1. The Council adopted its position on the long-term strategy for the development of the trans-European transport network

    published on Friday, March 23, 2012 under Transports

    Following a discussion of the outstanding issues, the majority of the delegations at the Transport Council meeting, could accept the general approach on new guidelines defining a long-term strategy for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). In addition, the Council also stated its position on the draft regulation on a revision of the 1996 directive on groundhandling services at airports.

    European Transports Ministers who met on the 22 of March at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting reached a first agreement on new guidelines defining a long-term strategy for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Ministers modified the Commission's proposal on the definition of "projects of common interest" so as to cover any project complying with the requirements for the comprehensive or the core network.

    Moreover, the general approach adopted by the Council also amends the Commission's initial proposal in order to accommodate Member States' concerns, in particular as regards the budgetary consequences of the proposal and the safeguarding of Member States' right to decide on projects to be carried out on their territory. The maps setting out the transport arteries of the comprehensive and core networks, annexed to the draft regulation, have been also modified as concerns Italy, Poland and Romania. This general approach will be the basis for the discussions between the Council and the European Parliament.

    On the other hand, the Council also reached an agreement stating its position on the review of rules on groundhandling services. A majority of delegations accepted the presidency's compromise text, however three delegations decided to abstain. The draft regulation reviewing the 1996 directive on groundhandling services at airports, such as aircraft servicing or the handling of passengers, baggage or freight, foresees among other things, opening the groundhandling market, setting up minimum standards for the provision of groudhandling services and improving the tender procedure and the rules on subcontracting.

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