Transport, Telecommunications and Energy
Czech Presidency priorities
The Czech Presidency will place an emphasis on four priority areas:
- optimising the functioning of the internal market in transport;
- removing administrative obstacles to the transport business;
- increasing the competitiveness of the EU transport system;
- road safety.
As regards the specific initiatives to be consulted during the Czech Presidency, the most important priorities in the field of road transport are the amendment to the Directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles (the Eurovignette Directive), the road package, and the amendment to the Directive on the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities.
In rail transport, the Czech Presidency will pay attention in particular to enhancing the efficiency of rail freight, in connection with the expected legislative initiative of the European Commission to create rail freight corridors.
In air transport, the Czech Presidency will concentrate on a review of the Single European Sky legislation, the implementation of the SESAR project, as well as on external relations in air transport (in particular negotiations on the second phase of the EU-US air services agreement). The Presidency will also continue the discussions on the amendment to the EASA Regulation.
The Czech Republic will also strive to continue a successful implementation of the Galileo project and the trans-European transport network and to implement intelligent transport systems. The Presidency will, furthermore, support the expected initiative of the Commission to create a European maritime transport space without barriers.
Completion of the review of the regulatory framework and creation of the best possible conditions for the functioning of the market in electronic communications are two of the Czech Presidency’s primary objectives in the field of electronic communications. In addition, it is likely that, during the Czech Presidency, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the regulation of international roaming charges within the European Union will be carried out, the extension of the existing regulation will be considered and the scope of universal service will be discussed.
The Czech Presidency will also seek a compromise in the final stage of negotiations on the telecommunications package. In this debate, the Presidency will make every effort to reach a consensus among all EU Member States and the European Parliament, with a view to successfully completing the process of approving the new regulatory framework.
During its Presidency, the Czech Republic will strive for rigorous implementation of existing efforts to create a common energy strategy. The strategy will also cover the strategic concept of energy security of the European Union as a whole. Another equally significant goal will be the promotion of comprehensive measures leading to a restriction of the impact of energy production on the global climate. These steps must, however, respect the right of each Member State to decide on its overall energy mix.
The Czech Republic will conduct negotiations on individual themes ensuing from the implementation of the Action Plan on an Energy Policy for Europe (2007–2009), which was approved by the European Council in March 2007. During these negotiations, it will be necessary to focus on three key areas:
- safeguarding resources, the security of energy conversion, transmission and distribution, and security of supply to the final consumer
- maintaining competitiveness
- climate and environmental protection
A major challenge for the Czech Presidency will probably be to finalise negotiations on legislation laying down rules for the internal market in gas and electricity (i.e. the third liberalisation package, submitted by the Commission in September 2007). One of the Czech Presidency’s goals in this field will be to open a debate on the introduction of a single transparent tariff for international electricity transmission, to be used both for the internal market and international trade in electricity in Europe. In addition, debate on the directive on renewable energy sources is likely to take place under the Czech Presidency.
On the international stage, the Czech Presidency will have the important task of leading negotiations, on behalf of the EU, concerning global measures to mitigate the impact of climate change in the post-Kyoto period. The Bali Action Plan of December 2007 foresees an agreement on the future climate regime for the fifteenth Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen in 2009.
The Czech Presidency will focus on the review of the emissions trading directive and other proposals relating to market-based instruments promoting environmental protection objectives. At the same time, the Presidency will seek to launch a debate on the opportunities and risks of applying modern low-carbon technologies, as well as appropriate and efficient adaptation measures to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
Fostering stable relations with third countries in energy-related matters is of vital importance for the EU. It is necessary to develop such stable relations with suppliers, consumers and transit countries. Accordingly, the Czech Presidency will promote stronger dialogue with these countries and groups, and will push for the creation and implementation of a common EU external energy policy. In this regard, the EU’s energy partnership with Russia and the effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy will play a crucial role.
Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02