 on ICTs and e-business skills in Europe;

the Council resolution of 3 October 2000 on the organisation and management of the Internet 2 and
the subsequent Guidelines for Discussions of 23 October 2002 on International management of the
Internet and ICANN reform;

the UN Millenium Declaration of September 2000;

the ACP-EU Joint Document of 16 May 2003 on the World Summit on Information Society;




1    OJ
2    OJ C 293/3 of 14.10.2000



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                                                                                            5.VI.2003


3.    EXPRESSES ITS BROAD SUPPORT FOR

an open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders taking into account the European policy
orientations, notably in relation to:

a) promoting the Information Society prerequisites, especially in adopting a set of principles based
on fundamental human rights in light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
achieving an enabling environment and capacity building investing first in people, promoting
cultural and linguistic diversity;

b) developing the right tools, in particular with relation to devising and implementing e-Strategies,
including appropriate regulatory frameworks, allowing broad mobilisation of all stakeholders, and
developing key applications in particular for e-Government, e-Learning, e-Health and e-Business,
as well as fostering exchange of experiences and benchmarking;

c) seizing the benefit of the Information Society for countries and individuals, notably in relation to
human rights and the rule of law, the improvement of services, strengthening of our societies in the
light of eInclusion, increase in welfare and economic growth, as well as the reinforcement of
democracy;

4.    INVITES MEMBER STATES

to take into account, during the preparatory process for the first segment of the WSIS, the
orientations of these conclusions;

to continue close consultations with the private sector and civil society, and with partners world-
wide, notably by making available the collective experiences of the national and EU Information
Society policies and programmes;

"to pursue close co-operation with the Commission and the acceding countries to ensure the
European Union's possibility to play a constructive and leadership role, through the Presidency or
the Commission, where Community competences are concerned, in particular in contributing to the
Political Declaration and the Plan of Action;"

5.    INVITES THE COMMISSION

to report regularly to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress of the preparatory
process of the WSIS;

to report to the European Parliament and the Council on the results of the first segment of the
WSIS."




9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                                 9
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                                                                                             5.VI.2003



SHIP AND PORT SECURITY


The Council held a policy debate on a proposal for a Regulation aimed at enhancing security on
board ships and in ship/port interface areas in the light of increased security risks following the
terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. It requested the Permanent Representatives Committee to
proceed rapidly with the examination of the proposal, in the light of the positions expressed by
delegations, with a view to enabling the Council to reach agreement preferably at its meeting on
9 and 10 October.


The Commission‟s proposal, presented in May, is aimed at incorporating into Community
legislation measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism against ships adopted last December
by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).


The Council supported the objective of transposing the IMO measures by means of a Regulation.
Concerns were however expressed that the ambitious scope proposed by the Commission could
jeopardise implementation. Amongst ideas expressed by delegations to overcome this, that of
extending the scope of the Regulation for domestic shipping to certain vessels and port facilities
presenting higher risks, such as A-class passenger ships2 and cargo ships transporting oil or
dangerous goods, met with broad support, as well as the idea of allowing more time for
implementing these measures.


The Council recognised the need for notification and examination by the Commission of bilateral
and multilateral agreements on alternative security agreements. Concerns were however expressed
that the procedure proposed would jeopardise implementation of the measures by 1 July 2004. The
possibility of giving guidance by means of a model agreement identifying minimum security
requirements, to be agreed at Community level, was also mentioned.




2
    According to Council Directive 98/18/EC, 'Class A' ships means a passenger ship engaged on
       domestic voyages in the course of which it is further than 20 miles from the line of coast or in
       sea areas where the probability of exceeding 2,5 m significant wave height is bigger than
       10%.

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                                                                                         5.VI.2003




A majority of delegations favoured the idea of a control mechanism. However some expressed
concerns at having Commission inspections in fields related to public and national security. The
precedent of inspections provided for in Regulation 2320/2002 on civil aviation security was noted
as a possible basis for an agreement, bearing in mind also the particular characteristics of the
maritime sector.


The Council considered that the proposed Regulation is not the appropriate legal instrument for
enlarging the functions of the European Maritime Safety Agency or the EU‟s Committee on Safe
Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. Most delegations expressed doubts on the
appropriateness of considering at this stage an extension of EMSA‟s role when it has barely existed
for three months and is not yet fully operational. Regarding committee procedures, several
delegations expressed a preference for a specific committee dealing with security matters, as in the
aviation sector. Some even suggested merging these two committees into a single transport security
committee.

The need for rapid agreement was moreover emphasised, given the implementation date of
1 July 2004 agreed by the IMO.




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                                                                                              EN
                                                                                          5.VI.2003



PROMOTION OF SEA TRANSPORT AND THE SEAFARING PROFESSION - Council
Conclusions

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to :

the general structure and policy directions of the Commission Communication on the "training and
recruitment of seafarers";

the targets set by the European Councils in Lisbon, Nice and Gothenburg;

Noting that

over 90% of the world trade and 40% of internal Community trade is sea borne,

most Member States compete with others in world maritime trade as well as participate in maritime
trade within the Community,

commercial vessels are the most widely used means connecting the mainland with the island
territories thereby contributing to the social cohesion of Member States,

sea transport is the most effective, environment-friendly and cheap mode of transport;

Acknowledging the contribution of Member States' shipping in the development of all the
connected activities supporting it and that those activities multiply the benefits for Member States'
economies stemming from the operation of shipping within the maritime cluster;

Stressing the need to improve the image of shipping, within the framework of a European strategy,
so as to correspond to the extent of its contribution to European societies;

Considering that maintaining ships of all types under flags of Member States and developing further
quality shipping in a context of liberalised international maritime services, as well as combating
substandard shipping, are issues of first priority;

Recognising the value of taking measures at Community level to incorporate international standards
or fill in the gaps in international legislation, whilst stressing the need for Member States and the
Commission to act jointly in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) framework with the
aim of a world-wide application of the maritime legislation, thereby emphasising the importance of
the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, including legislation relating to living
and working conditions of seafarers as fundamental elements for ship safety;




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Recognising that quality shipping in the Member States is based on the respect of international legal
instruments and Community legislation; that there is a need that similarly all Flag states comply
with their obligations under international conventions, in order to avoid unfair competition;

Stressing that the human factor is essential for quality shipping and that it is consequently necessary
to preserve and further develop high level maritime and shipping expertise in the Union;

Recognising that the decline in the numbers of European seafarers is influenced to a certain extent
by the overall image of shipping that prevails in public opinion;

Believing that the improvement of competitiveness of Member States' fleets should aim to attract
more quality vessels to Member States' registries, creating at the same time new jobs for seafarers
as well as for personnel supporting maritime companies on land;


Acknowledging the positive effect that the Community guidelines for State aids in the maritime
sector have for maintaining competitiveness of Member States' fleet and increasing the number of
vessels under Member States' Registers

Considering that further action should focus on the following objectives:
the improvement of the image of the seafaring profession, aiming at attracting young people to
work at sea,

the assessment of existing human resources and of the seafarers' qualifica tions,
the improvement of maritime education and training,

THE COUNCIL

ENCOURAGES the early production of revised Community guidelines for State aids in the
maritime sector which can provide stimulating elements for the maintenance of competitiveness and
the promotion of European shipping know-how and maritime training, as well as the employment of
European seafarers;

CALLS UPON Member States to:
improve the image of shipping, within the framework of a European strategy and using every
appropriate means,

ensure that further promotion of quality shipping be pursued through stricter compliance with the
legal instruments of the IMO and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but also with
Community legislation, in the framework of flag and port State control,

make every effort, in collaboration with the Commission, so that the work within the IMO would
lead to the development of a code, in particular for flag States, and a compulsory Model Audit
Scheme as soon as possible, in order to ensure that the flag States comply with all the obligations
undertaken in accordance with international Conventions,




9686/03 (Presse 146)                                                                                13
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                                                                                           5.VI.2003


undertake long-term actions aiming at promoting the positive aspects of the seafaring profession,
possibly through advertisement campaigns and targeting secondary education graduates, and at
highlighting the European maritime heritage,

upgrade the seafaring profession and fulfil the necessary requirements so as to ensure that the
seafarer will be in a position to execute his/her duties smoothly, safely and with respect for his/her
social rights, taking into account that the level of EU-maritime education is in general adequate and
well above internationally agreed international levels,

review and, where necessary, improve provisions so as to increase the number and quality of social
services and facilities offered to the families of seafarers,

set training standards for seafarers, in accordance with Community and IMO standards, so as to
enable professional promotion of those entering the maritime profession, in the context of a
combined on board - shore career,

make every effort in international fora, essentially the IMO and the ILO, to ensure the broadest
compliance with and further development of international legal instruments, in particular on a new
international convention on working conditions for seafarers within the ILO, which entails that the
application of minimum international standards for working conditions will not become a
„competition field‟ in the international maritime transport sector,

constantly monitor the evolution and effects of the measures taken to increase the attractiveness of
the maritime profession, so as to encourage consideration of a lifetime career, initially at sea and
later ashore. This monitoring shall include measures taken by the shipping industry;
INVITES the Commission to :

assist Member States in materialising the above and utilising and focusing available Community
funds for this purpose, including inter alia the enhancement of co-operation between maritime
training institutes, the facilitation of exchanges of students and teachers and the fostering of
professional mobility of seafarers within the Community. If necessary and appropriate, the need for
creating a new Community programme aiming at promoting the seafaring profession and enhancing
marine education and training can be examined;

consider a European-level campaign promoting the seafarers profession and marine education, as
well as the establishment of a "European Maritime Day" and a "European Maritime Image Award",

continue monitoring the evolution of the training and recruitment of seafarers on the basis of data
provided by Member States,

take into consideration the particularities and special needs of the maritime profession when
submitting proposals for Community legislation,

further examine possibilities for stimulating the development of the maritime cluster in the
Community in order to improve its performance in international competition;




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                                                                                         5.VI.2003


examine the possibilities for setting up a European Quality Reward system recognising quality
operators, such as shipping companies, ships, and possibly also ports, complying inter alia with
standards of safety, living and working conditions for seafarers, security and environmental
protection, as an incentive to promote quality shipping ;

WELCOMES the intention of the Commission to provide a report on possible developments of
specific recognition procedures for Seafarers' Certificates of Competence within the Community
and accompany it with a legislative proposal ensuring thorough complianc e with STCW
requirements and taking full account of the implications of existing bilateral agreements of current
and/or new Member States ;

ENCOURAGES social partners of the shipping industry to contribute to the efforts of Member
States and the Commission to attract young people to the seafaring profession and, more
particularly to :

create attractive working and salary conditions which correspond to their training,
ensure optimal organisation of work on board ships whilst encouraging responsibility, team work,
co-operation and continuous training,

collaborate with public authorities in promotion activities, including wide publicity, highlight the
positive aspects of the maritime profession, and possibly make suggestions to improve marine
education and training,

promote the employment of women on board as well as on land;

INVITES in particular the shipowners to :
ensure and preserve a sufficient level of employment for EU citizens on board their ships and in
their companies,

further facilitate the training of students on board,

contribute to the improvement of working and living conditions for seafarers on board, particularly
taking advantage of the modern technological and communication means,

promote the idea of a career with perspectives of mobility, promotions and future employment on
land, more particularly by signing with young officers career contracts offering social promotion
perspectives.

AGREES to monitor the impact of the measures taken by all involved parties as a follow-up to
these conclusions, on the basis of periodical reports by the Commission."




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                                                                                         5.VI.2003



GALILEO- INTEGRATION OF EGNOS - Council Conclusions


"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to:

(i) previous Resolutions and Conclusions of the Council calling for an optimal or appropriate
integration of the EGNOS programme in the GALILEO programme whilst preserving as long as
necessary separate financial arrangements for the two programmes ;

(ii)the near completion of the development and deployment phases of the EGNOS system
developed together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and EUROCONTROL ;

(iii) the investments already made in EGNOS by both the public and private sectors through
financial contributions from the EU Trans-European Networks budget, from the ESA Member and
Associate States and from public and private national air traffic service providers from a number of
EU Member States who have formed the EGNOS Operation and Infrastructure Group (EOIG) ;

(iv) the Commission Communication on "the integration of the EGNOS programme in the
GALILEO programme" presented to the European Parliament and the Council on 19 March 2003 ;

THE COUNCIL:

1.    REAFFIRMS that EGNOS is an integral part of the European satellite radio-navigation policy
and UNDERLINES that it contributes to the European Union strategy for employment, economic
reform and social cohesion launched by the Lisbon European Council in March 2000;

2.   RECALLS that EGNOS is a satellite radio-navigation system which is at the same time
independent from and complementary to the future GALILEO system ;

3.   NOTES the numerous significant contributions of the EGNOS programme to GALILEO ;

4.   therefore AGREES that

under the condition that funding of EGNOS is guaranteed, the EGNOS programme should be
certified for aviation use, that it should become operational as soon as possible and allow for a
service availability in the long term and that EGNOS should be used both as a precursor to
GALILEO and as an instrument enabling GALILEO to penetrate rapidly the market for satellite
radio-navigation services;




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b)   the EGNOS programme should be placed henceforth under the control of the GALILEO Joint
Undertaking (JU) and that the JU should be entrusted with :

the task of supervising the management of EGNOS after the programme "Operational Readiness
Review" has been completed in April 2004,

-     the conclusion of an agreement with an economic operator charged with operating EGNOS
from April 2004 with due regard to the opinion of those parties who contributed to the funding of
the development and deployment phases of the EGNOS system,

making recommendations for suitable arrangements concerning ownership of EGNOS assets,
intellectual property rights and commercial exploitation rights;

c)    the advantages of a possible inclusion of the management of EGNOS as part of the future
concession agreement for the management of GALILEO should be evaluated together with
potential GALILEO concessionaires ;

d)    the EGNOS system should as far as necessary receive public funding from various sources
from 2004 to 2008 in order to improve the system to meet the obligations of the international
standards (such as ICAO and IMO) ;

e)    the European Community will further contribute to EGNOS funding in the framework of
Community budget for the trans-European networks (TENs) under the present Financial
Perspectives, as a separate item and in accordance with the TEN-T financial regulation, and that it
will consider further contributing to this funding after 2006 ;

f)   the extension of EGNOS to other parts of the world should be pursued determinedly by the
Commission and Member States, to share its operation with these regions and to promote the
European technology;

g)   the future orientation of EGNOS after GALILEO is fully deployed should be decided by the
Council, on a proposal from the Commission, in liaison with the service providers and the users,
once GALILEO becomes fully operational;

5.    UNDERLINES that all parties who contributed to the funding of the development and
deployment phases of the EGNOS system, particularly the EOIG members, should be involved in
the future policy decisions concerning the system and that an appropriate agreement should
therefore be concluded between all parties concerned and the GALILEO Joint Undertaking."




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TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORKS


The Council heard a presentation by Commission Vice-President Loyola de Palacio on work
underway within a high-level expert group, chaired by ex-European Commissioner for Transport
Karel van Miert, regarding trans-European transport networks. Ministers also discussed this issue
over lunch, recognising the importance of the upcoming revision of the guidelines for transport
TENs.


The high-level group, which was set up by the Commission to assist it with the preparation of a
proposal for revising the guidelines, is due to present shortly a report. It is expected to identify a
limited number of priority projects on the major transport corridors that will carry heavy flows of
traffic in the enlarged European Union.


The Italian delegation indicated that it would consider this matter as a high priority during its
Presidency in the second half of the year, in particular at the informal meeting of Transport
Ministers on 4 and 5 July in Naples.


Current guidelines for the development of transport TENs include a list of specific projects, drawn
up by the European Council at Essen in 1994 and at Dublin in 1996, and the plans and criteria for
identifying transport projects of common interest up to 2010. Delays in completion of these
projects, in particular trans-frontier and railway projects, are due mainly to a lack of financial
resources for major improvements to the network.




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EXTERNAL RELATIONS IN AVIATION

The Council approved three legislative texts aimed at establishing a new framework for relations in
the aviation sector with the United States and other third countries, following a Court of Justice
ruling last November which found existing arrangements to be in infringement of Community law.

More specifically, the Council:

 Adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to negotiate a Community-level agreement
   with the United States, aimed at creating an “open aviation area” to replace the so-called “open
   skies” agreements, as well as other more restrictive agreements, agreed bilaterally by the
   Member States.
 Adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to negotiate Community-level agreements with
   third countries to replace certain specific provisions agreed bilaterally by Member States.
 Reached a general approach, pending the European Parliament‟s opinion in first reading, on a
   draft Regulation on the negotiation and implementation of air service agreements between
   Member States and third countries.


The new framework will be based on principles of Community law as laid down in the judgements
of the Court of Justice, offering pragmatic solutions to the many difficult political and legal
questions raised by these judgements.


Community-level agreement with the United States


The Council‟s mandate envisages a comprehensive liberal agreement allowing carriers from both
the European Union and the United States to provide air services on a fair and equal basis.


Negotiating guidelines for the Commission are annexed to the Decision, listing a large number of
matters which could be included in such a comprehensive agreement. Examples of these areas
include market access, ownership and control, leasing, convergence on the application of
competition rules, safety and institutional arrangements.




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The negotiations will be conducted by the Commission in consultation with a special committee
appointed by the Council.


Community agreements with third countries to replace bilateral provisions


The Community-level agreements envisaged by the Council‟s mandate would seek to bring existing
bilateral agreements between Member States and third countries into conformity with Community
law.


The mandate establishes:
   That new agreements will supersede conflicting texts under bilateral agreements between the
    Member States and third countries.
   The use by the Commission, as a starting point, of standard clauses developed jointly with the
    Member States.
   The obligation for the Commission to establish a list of third countries to be approached,
    indicating an order of priority.


The negotiations will be conducted by the Commission in consultation with a special committee
appointed by the Council.


Air service agreements between Member States and third countries


The draft Regulation creates a framework within which Member States may continue to negotiate
with third countries with a view, inter alia, to reducing the vulnerability to legal challenge of their
existing bilateral agreements. Such negotiations would be permitted, subject to certain conditions,
even where the Commission has received a mandate to negotiate a Community-level agreement.


In addition, the draft Regulation also requires Member States to ensure a distribution of traffic
rights among eligible Community carriers on the basis of a non-discriminatory and transparent
procedure.




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ALLOCATION OF AIRPORT SLOTS


The Council adopted a general approach, pending the European Parliament's opinion in first
reading, on a draft Regulation aimed at relaxing temporarily the rules on the allocation of slots at
Community airports so as to enable airlines to deal with a drop in demand created by the war in Iraq
and the SARS virus. Once the Parliament's opinion has been received, the Council should be able to
rapidly reach a broad agreement on this matter at a forthcoming meeting.


The Spanish delegation expressed its intention to vote against the Council's agreement at the
moment of adoption and the Danish and Swedish delegations expressed their intention to abstain.


The draft Regulation is one of the measures announced by the Commission at the Council's session
on 27 and 28 March. However, the text approved by the Council, dealing solely with the temporary
suspension of the "use it or leave it" principle, has been dealt with separately from a more general
proposal on the use of slots which is still under examination within the Council.




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EUROPEAN ROAD SAFETY ACTION PROGRAMME - Council Conclusions


"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the initial discussion on the Communication adopted by the Commission on
2 June 2003 entitled “European Road Safety Action Programme - Halving the number of road
accident victims in the European Union by 2010: A shared responsibility”,

(1)    WELCOMES the submission of this paper, which covers in a comprehensive manner most
       aspects of road safety;

(2)    POINTS OUT that the adoption of measures to increase transport safety is an objective of
       the common transport policy, as established by the Treaty;

(3)   UNDERLINES that improving road safety is and will continue to be one of the main priorities
      of the Community's transport policy. CONSIDERS as unacceptable the number of deaths and
      injuries which result from road accidents in Europe, leading to serious physical, psychological
      and material harm to the victims and their families, and recalls the ensuing socio-economic
      damage to society as a whole;

(4)   NOTES that since the adoption of its resolution of 26 June 2000 on the improvement of road
      safety 3 considerable progress has been achieved;

(5)   STRESSES that each casualty is one too many, and considers that there is an urgent need for
      more to be done and new steps to be taken, and that there should be a continuous process of
      road safety improvement;

(6)   AGREES, as a first step, to the overall objective set out in the Commission's Communication
      of halving the number of road accident victims during the period 2001 - 2010 in the
      Community as a whole; is convinced that this objective will constitute a strong motivating
      signal to the relevant policymakers and stakeholders and also to the European public at large;

(7)   WELCOMES in principle the Commission's initiative for a European Road Safety Charter
      and AGREES to discuss this initiative during the second half of 2003.




3
      OJ C 218 of 31.7.2000, p. 1.

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(8)   STRESSES that efficient monitoring and the exchange of information on best practices is
      essential if significant improvements are to be achieved. To this end, the Council will discuss
      during the second half of 2003 the setting up of a European Road Safety Observatory within
      the Commission. In the mean time, it URGES Member States to cooperate fully with the
      Commission in its efforts to carry out comprehensive analysis on the basis of appropriate data
      collection with particular attention to accident data, data on research and development, road
      safety performance indicators, risk exposure variables, investigation of accident causes and
      trauma data. In this respect, the comparability and harmonisation of data and the wide
      dissemination of data and knowledge to the decision makers and to the public is a priority,
      whilst respecting legal requirements in the field of privacy and data protection;

(9)   UNDERLINES the urgent need to give special attention to the specific needs of vulnerable
      road users - such as pedestrians, motorcycle riders, moped riders, and cyclists, as well as
      young and elderly persons and people with disabilities - which should be duly reflected in
      Member States road safety policies;

(10) STRESSES that against the background of the increasing internationalisation of both private
     and professional transport, a convergence of rules, where appropriate – in particular with
     respect to road traffic rules, driving license schemes and rules in commercial transport – will
     contribute to road safety;

(11) RECALLS the general approach the Council agreed at its session of 8 May 2003 on a draft
     Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial
     penalties;
(12) RECOGNISES that, since main causes of accidents are due to inappropriate and illegal user
     behaviour, an effective mechanism for the enforcement of rules, adequate training of road
     users, and information campaigns constitute key elements of a preventive strategy, in
     particular with a view to promoting the use of safety belts and other restraint equipment in
     vehicles and also reducing the occurrence of speeding, and drunk driving. Furthermore,
     special attention should be accorded to young drivers, to road user behaviour in dangerous
     meteorological circumstances and to the physical capability of individuals to drive, as well as
     to the increasing problem of driving under the influence of drugs;

(13) NOTES that although considerable progress has been made with respect to vehicle safety,
     such as that achieved under the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP),
     there is still large scope for improvement, in particular as regards high added-value safety
     related technologies, such as speed limitation devices, intelligent speed adaptation devices,
     vehicle/infrastructure interaction, accident data recorders or seat belt reminders and in
     developing the eSafety program;

(14) NOTES that although the quality and safety of road infrastructure has already been improved
     considerably, further substantial efforts are still needed, in particular in eliminating high-risk
     sites and improving the design of roads from a safety perspective, and with an additional
     emphasis in the short term on low-cost measures for improving the safety situation of existing
     infrastructure.




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(15) AGREES that commercial road transport requires particular attention, and that the
     Commission should play an important role towards further improvement of road safety in this
     sector, because of its international character, in particular as regards the legislation on driving
     and rest times and its enforcement, whilst paying attention to the need for fair competition
     across the Community and CONFIRMS its determination to improve the effectiveness of and
     to develop further regulations on working conditions, technical and other issues related to
     road safety. The Commission is invited to present a report on the mandatory application of
     dead angle mirrors and to closely monitor progress on the measures to be taken regarding
     closed-side protection for lorries and the improvement of the construction of buses. The
     Commission is also invited to examine whether dynamic driving stability control systems
     have to be introduced as obligatory for coaches and dangerous goods vehicles.

(16) In view of the above, the Council, whilst committing itself to further concrete steps during the
     second half of 2003:

       -   INVITES the Commission to continue its work on road safety issues and take the
           necessary initiatives to that effect and to provide a report in 2006 on the monitoring of
           the target and actions carried out and to make, where appropriate, legislative proposals;

       -   INVITES Member States to continue to accord a high priority to their road safety
           policies and to enhance cooperation among them to that effect, with a view to achieving
           the overall objective of halving the number of road accident victims in the Community
           during the period 2001 - 2010, and to initiate the development of new and innovative
           measures in this regard."




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OTHER BUSINESS


–     MARITIME ENVIRONMENT - PREVENTION OF POLLUTION


The Council took note of information from the French delegation on a joint proposal from six
Member States for the designation of a "particularly sensitive sea area in Western Europe", which
was presented to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on 11 April.


This proposal for preventing accidental pollution by vessels in an area particularly exposed to risk is
in line with one of the main guidelines adopted by the Council at its meeting on 5 December 2002
following the PRESTIGE disaster.


The Council also took note of a report from the Commission on a new Protocol to existing oil
pollution liability and compensation conventions, aimed at establishing an International Fund for
Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage.


The new Protocol, adopted by the IMO on 16 May, provides for a five-fold increase in the
compensation currently available to victims.



–     INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGING

The Council took note of the announcement by the Commission that it intends to present shortly a
proposal for a Directive aimed at revising current legislation on the charging for use of road
infrastructure. In the light of a memorandum from the Spanish delegation on this subject, several
delegations emphasised the importance of a Community-wide legislative framework for the
charging of infrastructure use and insisted that such a framework should be of a non-discriminatory
nature.




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–    AVIATION INSURANCE

The Council took note of a progress report from the Presidency regarding work on the draft
Regulation on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators. This Regulation was
proposed by the Commission in order to help restore stability to the aviation insurance market after
the market disturbance that followed the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.



–    UNFAIR PRACTICES IN THE SUPPLY OF AIRLINE SERVICES

The Council took note of a progress report from the Presidency regarding work on the draft
Regulation on protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of airline
services by operators from third countries.



–    SAFETY IN TUNNELS

The Council took note of a progress report from the Presidency regarding work on the draft
Directive on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European road network.




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ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

RESEARCH

Agreement with Russia on science and technology
(Doc. 9554/03)

The Council adopted a Decision approving the conclusion of an Agreement aimed at renewing for
five years the Agreement between the Community and Russia on co-operation in science and
technology.

The existing Agreement, which entered into force in May 2001, was concluded for an initial period
until 31 December 2002, renewable by common agreement for additional periods of five years.


Agreement with Japan on science and technology
(Doc. 9378/03)

The Council adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to negotiate an Agreement between
the Community and Japan on co-operation in science and technology.


CUSTOMS UNION

Imports of canned tuna from Thailand and the Philippines

The Council adopted by qualified majority a Regulation providing for an annual quota, at a tariff of
12 percent, for imports of canned tuna from Thailand and the Philippines for an initial period of five
years. The Spanish delegation voted against.

The initial volume of the quota will be of 25,000 tonnes for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June
2004.


ANTIDUMPING

Anti-dumping – China

The Council adopted:

-      a Regulation amending the anti-dumping measures imposed by Regulation 360/2000 on
       imports from China of dead-burned (sintered) magnesia. (Doc. 9456/03)

-      a Regulation amending the anti-dumping measures imposed by Regulation 1334/1999 on
       imports from China of magnesium oxide. (Doc. 9453/03)


                                   ________________________



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